Butler Ceremony

Honoring Butler, Ellis family legacies

Ky. National Guard Day provides
setting for Butler, Ellis ceremony

By Don Ward

(July 2002) CARROLLTON, Ky. – In a Kentucky National Guard Day ceremony marked by patriotic music, proclamations, a military colorguard and canon firings and the unveiling of historic markers and a cemetery headstone, Gen. Butler State Resort Park and the Butler-Turpin State Historic House on June 24 honored two families who left major impacts on Carrollton.

Tom Courtenay, Catherine Salyers

Butler descendants
Tom Courtenay &
Catherine Salyers

The Department of Military Affairs, Battery A, 2/138th Field Battalion, Kentucky National Guard, Kentucky Military History Museum, Carrollton Post Office, U.S. Postal Service, Office of the Adjutant General, Kentucky National Guard, Carroll County Judge-Executive’s Office, Carrollton Mayor’s Office, Kentucky Highway Marker Program, Kentucky Historical Society, Commissioner of Highways, Commonwealth of Kentucky and Butler-Turpin House, Gen. Butler, Kentucky Department of Parks, Commonwealth of Kentucky bestowed honors to Carrollton’s first generation Butler, Gen. Percival Pierce Butler.
Butler was a Revolutionary War Hero and Kentucky’s 1st Adjutant General. He is buried in the Butler family cemetery inside Gen. Butler State Resort Park, which is named for his son, Gen. William Orlando Butler.
Percival Pierce Butler’s home, a two story log house, once stood just a short distance from the Butler family cemetery and it was at this site he performed the duties of the position for 24 years.
To commemorate the history, a granite footmarker and a “Kentucky Places” bronze-standing marker was unveiled by Cathryn Salyers, 88, of Carrollton before about 80 guests. She is a direct descendant of Mildred Hawkins Butler, the wife of Percival Pierce Butler. Tom Courtenay, 73, a Butler descendant from Shelbyville, Ky., also took part in the ceremony.
Along with a proclamation marking June 24 as “Percival Butler Day” in Carroll County, another dedication took place honoring the two Adjutant Generals of Carroll County, Percival Butler and James Tandy Ellis.
As an interested historian, the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s current Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. D. Allen Youngman, initiated the creation of a brochure and a website honoring the men who have held the position. It will list all of Kentucky’s past Adjutant Generals and of those deceased the location of their gravesite.
Youngman, an Owensboro, Ky., native, spoke at the June 24 ceremony then read a proclamation signed by Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton declaring June 24 Kentucky National Guard Day. Carrollton Mayor Ann Deatherage read a proclamation declaring June 24 Gen. Percival Pierce Butler and James Tandy Ellis Day. John Trowbridge of the Kentucky Military History Museum presided over the ceremony.
Salyers and Courtenay assisted in unveiling a highway marker that will go up in Ghent, Ky., where Ellis lived. They also unveiled a Kentucky Historical Marker erected at the cemetery site and a new stone at Butler’s grave.
The National Guard Band and Carroll County’s Nancy Jo Grobmyer and daughter Mary Ellis Coombs (descendants of James Tandy Ellis) sang the National Anthem and “My Old Kentucky Home.” A special U.S. postal stamp cancellation was provided that day honoring 200 years of the Kentucky National Guard.

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