Said to have been the original architect of the California Capitol Building at Sacramento. In March of 1860 the State Legislature appropriated the sum of $500,000 for the erection of a Capitol, and in the competition that was set up seven architects submitted plans. Those of Mr. Butler were approved and he was awarded the commission, with Reuben Clark (his associate) named Superintending Architect." On September 24, 1860, ground was broken for the foundations and the cornerstone laid on May 1, 1861; construction however progressed slowly and the building was not completed until December, 1869.
The Sacramento Board of Supervisors commissioned the San Francisco architect M.F. Butler to design an Agricultural Hall for the use of the State Agricultural Society in Sacramento in 1859-1860. It hired Butler to serve as architect and superintendent for $1,000, but also paid $50 to the architects William Patton of San Francisco and A.F. Eisen (1824-1873, who was moving from Sacramento to San Francisco in 1860) for pavilion plans. It spent $87.50 for two surveys performed by the San Francisco architect George H. Goddard, as well.