Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Michael Peter Butier, one of the successful ranchers, apple buyers, packers and shippers of the Watsonville area, proprietor of an extensive plant in the Aromas neighborhood and one of the best known men in his line in this section, is a European by birth but has been a resident of this country since the days of his boyhood and thus feels himself, and properly, a thorough American in all his acts and aspirations. Mr. Butier is a Dalmatian of Alsatian stock, born April 13, 1879, on the coast of the Adriatic in what were then crown lands of Dalmatia, a titular kingdom in the Cisleithan division of the empire of Austria-Hungary, now comprised within the confines of the new republic of Yugoslavia. He is a son of Peter and Anna (Lettunich) Butier, both of whom were of Alsatian descent, and the former of whom was for years engaged in the retail meat business in his home place.

Reared in his native place, Michael Peter Butier acquired his education there and remained at home until he was fifteen years of age, when he came to the United States, his objective being California, where he had kinsfolk who had become well established. Along the way and before leaving Europe he visited Alsatian kinsfolk and made a comprehensive trip to Paris and then sailed for the port of New York. Upon his arrival in this country he struck out for the west and was two years "working his way" to California, working as a butcher, in which line he had had home training, and at other things his hands found to do, and in time he reached San Francisco. He worked there awhile, acquiring a pretty good acquaintance with the city, and then came to Watsonville, where he began working in the orchard plants of his cousin, M. N. Lettunich, now the president of the Fruit Growers National Bank of Watsonville. Not long afterward he was attracted to the mining fields and went into Calaveras county, where he was for two years engaged in the mines. With the money he there made Mr. Butier returned to Watsonville and went into business on his own account, buying and packing fruit, and continuing thus until in 1906, when he sold his plant and returned to San Francisco, in which city he was for six years thereafter a fruit broker. In 1912 Mr. Butier returned to Watsonville and has since then been in the fruit business here. He owns a fine orchard of thirty acres, devoted to apples and apricots, and in addition had a well established packing and shipping plant in Aromas, but it burned down on March 2, 1925. Mr. Butier began rebuilding at once. During the many years of his experience in the fruit business Mr. Butier has acquired a degree of understanding along that line that gives him a successful facility in business and he has done well, long having been recognized as one of the leading growers and shippers in this section.

In 1906, in Watsonville, Mr. Butier was united in marriage to Miss Katherine Lettunich, who also had come to this country from Austria and who has been a valued helpmate to him in his operations. Mr. and Mrs. Butier have two children. Peter and Anna. The Butiers reside at No. 165 Wall street, Watsonville, and are very comfortably situated there. They are members of the Roman Catholic church and Mr. Butier is affiliated with the council of the Knights of Columbus in Watsonville.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.