I have been researching this line with my cousin Jeff this week after a brief hiatus. We knew that Celia had died young, and we thought that if we could locate her death date we could clear up any question in parentage. I did a Google search for her again and came across a link to The American Reports Containing All Decisions of General Interest Decided in The Courts of Last Resort of the Several States with Notes and References, Vol. 18 by Isaac Grant Thompson. (Whew!) This is a list of decisions from the Supreme Courts in various states to include some from the Illinois Supreme Court. On page 589 begins a discussion of Butler vs. Heustis.
The individuals involved are better known as William M. Butler, Sr. versus his sister, Altieri Huestis. I am not a lawyer, so the discussion of the actual case is a bit over my head, but the gist is that William had put some land in to a trust for Celia's use. She then died and funky phrasing in her will left her intentions for the land questionable. Why William is fighting with his sister over land is beyond me at this point. But this post isn't about William's legal issues. Further in the opinion I find:
Chicago Marriage and Death Index, compiled by Sam Fink. This is a database of marriage and death mentions in local Chicago newspapers, that was added to Ancestry.com in late 2011.
post on this wonderful resource. Celia's death announcement was found in the Chicago Times and the Chicago Tribune. I was not able to find the Chicago Times version, but did locate her death announcement in Tribune on Fold3.com.
After a year of looking, I finally found it. But what does this mean to my research? Celia Butler, William's first wife, was still alive when the first three children attributed to his second wife were born. So did they have some type of understanding? "I'll set you up with land if you'll move to the suburbs, live with your family and pretend like I'm not having babies with another woman?" This wouldn't really matter to me if my second great-grandfather were not one of the children in question. Like I said: Brick wall begets brick wall begets brick wall.