Aug 24, 2011

My great grandfather was the first sheriff of San Juan County, Utah.

Willard Butt, with his love for a practical joke, his easy wit and humor, coupled with his hospitality and intense interest in people, was one of the most colorful characters in the country. His doors were open to friends and to strangers, cowboys, and Indians. If danger was present, he was always in the front ranks. For many years he acted as county sheriff. In later life, when crippled with rheumatism, he continued to ride the range.

He married Julia Nielson, a girl with a heart, if that could be possible--bigger than his own. Their friends were legion. Far and near they came to bask in the sunshine and hospitality of the Butt home. To their marriage were born four children: Elsa, Harold(my grandfather), Rye, and Lila.
Willard came through the Hole-in-the-Rock Expedition to Bluff..remaining there for a few years until the Blue Mountain Mission materialized. He went to Verdure where he lived for a few years. Returning to Bluff he lived until his death, June 9, 1919 (
Saga of San Juan 305)

Julia and Willard


  1. You have such a colorful, interesting Southwest heritage. I'm going to check out the Expedition link and book... can't imagine traveling by wagon through that terrain. Thanks for sharing these bits of information about your great-grandparents and the Hole-in-the Rock Trail.

  2. Thank you Nina! Lets go to the Salt Lake City genealogy library and dig up some information about your family! ;) xx