Our Butler ancestors began farming in 1857 at Chebanse, Illinois with the purchase of 60 acres next to a town that was suppose to thrive on the Iroquois River called Sugar Island. The river transportation eventually gave way to the railroad in Chebanse but the farming continued for over 150 years to present day.
Four generations of Jim Butlers' continued to farm while raising a few horses, pigs, beef, chickens and dairy cows. In the 1940's, our dad, James D. Butler. obtained his first registered Holstein calf and fell in love with the breed. His passion for good cows made the decision easy to invest in the purebred business giving Butlerview its start.
For the next 60 years, dad dedicated his life to Holsteins by milking a herd of 70 cows, buying and selling heifers for replacements and export, showing cattle at the state level, and grain farming 600 acres. In 1980, the Butlerview herd was dispersed. Dad quickly realized how much he missed the cows and was soon milking 70 cows again and feeding 200 heifers in the heifer facility he had built across the road in the 1970's.
Dad accomplished many things. He served as president of the Illinois Holstein Association, bred many All-Illinois and even an All-American nominee, and continued to improve the herd genetics with frequent purchases. His passion for buying and selling Holsteins resulted in selling heifers to over 15 countries and developing relationships in North America that still exist today. One of his great breeding accomplishments was the sire Butlerview Mattador who at one time had the most Excellent Scored daughters in Canada.
In the meantime, our parents (James & Joyce) raised us (Jim, Jeff, Julie & Jennifer) to develop the same love for the breed that our father possessed. In his later years, Dad struggled with heart problems and passed away in 1999 but not before he was able to see the beginning of the transformation of the farm and some of the great animals that his kids had acquired including: Helenlane Katie Marv (Jim and Jeff's 1st All American nomination), Bermaska Starbuck Chancel (Junior Champion WDE 1991), Ricrodreg Counselor Lisa, Eiklyn Counselor Barbie Ann (Junior Champion RWF 1993, All-Canadian Senior Yearling & Senior 2 Year Old), Broker Branleuse, Veazland-R Bstar Tabby, Huntshaven CC Vivian (Intermediate Champion RWF 1997), Verlin Broker Nelda (Intermediate Champion RWF 1995), Mt Glen Broker Lucy, Glenalcomb Broker Ann (All-Canadian & Junior Champion RWF 1994), Pop Supreme Doria (All-American & Reserve Junior Champion WDE 1994), Price-View Annie, etc. Several of these animals were All American, All Canadian, or both.
Dad taught us about the type and functionality of the Holstein cow as well as the importance of connecting with the many great people in the business. This proved to be the cornerstone for our involvement in the industry today. He would be overwhelmed with tears if he could see the most recent accomplishments and the people that have helped us along the way.
Jim & Jeff Butler