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James McBride came to Butler County from Pennsylvania in 1807. He became Sheriff at the age of 25 and later served as the Clerk of Courts. In 1834, McBride began a County-wide reappraisal of all property. It was this reappraisal which provided him the framework to draw the first plat maps for Butler County in 1836. His legacy as a historian includes a published history of the area and a legacy of some 5,000 volumes. According to his contemporary Henry Howe, "The State, I am sure, had not a single man who had done so much for its local history as he...". from the introduction to: "Notes on Hamilton", James McBride, 1831.