Arthur C. Button

Obituaries / Jul. 6, 2006 12:00am EDT

Arthur C. Button

CHELSEA—Arthur C. Button, 90, a lifelong resident of Chelsea died Saturday evening, July 1, 2006, at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph.

He was born March 8, 1916, in Chelsea, the son of Amasa and Grace (Bowin) Button. His father died at an early age, leaving him, his siblings, and his mother to run the family farm. While he was still in high school, he would first do morning chores at their farm, then milk at his neighbor’s farm, and then make it to school for 8 a.m. He graduated from Chelsea High School and then took some veterinary courses.

He married Marian Wight August 8, 1936, in Brookfield. Together they ran the family farm, which he bought from his mother shortly after graduating from high school. During those early years, they farmed and sugared with horses. It wasn’t until the 1940s that they purchased their first farm tractor. They grew the farm by acquiring four other small farms and combined them with their own operation.

During the next 40-plus years, they operated one of the most successful dairy farms in the area and built up one of the most respected and productive Jersey herds, not only in the state of Vermont but in the entire nation. He was extremely dedicated to improving his herd. In 1985, when he retired and sold off his herd, his milk quality records ranked his herd as second in the nation and fourth in the world.

His cows went to seven different states and three foreign countries. One of his most famous cows was a Jersey bull named "Buttons Jewel" who was sold to Eastern Breeders. Following his retirement, he kept some beef cows. Though he was not actively farming, he always stayed quite active with the promotion of the Jersey breed.

He served his home town as a selectman for nine years. He regularly donated livestock to 4-H projects and to the state sale for needy families. He served on the board of several different dairy and Jersey associations. He was a 50-year member of the United Church of Chelsea.

He was predeceased by his wife, who died March 6, 2003; and his sister, Edna Moulton.

Survivors include three sons, Wendell A. Button of Spartanburg, S.C., Clayton A. Button of Nottingham, N.H., and Brian A. Button of Chelsea; eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; a sister, Ethel Hazen of Northfield; a half-sister, Claudia O’Donnell; two brothers, Glenn Button of Barre and Clarence "Joe" Button of South Royalton; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Friends may call Thursday evening, July 8, from 6-8 p.m. at the Boardway & Cilley Funeral Home in Chelsea. Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon, July 9, at 2 p.m. at the United Church of Chelsea, with the Rev. Benjamin officiating. Burial will follow in the Highland Cemetery in Chelsea.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the United Church of Chelsea, PO Box 98, Chelsea, Vt., 05038.

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