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Norman C. Butts papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS1057

Scope and Content

This collection contains materials such as professional correspondence, accounting and financial records, and client plant lists, orders, and landscape drawings. Also included are correspondence and plant orders with numerous nurseries in the South. Additionally, personal letters, financial documents, and university correspondence are part of this collection. Of special note is correspondence with professor Ralph W. Curtis of Cornell University on his research on broad leafed evergreens with Jesse A. DeFrance. The materials illustrate Butt's reputation as a well known plant expert and nurseryman of the South.


  • 1906-1968, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Norman Carroll Butts (1888-1974) was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, on August 8, 1888. He attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture in 1911. Butts worked for landscape architects Werner Boecklin of New York and George Burnap of Washington, D.C. In 1912, he began working as a landscape architect for Ashford Park Nurseries in Atlanta, Georgia, for owner H. Cobb Caldwell. Butts entered military service in 1917 as a private. In 1918 he obtained a commission as 2nd Lieutenant of Engineers in the American Expeditionary Forces, 536th Engineer Service Battalion for Company A. While serving he married Isabelle MacGillis (1878-1950) in 1918 and was honorably discharged in 1919. Butts continued to work for Ashford Park Nurseries until 1933 when he began a landscaping business under his own name. He worked with many local landscape architects such as Edward L. Daugherty, William C. Pauley, Clarence Baughman, and H. Boyer Marx. He assisted Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey with corrections to his book, Cultivated Evergreens, published in 1928.

Administrative/Biographical History

Butts worked on many types of landscaping projects including the residences of H. Cobb Caldwell and William Kiser which are featured in the book, Garden History of Georgia (1933). Also included in this volume are the plans Butts drew for the Dolly Blalock Black Memorial Garden of the Henrietta Egleston Children's Hospital, commissioned by the Cherokee Garden Club. He also worked on several public housing projects including Techwood Homes and University Homes. In 1946 Butts provided landscaping for the Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta and the Capital City Country Club, also known as Brookhaven Country Club, of Atlanta. Butts suffered a stroke in 1959 and eventually sold his business before his death in 1974.


7.923 linear ft. (nineteen document cases)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series: Series I. Personal Papers and Series II. Professional Papers. Both series are arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2009

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2014.

Norman C. Butts papers
Jennie Oldfield
December 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305