Oddities and Ironies

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For the past few days, I’ve been trying to track down an odd clue that I came across in Emmett’s research.

Earlier this week, while digging around for information on Emmett’s grandfather, Augustus Emmett Maxwell, an odd item — and I mean, a VERY odd item — kept coming up in the data search.

Namely, this:

Pat Buttram, aka, Mr. Haney from the 1960's sitcom, Green Acres. Source: maggiore.net

Pat Buttram, aka, Mr. Haney from the 1960’s sitcom, Green Acres. Source: maggiore.net

A photo of Pat Buttram. Weird, right?

For those of you unfamiliar with Pat Buttram, he was one of the stars of a 1960s television show called Green Acres. You can read about it here; basically, it was the story of a high-powered New York City lawyer who decided to drop out of the rat race urban lifestyle and move to a very rural area with his socialite wife. “Much of the humor derives from the Quixotic, greenacrestitleyet short-fused Oliver, who strives to make sense of his oddball surroundings. There seems to be a dual perspective of reality: Oliver versus everyone else.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Acres)

When something this strange comes up with five different and related searches, of course, I had to check this out. What the heck does “Mr. Haney” have to do with Emmett Wilson?

A background search via Ancestry.com showed that Buttram’s real name was: Emmett Maxwell Buttram. Also, the Wilson family names “Augustus” and “Emmett” and “Maxwell” show up quite often in the Buttram family genealogy.

Although “Emmett” was a fairly common name during the first decade of the 20th century, I’m thinking the frequency of Emmett Wilson’s family names showing up so often in Buttram’s family genealogy is more than coincidental.

What’s more, Buttram’s family was geographically not that far away from Emmett Wilson’s family; the Buttrams primarily lived in Alabama, according to the records. Augustus Emmett Maxwell (Emmett’s grandfather) lived mostly in Pensacola, but, his family was quite large. Maxwell had several brothers and cousins who lived in Florida, Virginia, Georgia and — tah dah — Alabama.

So far, I haven’t been able to make an absolute connection between Emmett’s family and the Buttram family. It is very possible that there is a distant connection between the two, given the sheer number of Maxwell descendants in Emmett’s family who lived in proximity to communities near the Buttram family.

Also, this is very much a sidetrack item that I don’t have time to explore at this point in my schedule, but OMG, the idea of Emmett connected to “Mr. Haney” of Green Acres gave me a good laugh.  (I also tried to see a physical resemblance among the men. I don’t know — maybe there’s a small resemblance in the earlobes?)

Haney haranguing Oliver. Business as usual in Hooterville.

Haney haranguing Oliver. Business as usual in Hooterville.

Some ironic thoughts:

  • The idea that Emmett and his grandfather, both very serious jurists and attorneys, were possibly related to an actor whose character took great enjoyment in haranguing a very serious (and always uptight) attorney!
  • Emmett was once attracted to a young lady whose mother happened to be an actress, a fact that did not go over well with his family.  Although there were other issues at play in this early relationship, it certainly would not have helped matters, and so the relationship fizzled out rather quickly.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if Buttram the actor was, indeed, related to Emmett Wilson?

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