Charles was a New York City store clerk who often
visited Staten Island relatives who lived on New York
Avenue. The Butler family lived nearby, and Alice
Butler (1865-1952) caught his eye.
The two were married March 25, 1886, in Manhattan
and, after living for several years -- and having
five children -- in the Clifton neighborhood of
Staten Island, moved into this house. Today, 141 St.
Mark's Place is an apartment building, right.
Charles eventually became a cashier for Vernon H.
Brown, agent for the Cunard line of steamships, later
worked for Johnson & Johnson and eventually
founded his own pharmaceutical company.
In 1887, Charles assisted
Police Inspector Thomas Byres in some private
detective work in apprehending "Foster the
Banker," who'd swindled the Tiffany and Gorham
firms, Acker Merrall & Condit, and country
merchants out of sums of hundreds of thousands of
dollars with bogus checks. Charles disguised himself
first as a barkeep, then as a summer hotel proprietor
to help capture Guy W. Foster who was sent to Sing
Sing for six years and a month.
Alice, the daughter of Henry Langdon and Mary
(Stryker) Butler, belonged to the St. Cecelia Club, a
women's choral society and managed a day nursery on
the island. She was a member of the Woman's Guild of
the Staten Island Hospital and, during World War I,
helped sell Liberty Loan bonds and did canteen work
at the U.S. Army Debarkation Hospital No. 2 (later
the U.S. Army General Hospital 44) for the soldiers
returning from Europe. Charles and Alice spent
Christmas Day 1918 serving dinners to the men.