THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   ROMAINE D. BUTTON, a grandson of Chauncy Button, was born June 26, 1846, in the town of Cazenovia, N. Y. His parents were Giles H. and Betsey (Standard) Button. The former was born in Montgomery County, and was a general farmer, owning a place in the town of Cazenovia, which he sold in 1861, and came to the town of Sullivan, where he bought another large farm. He was an extensive stock raiser and breeder, making a specialty of Cheshire hogs, and was the first to introduce them into the town of Sullivan. He died on his farm in 1879, aged fifty-eight years; and his wife, who was a native of Connecticut, died in 1885, aged sixty years. Mr. Button was a strong and fearless member of the Republican party, an industrious and energetic farmer, and an active and devoted worker in the Baptist church. There were three children born to this couple, of whom two are now living, Romaine D., the eldest; and George H., the youngest, who is a Baptist minister, and resides in Millville, N. J. The second son, Gilbert, died at the age of forty-two years.
   The subject of this sketch gained his education partly in the district schools, finishing at Cazenovia Seminary. For six years he taught school in the States of Wisconsin, Michigan, and New York. In 1873 Mr. Button married Emma A., youngest daughter of Harry H. and Julia A. Freeman. Mrs. Button's father died in 1876, leaving a wife and two children; Mrs. Ella C. Goodell, of Canastota, N. Y.; and Mrs. Emma A. Button, of Cotton's, N.Y. His wife still resides on the old home farm, which was originally a part of the farm now owned by Mr. Button. This farm of one hundred and thirty-five acres was bought about the year 1800 by Charles Freeman, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Button, one of the first to settle in this vicinity, when it was all timber land. After his death, which occurred in 1821, it was owned by his son, Bradford, who died in 1831. His wife, Jane Freeman, owned it until her death, which occurred in 1873, at the advanced age of ninety-three; and it was then owned by her sons, Charles and George, who died, the former in 1874, and the latter in 1884. It was then bought by Mr. R. D. Button, and is still owned by him.
   Mr. Button also leases other land, and at present is working about five hundred acres. He follows his father's idea in making a specialty of stock-raising, besides running a dairy of twenty head of full-blooded Jersey cows. He is one of the largest shippers of the celebrated Cheshire hogs, sending to Oregon, Indian Territory, Wisconsin, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Maine, and Canada. He has exhibited them at the State fairs in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. He also had an exhibit at the World's Fair in Chicago. He has been very successful in raising fine poultry, and deals in the following lines: brown and white Leghorns (rose combs), Dominiques, Langshans, white and barred Plymouth Rocks, Dorkings (white, silver gray, and colored), bronze and buff turkeys; also Rouen and Aylesbury ducks, Toulouse geese, and tumbler pigeons, Belgium hares, and Angora rabbits. He is one of the largest exhibitors in the State, making from seventy-five to one hundred entries at the Fair, and in 1892 was the second largest exhibitor at the New York State Fair. He also raises sheep, among which the black top merinos are the finest. On the farm of Mr. Button are found the only plaster beds in the town of Sullivan, which have been worked for sixty years. Mr. Button has contracts for six hundred tons every winter. He gives his whole time and attention to his stock and farm, and his two assistants and himself spend very few idle hours.
   Mr. and Mrs. Button have two children. Elva C., born October 16, 1876, is attending school at Canastota; and H. Freeman, born August 17, 1879, is at school in Chittenango. Mr. Button and his wife are Universalists. Politically, he votes with the Republican party. Fraternally, he is a Free and Accepted Mason, belonging to Canastota Lodge, No. 232, and also other Masonic organizations. He is a member of the Farmers' Grange. At the time of the Civil War he became imbued with the spirit of patriotism and enlisted in the army, but was not accepted, as he was under age.
   There are very few men in this section of country who lead a more active life than this gentleman. Between the cares of his farm, his stock, and his poultry, he has very little time for outside interests, but still takes a commendable share in civic affairs, never forgetting to look after the welfare of his party, advocating its principles at the ballot-box, and being outspoken in its support.

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