J.F.K. 23 November 1963 Grief came flooding in over every hill, down all our streets right into the heart of town, the day the President was shot, insisting that he lie in state here with us for three days and nights, until they came with a caisson, behind which a veiled mourner with children walked, taking him as we watched out across the viaduct and on up over our steepest hill until we lost them from sight.
Then silence hung long over our town until the morning the rains ceased when we woke to sun breaking through dark clouds, and looking up we saw gently rippling Vs against the emblazoned sky and heard flocks of wild geese calling down to us to rise up, to carry on.
With spirits gladdened we set to removing flowers and the portraits they honored from off the streets, candles and lamps were gathered from curbs and fences and then we stripped the trees of those long black ribbons that during those days of grief had been fluttering in the breeze. -
Ralph Burt, Dick Rittelmann, John Kosar and Alva Hill
Alva Hill [right] was the founder founder of the Butler architecture firm, Burt,Hill. He started with the firm in 1952, along with Ralph Burt. Although Burt-Hill is now a multinational firm (and is being acquired later this year by a Canadian firm), the largest office still is in Butler, employing roughly 150 people here.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Hill was an accomplished pilot fighting in World War II flying a P51 Mustang fighter plane. Consequentially, Mr. Hill met Mr. Burt during the war and returned to their hometown of Butler to make architectural history.
This house was built by Walter Lowrie, Butler's United States senator, in 1828. The house and its furnishings were bequeathed to the Butler Historical Society in 1986, by Isabelle Shaw, a descendent of the Sullivan family, owners of the house since 1839.
Back in the 1950's Butler Co. had six Drive-in Theaters, Chicora Drive-in (Rt 268), Geibel's Drive-in (Rt 68 East), Hill Top Drive-in (Rt 68 East), Skyway Drive-in (Rt 68 West), Sunset View Drive-in (Freeport Hill) and the Pioneer Drive-in (Rt 8 North).
Pullman Park, built in 1934, was used for minor league baseball for twenty years until the Pittsburgh Pirates farm team left in 1951. The ballpark saw many famous faces during its professional baseball days, including Lou Gehrig, Whitey Ford, and Joe DiMaggio who played for a farm team of the New York Yankees. As of 2009 Pullman Park is the home of the Butler Blue Sox.
RAY ANDRE GENERAL TIRE - A picture I took for advertising purposes with Ray (standing) showing the new snow tires to a potential customer (actually my close friend Vin Cooper who I persuaded to pose for the pix). - Don Carlson
TROUTMAN'S DEPARTMENT STORE - a picture of the newly remodeled young women's department c.1940 taken for an advertisement in the local newspaper. The manager was Floyd Allen and my dad, Carl W. Carlson, was the credit manager. The 3 story and basement building is still standing on the corner of N. Main St. and W. Cunningham St. - Don Carlson
BUTLER AIRPORT - small planes lined up at the old Butler Airport which was located along New Castle Road just across from Deshon Hospital and is now the location for a shopping center. Bob Headland was one of the early promoters of aviation in the Butler area. (I flew in and out of this airport and Pgh/Butler airport in the early 40s before enlisting in the Air Corps.) - Don Carlson
Built by the Cooper family around 1810, the cabin was an original county homestead. It was enlarged after the Civil War and family descendants remained in the cabin until 1963. It is located 9 miles south of Butler on Cooper Road near Cabot off Route 356.