James Joseph Butler was born on 19 March 1832, the son of Mary and Joseph. He had one son and nine daughters from one relationship. James was a veteran of the 1846-48 Mexican War and fought with the Union in the American Civil War, 1861-65 (81st New York regiment). The future president Chester Arthur was a friend – possibly through his service in the New York militia. All of his daughters and one son were teachers. He died on 25 September 1910 in Sackets Harbor, New York, USA, having lived a long life of 78 years, and was buried there.
When Ermina C. Webb, his wife, was born on 31 January 1838 in New York, New York, USA, her father, William, was 55, and her mother, Clarissa, was 38. She married James Joseph Butler on 19 March 1864 in Hounsfield, New York, USA. They had ten children in 13 years. She died on 9 October 1903 in Hounsfield, New York, USA, at the age of 65. She was a school teacher by profession.