Pierce Butler was the sixth of the nine Butler children and was born in a log cabin in Pine Bend (Rosemount), Dakota County, Minnesota. He graduated from Carleton College and afterwards read law and was admitted to the bar in 1888. Butler practiced law in Saint Paul and held several elected positions there. He also worked for the Butler Brothers construction company as their legal counsel. In 1923 he was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, a position he held until his death in 1938. He is buried in Calvarly Cemetary in Saint Paul, Minnesota.