Biography of Ellis Parker Butler
Ellis Parker Butler was an American author.
Butler was born in Muscatine, Iowa. He was the author of more than 30 books and more than 2,000 stories and essays, and is most famous for his short story "Pigs is Pigs", in which a bureaucratic stationmaster insists on levying the livestock rate for a shipment of two pet guinea pigs, which soon start proliferating geometrically.
Working from his home in Flushing (Queens) New York, Butler was—by every measure and by many times—the most published author of the pulp fiction era. Amongst others he wrote twenty-five stories to Woman's Home Companion between 1906 and 1935. The stories in the Companion were illustrated by artists including May Wilson Preston, Frederic Dorr Steele, Herbert Paus and Rico Le Brun. Between 1931 and 1936, at least seventeen of Butler's stories published in newspapers were enhanced by noted illustrator Ethel Hays.
His career spanned more than forty years and his stories, poems and articles were published in more than 225 magazines. His work appeared alongside that of his contemporaries including Mark Twain, Sax Rohmer, James B. Hendryx, Berton Braley, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Don Marquis, Will Rogers and Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Despite the enormous volume of his work, Butler was, for most of his life, only a part-time author. He worked full-time as a banker and was very active in his local community. A founding member of both the Dutch Treat Club and the Author's League of America, Butler was an always-present force in the New York City literary scene.
He died in Williamsville, Massachusetts and was interred in Flushing Cemetery.
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Ellis Parker Butler Poems
Upon my coat I let her pin it;
And thus we stood beneath the tree
You have to be, to understand sonatas and etudes.
To execute pianos and to fiddle with success,
I feared her;
As one might near a spirit bright
The ballad of John Henry King.
John Henry was a bachelor,
Where my aproned wife is queen
Over all the tin-pan people,
In a realm exceeding clean,
Good - Better - Best
When young, in tones quite positive
I said, "The world shall see
That I can keep myself from sin;
A good man I will be."
But when I loved Miss Kate St. Clair
'Twas thus my musing ran:
"I cannot be compared with her;
I'll be a better man."