The Illegitimate Daughter of Major Butt by Phillip Gowan


May 12, 2005
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Phil the Magnificent,

This is way marvellous! What a fascinating story! I wonder how many other juicy stories you know but are saving in those now legendary "folders?"

What a wild thing for this old woman to allege. Or is it? I remember reading during my research little snippets re: Butt and his mysterious pending marriage. Was he really to be wed to the Denver lady or to this odd old bird's mamma? Hmmm? It's an intriguing question.

Thanks so much for sharing this. You always amaze me with the information you come across.

All the best,

Randy
 
May 12, 2005
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Sorry I didn't get the title quite right, Phil, for this thread. I see it should be "THE ILLEGITAMATE (?) DAUGHTER OF ARCHIBALD BUTT."
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Hello, Phil:

Intriguing! Most intriguing!! And once again written in that impeccably charming Gowan style -- you do indeed impart real life to these tales.

One thing I find curious, and wanted to ask you about. (I'm sure you probably anticipated this question.) If the younger Mr. Eells truly believed his wife had been born in 1905, not 1899 -- a possible "stretch" of the truth by her not entirely unexpected under the circumstances -- why would he go to his grave believing her story, which hinged on her birth some 4 years later still, in 1909?

I mean, one would have to assume he'd figure she was "really" 7 at the time of the tragedy, though she claimed to be only 3 at the time. Funny he never pointed out this discrepancy, eh?
wink.gif


Kudos!
John Feeney
 
K

Karen Angstadt

Guest
That was an interesting story Phil. I think this line kind of leads me to decide someone wasn't quite telling the truth.
"After I began to share snippets of what my own research was revealing, I received a terse message via fax from Mrs. Jones' daughter stating that they would provide no other information and requesting that I not contact them again."
If I were confident the story was true, I would give you all the info you needed. My guess is the Jones' aren't that confident.
 

Phillip Gowan

Member
Apr 10, 2001
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Thanks John and Karen. It is an interesting story and had been circulating around at least 5 years when the letter was published in the Commutator. I decided then that the time had come to try to lay it to rest or prove it.

The Jones family loved Dorothy very much and I'm sure her many kindnesses to them over the years made them want to believe her. I guess it is human nature to not want to know when someone we trust and love misleads us. So I have no hard feelings toward them. I'm just sorry they cut the contact before they sent the copies they promised.

To your point John, Harry may not have paid much attention to the dates but he should have "known" his own wife's age (or so I would think). Or he may just never have looked hard enough at the discrepancy for it to have registered with him.

When Dorothy began to tell her story to the Jones family there was no Internet (Al Gore was still just a teenager)--and she may have never thought that such a wealth of "trackable" information would become available in later years which would shed so light on her allegations. A nephew of Mrs. Jones lives in Greenville, South Carolina and he told me that he believes that Dorothy "truly believed" that Archie Butt was her father. Unfortunately, other elements of her story cast doubt on that, though the question of her parentage will probably never be settled.

Dorothy had two aunts who lived out their lives in Canada and I'm still hoping to locate their descendants to see what stories they may have been told.

Thanks again for your kind words.

Phil
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Dear Phil,
This was really good, shades of Run Lola Run...what with going through the whole thing with that ending and then working at doing it all again until we get it right.

The comparisons with it leaving you to make the decision are terrificly handled. In a way, I feel badly for the Jones family because for them as well as for Mr Eels, her story was real. And it kinda detracts from her for them and they do not want that.

I noted a few editorial mishaps, but that will be corrected in time.

Great Job Phil. Maureen.
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Phil,
Another "good one!" Congratulations! Has anyone else noted the number of paternity suits filed against the estates of Titanic's victims? Seemed to be an easy way of both giving a child a "deceased" father and in some cases, receiving a substantial wad of cash too! Jock Hume's ex girlfriend, Miss Costin, seemed to do quite well out of it!
Geoff
 
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Addison Hart

Guest
Wow Phil! Just read the article! LOL! Great stuff. Like the Lorraine Allison affair? Great work, pal. Glad you did that anyway, otherwise I'd be sick to my stomach for ever calling Butt a hero!

Thanks,
Addison
 

Phillip Gowan

Member
Apr 10, 2001
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Thanks Addison--the story smelled from the start and I had a good time tracking down what could be tracked. Somebody told me that there's about to be a book published about "Lorraine Allison." Maybe once it comes out I can apply the same research techniques and see what I can come up with. Should be interesting.

Phil
 

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