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Butler exhibit opens at museum

A new exhibit about the township of Butler, which was created especially for their recent 125th anniversary celebration, is now on display at the History Museum of East Otter Tail County. Butler Township, which was organized in 1883, lies on the northern border of Otter Tail County.

By 1890, the township boasted a population of 179. The settlers included immigrants from Holland, Belgium, and Germany as well as those of American birth. The original colony of settlers from Holland consisted of nine families and twelve single men.

By 1994, the population was 258 and the sixth generation of the first settlers still lived in the township, they being the Edgar and Steve Hendrickx families.

The Township had a post office from 1897 to 1954.

The Butler Store was built in 1889 and operated for nearly a century. The first Holy Cross Catholic Church was built in 1910 for a total cost of $3,500.

Photographs and stories about Butler Township will be on display through the end of the year. The History Museum is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-4 p.m. Admission is free.

For information call 218-346-7676 or visit


Butler Township connected to Perham's first--and only--lynching

The first white girl born in Butler Township was Jenny Trivit. It was the ill-fated John Trivit (or Trivett or Tribbett) who was arrested for the murder of Washington and Fehrenbach, two surveyors working in the unorganized territory north of Perham.

Trivit was chased to North Dakota by Sheriff Steve Butler who brought him back to Perham to stand trial.

During the night, a lynch mob took him from the jail and the next morning he was found hanging dead from a telegraph pole.