Butt & Gattis

“Mrs. A. L. Butt & great grand daughter Margaret Gattis” [circa 1950]

Mrs. A. L. Butt was Elizabeth Davidson “Bessie” Townsend (1863-1961) and her great-granddaughter was Margaret Catherine Gattis (1949-2004).

Bessie was born in Logan County, KY to Presley Ephraim Townsend (1823-1896) and Amanda Offutt (1824-1890). In June 1892 she married Dr. Albert Leonidas Butt (1858-1941) who was born in the Richland Station community of Sumner County, TN. They eventually made their home in Danville, KY and are buried there in Bellevue Cemetery.

Bessie gave birth to three daughters. The oldest was Winifred Estelle “Winnie” Butt (1884-1966). Winnie graduated from Logan Female College and, in 1906, from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College as president of her class. She moved to Danville in 1909 to be head of the department of English at Caldwell Female Institute, later Kentucky College for Women. In 1913 she married Judge Henry Green Sandifer and they lived in the Danville house where he was born.

Winnie had two daughters, the oldest of which was Elizabeth Townsend Sandifer (1919-2015). Elizabeth obtained a degree in library science in from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1942 and served as Director of Technical Services for the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives from 1972-1981. She married Walter Robert Gattis, Jr. (1918-1989), a federal and Kentucky state administrator who was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts during World War II.

Elizabeth Townsend Sandifer’s oldest daughter was Margaret Catherine Gattis (1949-2004). Margaret went to Frankfort County High School [KY] where she was a student journalist and played clarinet in the marching band, then attended Eastern Kentucky University. One genealogical note said her occupation was social worker, but I could not verify that.

I found the above photograph in an antique store in Providence, RI in June 2021. It was in a box marked “$2.00 each,” but the nice lady gave it to me for nothing. I always try to find material when I visit new places and this looked like a good challenge because there are no date or location clues to help start the search.

The reverse of “Mrs. A. L. Butt & great grand daughter Margaret Gattis” [circa 1950]

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