Llandafan Church

In Llanafan Churchyard, near Aberystwyth in Cardiganshire, there is a gravestone in memory of a Joseph Butler which leads on to a dramatic story which ends in Ohio.

  During November 1868 Joseph Butler, who happened to be a Game Keeper,  was shot by a poacher. There soon followed the biggest man hunt and murder inquiry ever in Mid Wales. At this period in time, the struggle between the gentry and the poor in Wales often lead to violence. Election feelings were running at fever point, between the Tories and the Radical Opponents. Of course the locals knew who the murderer was, but closed ranks around the man they knew to be William Richards. In their eyes he was a Hero, and although a handsome reward was offered for information leading to the capture of this murderer, they kept quiet. He was hailed as their Hero of the struggle between the gentry and the poor.
  William Richards spent many months on the run in Wales, sheltering with friends and locals he could trust. Between them they arranged for Richards to slip on board ship destined for America .In order to get away with this he was dressed as a woman. Safely across he was then cared for by two men from Cardiganshire who had probably taken advise from the Drovers that there were riches to be made in America.
  Richard's girlfriend was smuggled out to join him a year later. In 1921, he died in Ohio, eighty years old,  far from home and far from the seething emotions of the Welsh Countryside in 1868. The local people knew where he was all those years, but kept his secret to the end, over fifty years.
  Some of us Welsh folk are wondering if anyone in Ohio can enlighten us
further? Could there be any Cardigan connections ?
  He still remains a Hero in Wales.
  Mair and the GWENLAIS Mob.