Frank’s father, Reuben Parmeter Buttles was born in Bennington, Vt. on September 2, 1816. Tioga County Pa. Historyof 1883 records his coming to what was then known as Richmond Twp. in 1839 from Otsego, NY. An article in the May 28, 1890 Mansfield Advertiser states:
R.P. Buttles, of this boro has an iron hitching post made from one of the old strap rails in use on the Tioga railroad 38 years ago. In 1838 Mr. Buttles and Mr. D.L. Holden, a former resident of this place, were employed digging on the road, and helped take the earth out of what is known as the Englishtown cut.
This railroad was one of the earliest in the country, going from Corning, NY., to the coal fields of Blossburg and Morris Run, Pa.
The first two official records of Reuben being in Tioga County are from the 1840 U.S. Census and the 1840 Tioga County tax assessments. The tax assessment showed Reuben as a Wagon Maker with an assessed income of $50.00, and not owning property at that time.
The Census indicates that Reuben lived with two other females, one between 20 and 29, the other between 40 and 49. The 1840 census at that time only gave the name of the heads of the households. At the time of the census Reuben would have been 23 years old. It is most likely that these two women are either Reuben’s mother and sister, or both sisters. This is just an assumption.
In an earlier posting you see the 1850 census that Reuben is married with two children. In the same census of Richmond Twp there are now two women, Diana and Edith Buttles living together. Edith is listed as being 56 and Diana is 30 years old. Age wise the 1840 and 1850 censuses reflect differences in the ages that can’t be accounted for, but censuses have been known to be extremely inaccurate. Edith and Diana disappear from the county records by 1860. A little more digging may answer some questions.
In 1842 and 1843 Reuben is listed in Tioga Eagle, a local paper published in Wellsboro, Pa, as one of the petitioners for two gentlemen, Lorin Lamb and Geo. W. Lewis to open taverns in the village that would become known as Mansfield in several years.
A December 1st, 1875 article of the Mansfield Advertiser indicates:
R.P. Buttles, of this place, on his journey to California in 1852, was a passenger on the Star of the West (then running between New York and Greytown on the Nicaragua route), upon which the first gun of the rebellion was fired at Fort Sumter: and on the same journey he was of passenger on the ill-fated Pacific (recently lost), then carrying passengers between San Juan del Norte and San Francisco.