By the time immigrants arrived on the Strathallan in 1859 Dr Butler (1834-1870) was already living in Timaru. He is mentioned in the diary of one of the immigrants on board as living in a one roomed house on the site of the present ANZ Bank (corner of Stafford and Beswick Streets).
Even though he was in Timaru earlier, Butler was officially appointed as Timaru’s first official GP in 1862. He went on to become the provincial surgeon at the fledgling Timaru Hospital.
Butler’s dispensary was destroyed in the great fire of Timaru in 1868 when a fire started accidentally by William Clarke burnt down 38 buildings between Church Street and Woollcombe Street. As a result of the fire, new regulations requiring buildings in the main street to be bluestone or brick were introduced. Later Butler lived at ‘Linwood House’, located just behind the present Council Chambers.
When Butler died, after a short illness in 1870, he left behind a widow, Sarah. His passing was much regretted as he was remembered for his friendly and generous personality.
The small grave beside Butler’s is his son's, also named Edward, who died in 1864 aged only 3 months.