Biography of Leslie A. Butler of Central Lake, Michigan

In one of the most exacting of all callings the subject of this sketch has attained distinction, being recognized as one of the most successful teachers in the county of Antrim. He is a well educated, symmetrically developed man, his work as an educator having brought him prominently to the notice of the public, the result of which is a demand for his services where a high standard of professional excellence is required. He is a gentleman of scholarly tastes and studious habits, keeps abreast the times in advanced educational methods and his general knowledge is broad and comprehensive.

Mr. Butler is a native of the state in which he now resides, having been born at Centerville, St. Joseph county, Michigan. He received his education in the schools of his neighborhood and then entered the high school, in which he followed the full course. During this time he was engaged in conducting a news agency and as a dealer in bicycles and during this time also acted as news correspondent for various papers. After graduation from the high school he taught for a time in the school at Parkville, this state, and then took a course of instruction at the State Normal School. He was an indefatigable student and made such progress that he was granted a teacher’s life certificate. He accepted a position as teacher of science in the Benton Harbor high school and later in the Ludington high school, which he resigned to accept his present position as superintendent of the schools of Central Lake, Antrim county, in which position he has achieved a splendid reputation as an educator, exhibiting peculiarly strong qualities as an organizer and disciplinarian. Such is the estimation in which he is held by the school board that they defer to his judgment largely in the selection of teachers and other matters pertaining to the equipment and conducting of the schools. Mr. Butler is an active worker in teachers’ institutes and is a popular lecturer before these assemblies. In connection with the school work, Mr. Butler is enthusiastic along athletic lines, believing in the maxim “a sound mind, a sound body,” and does all in his power to encourage pupils under his charge to take an interest in outdoor sports; indeed, it was due to his efforts while at Benton Harbor that the foot ball team of the school was organized and did such effective work on the gridiron, it having recently won state honors of the high schools, defeating its strongest rival, the Escanaba team. Mr. Butler has several fraternal affiliations, being a member of the time-honored order of Free and Accepted Masons, of which he has attained to the Royal and Select Master’s degree, belonging to the chapter at Centerville and the council at Petoskey. He is also a Knight of Pythias, being a member of the degree team.

The Central Lake public schools have an attendance of about three hundred pupils, under the instruction of seven teachers. In connection with the graded course a full high school is conducted, this feature being added two years ago under the initiative of Mr. Butler. The high school has already attained to a high degree of efficiency, as is evidenced in the fact that it is now on the approved list of Michigan colleges and normal schools, its graduates being accepted by these institutes with due credit for their past work without further examination. Two classes have been graduated. The teachers are all graduates of normal schools or colleges and are fully alive to the work in hand, taking a deep interest in the welfare of those under their charge. Mr. Butler has organized regular teachers’ classes, which he personally conducts, and he takes a personal interest in the work done by each teacher in his supervision. The school board includes in its membership five men who are leaders in the city and who are deeply interested in its welfare and keenly alive to its needs and nothing is left undone which will increase the efficiency of the schools. The building is well equipped with all necessary apparatus and contains a library of three hundred and fifty volumes, the books of which have been gathered largely through the efforts of the pupils of the school. To Mr. Butler is mainly due the high standing of the Central Lake schools and he has attained an enviable position among his fellow citizens.

Source: Biographical history of northern Michigan containing biographies of prominent citizens; Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1905.

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