Butler, Robert (1915 - 2009)
Inducted: November 28, 1990
Robert Butler moved from his native Dawn Township to Camden in 1939, making Kent County the prime beneficiary of a life devoted to service to agriculture and his community.
Mr. Butler started on the home farm in Lambton County with his father, Alonzo Butler, after attending Bell's School and Florence Continuation School. He moved to a 350-acre farm in Camden, which has since been expanded to 2,000 acres in Kent and Lambton counties, operated jointly with his sons, William and Harold.
Mr. Butler was active in the organization of the Ontario Wheat Producers' Marketing Board, and has been a member of the Kent County Wheat Committee from its inception in 1957, a year before the Board was established. He was a Director of the Marketing Board for eight years, and it’s Chairman from 1980-1982.
His interest in everything that had an impact on farmers was shown in his long-term service with the Kent Federation of Agriculture, and as a Director of the Kent County Soil and Crop Improvement Association for 15 years.
Mr. Butler was a member of the Florence Agricultural Society and was named Corn King four times in field crop competition. His municipal service included 15 years on Camden Township Council, three of them as Deputy Reeve and six as Reeve. He was elected and served as Kent County Warden in 1969.
A conservationist, Mr. Butler served on the Sydenham Valley Conservation Authority, the forerunner of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, for 14 years. He was a member of the St. Clair Parkway Commission from 197l-1974; and a long-term member of Florence Community Centre.
Mr. Butler was a member of the Thamesville Co-operative for three years. His church affiliations have been strong, and he served as Treasurer of the Croton United Church for 32 years.
In 1985, Mr. Butler was the modest recipient of the Chatham and District Chamber of Commerce "Agriculturalist of the Year" Award. His response to the accolades then was typical. "Anything I ever did was because I like to get out and meet people."
Mr. Butler is married to the former Blanche Little; and they have three daughters, in addition to the two sons.