AMOS W. BUTLER ( 1860-1937) was ornithologist for the state of Indiana when in 1897 he became secretary of the State Board of Charities. In this capacity he served the state for twenty-six years. He was president of the National Conference in 1908, vice-president of the International Prison Congress during its meetings of 1925 and 1930, and founder of the International Committee on Mental Hygiene in 1930. Butler was the last outstanding personality to guide the destiny of a state administrative body whose authority was limited to supervision. During his long administration, the authority of state boards gradually changed from the primarily supervisory to the primarily administrative, with the supervisory function receiving decreasing emphasis and, in so far as it affected private agencies, meeting increasing resistance.
The achievement for which Butler will be primarily remembered was his success in changing the politically dominated handling of outdoor relief by the thousands of township trustees to a well-organized and carefully supervised distribution of assistance to the needy comparable with the method used by the private urban charity organizations. He demonstrated what men like Wines, Sanborn, and many others had claimed: it is not inherently impossible to conduct public outdoor relief in a satisfactory manner, given the necessary personnel and the guiding philosophy that are required.
In 1903, in a brief discussion following papers on public and