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Pierce Logan Butler (1863–1904)

It is with great regret that we have to announce the death of Mr Pierce L. Butler, engineer of roads, Public Works Department, which occurred at Sorell early on Tuesday morning. Mr Butler left Bellerive on Monday evening, accompanied by Mr R. Tait, road inspector, to report on road matters at Bream Creek, as arranged with Mr T. Dunbabin, chairman of the Road Trust, who was to have met Mr Butler for this purpose. It appears that some two miles from Sorell Mr Butler's horse shied, and the saddle not being securely girthed, became loose. The animal started off at a rapid pace towards Sorell, Mr Butler for a little while retaining his seat, but shortly the saddle turned completely round, the result being that Mr Butler was thrown with violence on to his head on the metal of the roadway, the shock causing unconsciousness. Mr Tait, the inspector, after vainly trying to restore consciousness, procured a conveyance from Sorell, and Mr Butler was at once taken to Mr Hill's hotel, and then to the residence of Dr Walden, where every effort was made to restore consciousness, but without result and Mr Butler passed quietly away about 1 o'clock on Tuesday morning.

The news caused a severe shock to the officials of the Public Works Department, who were warmly attached to Mr Butler, both on account of his long service in the department and by reason of personal friendship, which, in some cases, had extended over many years. The deceased gentleman was a son of the late Mr A. A. Butler, and was born in 1863, thus being at the time of his death in his 41st year.

Mr Butler joined the Public Works Department as a draftsman in 1878 and steadily worked up to the position in the department which he occupied at the time of his death After a considerable amount of office experience as draftsman Mr Butler joined the staff of the Fingal railway, where he obtained practical knowledge of field work and railway construction, and subsequently was appointed assistant inspector of roads, which position he held for several years. On the retirement of the chief inspector of roads South, Mr Butler was appointed to the position, and in September last was promoted to the position of engineer of roads for Tasmania. During Mr Butler's tenure of office as chief inspector of roads South, he was in charge of the construction of all roads, bridges, jetties, etc, throughout the whole of Southern Tasmania and in this capacity his ability and untiring energy were of the greatest possible value to the department, and were fully appreciated by the various Ministers under whom he served, and especially so by the present Minister (Hon Carmichael Lyne) who has expressed his deepest regret at Mr Butler's untimely death.

The officers of the department also speak with the most grateful remembrance of Mr Butler’s invariable obliging disposition and personal courtesy. He never thought anything a trouble which could possibly be for the interests of the department, or for the help of his brother officers.

His widow (a daughter of the late Hon John Lord) with two children, are left to mourn their loss, and the deepest possible sympathy will he felt for them by all classes of the community in their sad bereavement.

Original publication

Citation details

'Butler, Pierce Logan (1863–1904)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 April 2024.

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