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Guide to the Adherble T.D. Button Collection, San Juan Bautista State Historic Park
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The Adherble T. D. Button Collection consists of correspondence both to and from A.T.D. Button, and illuminates a particular period of history in San Benito County that has long since disappeared, the mining of quicksilver in support of the gold mining operations of the Sierras in the great decades of the Gold Rush in California, 1849-1879.
Adherble Thomas Dale Button (1832-1904), a native of Covenant, Erie County, Pennsylvania, was among the earliest settlers of the Hernandez Valley, San Benito County, California. In the late 1850s, Button left Pennsylvania for California, leaving behind his wife Lucelia, who joined him at a later date. He ended up initially in Placer County, possibly working as a foreman for a mining company until the mid-1860s. While in the gold country he and his wife produced four sons, Ira, Ival, Carroll and Grant. In the mid to late 1860s he moved his family to San Mateo County where he lived and worked in San Mateo and Redwood City. His son J. Edward was born in San Mateo and a daughter, May, followed a few years later. While living in Redwood City, Button worked for the Corte Madera Water Company, a firm that supplied water to the Atherton area. Assorted documents show that he came to San Benito County sometime in the 1870s. He either homesteaded or bought land in the Hernandez Valley. He worked as superintendent of the re-opened Picacho Quicksilver Mine in the 1870s and 1880s and became an established and respected figure in the county, serving on the board of the local school district and as postmaster of the local Post Office. Button was twice elected Justice of the Peace in 1875 and 1877. He was instrumental in naming Erie Township, San Benito County, after his Pennsylvania birthplace. A long time member of the International Order of Oddfellows, Button died in 1904 at the age of 72 and is buried in the old Oddfellows cemetery in Hollister, along with most of his family.
3.75 cubic ft. (7 boxes)
Property rights reside with the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the California Department of Parks and Recreation, San Juan Bautista State Historic Park.
Legal Status Public