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Catalog Number 4832-101
Title Chair, Office; Governor Butler
Object Name Chair, Office
Description Wooden swiveling office chair with a four legged base. Single layer of floral fabric tacked to seat. Curved arms and vertical slat back. Metal hinge of base is broken so that the chair permanently leans far backward.
Year Range from 1850
Year Range to 1890
Culture American
Material Wood/Fabric/Metal
Used USA: Nebraska
Height (in) 30.75
Width (in) 22.5
Depth (in) 19
People Butler, David Christy, 1829-1891
History This chair belonged to Governor Butler. It came into the possession of the father of W.G.S. Cook in the early 1880s and was donated by W.G.S. Cook to the Nebraska State Historical Society.

David C. Butler was born near Linton, Indiana, on December 16 1829. Little is known of his early years, although his education included some legal training. Forced to support his family by the premature death of his father, he engaged in stock raising and merchandising. Butler lost heavily in the panic of 1857, and in 1859 moved to Pawnee City, Nebraska, where he continued in the mercantile business. In 1860 he married Miss Lydia Storey of Bloomington, Indiana, a union which was to produce eight children.

In 1861 Butler was admitted to the Bar of Nebraska Territory and began the practice of law. In the same year he was elected to the Territorial House of Representatives, and was elected to the Territorial Council in 1864. Two years later he ran for Governor on the Republican ticket,
defeating his opponent J. Sterling Morton by a small margin. Butler took office as the first
Governor of the new State of Nebraska in February 1867 and immediately became involved in the transition from territorial status to statehood. Appointed by the legislature to head a three man "Commission to locate the Seat of State Government", he was instrumental in the relocation of the capitol from Omaha to the newly organized village of Lancaster (now Lincoln). With Governor Butler’s guidance and approval, sites were chosen, lots were sold, and public buildings were erected in the new capitol city.

David Butler was re-elected to the office of Governor in 1868 and again in 1870. In the spring of 1871, soon after taking office for his third term, Butler found himself in serious trouble with the Legislature. Eleven articles of impeachment were brought against him, the first charging misuse of some $16,000 from the state school fund. Butler had allegedly made personal use of this money to purchase lots in the new city of Lincoln.

He was suspended from office by the Supreme Court and subsequently tried by the State Senate. He was convicted on the first charge, although the remaining ten were dropped. The Supreme Court then removed him from office.
Credit line Ernest B. and William G. S. Cook, Lincoln (Lancaster), Nebraska
Collection Cook, Ernest B. and William G.S.