Born in 1798 near Saluda in Edgefield County, Governor Pierce Mason Butler (1798-1847) was educated at Moses Waddell's Academy in Abbeville. He entered the U.S. Army in 1818, and resigned shortly after his marriage in 1829. Butler settled in Columbia and eventually became President of the Columbia Bank, the state bank of South Carolina. After participating in the Seminole War, Butler was elected governor in 1836. During his time in office, he appointed a commission headed by Stephen Elliott to study the possibilities of a public school system for the entire state. Also during this time, the state assisted in the building of the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Charleston Railroad in South Carolina. After his tenure as governor, Butler was appointed in 1838 to be a United States agent to the Cherokee and Comanche Native American Tribes in the Southwest. He resigned from this post during the Mexican War (1846) to enter the U.S. Army as Colonel of the Palmetto Regiment (see Battle Of Cherubusco and Palmetto Symbol - South Carolina Regiment). Wounded at the Battle of Churubusco, Butler died several days later.
Courtesy of the South Carolina State Museum.