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James Butler (grocer)

James Butler
Born 1855
County Kilkenny, Ireland
Died 1934
New York, U.S.
Occupation Businessman:
Grocery store founder
Race horse and race track owner
Religion Roman Catholic
Children Beatrice Katherine,[1] James Jr., Genevieve, Pierce, William[2]

James Butler (1855–1934)[3] was an American businessman from New York and prominent owner of racehorses and racetracks.

As a hotel steward in the early 1880s, Butler invested his $2,000 life savings with Patrick J. O'Connor (the son of his landlady) to open a grocery store on Second Avenue in New York. The business grew to a chain of stores so successful that Butler quit the hotel business and bought out O'Connor. Butler had a reputed net worth of $30 million by 1929.

By 1890, Butler had bought his first horses, and eventually acquired the EastView Stock Farm near Greenburgh and Mount Pleasant, New York. In the early 1900s, he established the Empire City Race Track.

At the time of his death, his grocery store chain was the sixth largest in the U.S. by total sales, and his more than 1,100 stores was second only to A & P in the New York area.[4]


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