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Catalog Number 7925-33
Title Mug, Shaving; Hugh Butler
Object Name Mug, Shaving
Description White ceramic mug with metallic gold trim around the tiered base and rim. Small handle located just beneath rim. Metallic gold lettering on side reads "Hugh Butler."
Year Range from 1900
Year Range to 1955
Material Ceramic/Paint
Height (in) 3.75
Width (in) 3.75
Diameter (in) 3
People Butler, Hugh Alfred, 1878-1954
History Born in Missouri Valley, Iowa, on February 28, 1878, Hugh Butler came across Nebraska in a covered wagon at the age of six, when his family settled on a farm in Furnas County near Cambridge. His mother died when he was 12 and his father, Harve, moved the family of three boys and a girl into Cambridge to send them to public school. His father worked for the Cambridge flour mill for 35 years, and after retiring, lived there until his death in 1927 at 81. Hugh Butler won a scholarship to Doane College in Crete, by selling subscriptions to a church paper and graduated from the liberal arts course in 1900, with a B.S. Degree. At the time of his death he had served for more than 25 years as chairman of the Doane Board of Trustees.

After taking a job with the Burlington railroad in Lincoln, his first opportunity came when he was picked as construction superintendent for laying 150 miles of track from Billings, Montana, to Worland, Wyoming. He completed this assignment in time for the scheduled government opening of the Big Horn Basin area to homesteaders. In 1908, Sen. Butler became co-proprietor of a mill and elevator in Curtis, with his father-in-law, Frank Johnson. From 1913 to 1918 he was manager of the Crete Mills, and in 1919 became a member of the Butler-Welsh Grain Company in Omaha. With his partner, Roy Welsh, he established a successful financial business enterprise. Senator Butler prospered in the grain business but suffered personal hardship when his wife died as a result of injuries in an automobile accident as they were en route route to their Cambridge home for a celebration of his election to the Senate in 1941. For a number of years, he was a director of the Nebraska Consolidated Flour Mills in Omaha and operator of the Sheridan, Wyoming mills. He served as president of the Omaha Grain Exchange and was president for two years of the National Grain Dealers Association.

His first political office was at Curtis, where as a member of the town board, he was instrumental in the campaign for establishing the Nebraska School of Agriculture there. The second elective office of his career was to the Omaha Board of Education and the third was as national Republican committeeman for Nebraska, in 1936, which he resigned just before running for his first Senate term. First elected to the United States Senate in 1940, he succeeded Edward R. Burke, the last Democrat to represent Nebraska in the upper house. Mr. Butler was re-elected in 1946. He filed in 1951 for a third six-year term and his election in 1952 was his most impressive victory. He polled the biggest percentage vote in the state. The seniority system of Congress made Senator Butler ranking member of the Republican Party. He was a member of the Senate Finance Committee, the Committee on Committees, which decides on which groups newly elected party on the Insular Affairs Committee and served as chairman when Republicans had a majority in the Senate in 1946-1947. Other committees included the Senate Interior Committee, of which he served as chairman in the 80th Congress and Senate Interim Committee, of which he served as chairman. He was also a member of the "watch dog of Congress," the joint House and Senate Committee on reduction of non-essential spending. Senator Butler appeared on the Senate floor in a wheelchair in May, 1954 as a result of a sprained hip.

A former director of Rotary International and district governor, Senator Butler was active in work with the Salvation Army, Community Chest and YMCA. He was a past member of the executive and member of the agricultural committee of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce. He belonged to the Scottish Rite, Knights Templar, Modern Woodmen and Odd Fellows. Senator Butler was an active member of the Congregational Church, serving at one time as state moderator. Following his wife's death, he never remarried but lived in bachelor quarters in Washington and Omaha. His two sons died at an early age.

Hugh Alfred Butler died in Walter Reed Army Hospital on July 2, 1954, at the age of 75.

NSHS Archives RG2331.AM: Hugh Alfred Butler, 1878-1954
Credit line Mary Ann and Roman L. Hruska Jr.
Collection Hruska, Senator Roman L.
Notes on Related Objects See NSHS Archives RG2331.AM: Hugh Alfred Butler, 1878-1954 for more information.