Having constructed his homestead, Butler House at Butler Point, and with strong ties to the whaling industry, Captain Butler became wealthy by provisioning visiting whaling ships, from a store he had constructed on the Point, and by exporting flax and kauri timber and gum to Australia. Butler also advertised a service, recruiting crew members for the whaleships. Reminders of these whaling days are exhibited in Butler Point Whaling Museum.
William Butler married Eliza Merritt in 1840 and they went on have 13 children. With a large expanding family, Butler House, which was originally constructed on the island of Paewhenua, before being shipped across the Mangonui Habour, was expanded by adding a rear section. A modest house, but large for it’s day, it has four bedrooms, a study parlour, dining room and kitchen.
During his time living at Butler Point, Butler also became influential in politics, representing the Far North once Auckland became the Capital of New Zealand. He was a Member of Parliament from 1861-1866.
Captain Butler died in 1875 and was buried in the cemetery on Butler Point, which is also the resting place of a number of his sons.