John Belton Butler (1871-1948)
Served at the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse from Aug. 20, 1926 to Jul. 2, 1937.
He was born in Charleston, SC on Oct. 18, 1871. He joined the Light House Establishment in 1899 at age 27, serving first on the lighthouse launch Snowdrop. He later served the Charleston, Cape Canaveral, and at Jupiter Light Stations. In 1902, he married Mamie Wilhelmina Witzel, and they raised six children. In Aug. 1926, he was promoted to Principal Keeper, Mosquito Inlet Light Station. On Jun. 1, 1927, the name of Mosquito Inlet was officially changed to Ponce de Leon Inlet. Butler was often commended for his rescue of many small boats wrecked in the area.
In Dec. 1932, Butler and his family watched as Presiden Herbert Hoover sailed past on the Sequoia. It is said that he took good care of the Lighthouse for eleven years, and in June of 1937 he retired from the Light House Service. He moved with his family to Hawthorne, FL, where he lived until his death on Nov. 5, 1948. He is buried in the cemetery at Melrose, FL.
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