Patrick Butler, Sr. was the patriarch of the Butler Family. Born on March 17, 1823 in Wicklow, Balinhinch, Killmurry, Ireland, he immigrated to the US in 1852, first settling in Pennsylvania, but eventually moving to Galena, Illinois in 1853. It was in Galena that Butler met and married Mary Ann Gaffney. She was also an Irish immigrant having been born in Dublin, Ireland on June 24, 1830. She immigrated with her parents in 1848 and married Patrick Butler in February 1855. The family's first child, Catherine, was born on November 26, 1855.
The Butlers eventually had nine children in all. The family moved to Minnesota in 1856 where initially Patrick taught school. A year later the family moved to Lakeville, Minnesota and began the family's long involvement with farming. The five sons who were involved in what became Butler-Ryan and then the Butler Brothers construction comapny, general contractor for the State Capitol building, grew up on the farm. One-by-one, they moved to St. Paul.
Patrick Butler, Sr. passed away in 1900 and Mary Ann Butler passed away in 1915.