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Bush, George D.
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Bush, George D.
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 629-630


George D. Bush, one of the leading merchants of Pike county, who has been an active business man of Nebo for fourteen years, dates his residence in Illinois from 1880 and since 1891 has lived in this section of the state. His birth occurred in Jefferson county, New York, on the 27th of March, 1842. He is a son of O. E. Bush, a native of Vermont and a grandson of Squire Bush, who was one of the early settlers of New York, taking up his abode in Jefferson county in 1803. O. E. Bush was there reared and educated and when he had attained man's estate he was married there to Miss Janette Heald, a native of Jefferson county and a daughter of David Heald, who was born in Vermont and became one of the first settlers of Jefferson county, New York. He was influential and active in public affairs there and served as the first supervisor of Antwerp township. O. E. Bush was a farmer by occupation and an active business man. He went to California in 1849, making the overland trip and spent twenty years upon the Pacific coast engaged in mining and farming. After he had been there for a time he was joined by his family. Eventually he returned to the east, locating at Colecamp, Missouri, whence he removed to Ceredo, West Virginia, where he lived retired up to the time of his death, which occurred about 1888 or 1889. His wife died two years later.

George D. Bush was reared in Jefferson county, New York, and was a student in the public schools there. When a young man he entered upon his business career as a clerk in Watertown and was thus employed for several years. In 1861, he went to California, joining his father's family there and in that state he accepted a position in a mercantile house at Chico, where his business capacity and enterprise won him promotion and eventually secured his admission to the firm as a partner under the style of Chapman, Titcom & Bush, general merchants. He thus continued at Chico for several years, doing a good business, but eventually sold out on account of poor health and removed east to Missouri, locating at Colecamp in Benton county, where he carried on business for two years. On the expiration of that period he disposed of his business there and returned to California, where he again engaged in merchandising and when he once more sold out on the Pacific coast he made his way to West Virginia, where he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits continuing upon a farm there until coming to Illinois. Locating in Calhoun county, this state, he once more bought out an established business, which he conducted for three years, when he disposed of his store and removed to Frankford. There he again bought a store and sold goods for eight years and in 1891 he came to Nebo and established a new store in this village. He has been quite active in business here. He put in a large stock of general merchandise and now occupies three large store rooms, well filled with goods of every description found in a first-class establishment of this kind. He has built up a large and profitable trade and is recognized as one of the leading business men of the county.

In 1867, in Keokuk, Iowa, Mr. Bush was married to Miss Mary Lee, a native of Illinois, where she was reared, and educated. There are three children of this marriage. Charles Bush, the eldest, is married and is a partner in his father's mercantile business. His education was acquired in Keokuk and Frankford. Nettie is the wife of Dr. Walter Urban, a dentist of Perryville, Missouri. Harry is married and clerks in his father's store in Nebo.

Politically Mr. Bush has been a lifelong republican, having supported the party since casting his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln. He takes a great interest in the political affairs of the country but has never sought office, giving his unremitting attention to his business. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Nebo and since 1863, he has been identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which he joined in California. He has served through various chairs, and is past grand of the lodge with which he now holds membership. For a quarter of a century he has made his home in Illinois and since coming to Nebo has been thoroughly identified with the interests of Pike county. An active, prosperous merchant and public-spirited citizen, his labors have been effective in promoting general progress and improvement as well as individual success and the public opinion regarding his ability and worth is very favorable. Mr. Bush is a close observer and his knowledge, gained from travel and experience, is of great value to him and a pleasure to those with whom he meets. In 1865-6 he visited Central America and Mexico and on several occasions has visited the provinces of Canada, besides having been over many parts of the United States.

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Submitted: 07/02/09

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