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Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ Asahel Bush ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
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Asahel Bush
LAST NAME: Bush FIRST NAME: Asahel MIDDLE NAME:  NICKNAME: 
MAIDEN NAME:  AKA 1:  AKA 2:  AKA 3: 
TITLE: Mr. GENDER: M MILITARY: 
BORN: 4 Jun 1824 DIED: 23 Dec 1913 BURIED: Dec 1913
ETHNICITY:   OCCUPATION:  Printer, Statesman Editor and Publisher, Banker
BIRTH PLACE:  Westfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
NOTES: 
OSBH DC (Marion County 1913) #4399 - Asahel Bush, male, widowed, b. 4 Jun 1824 in Westfield, Mass., d. 24 Dec 1913 in Salem, Oregon (Mission St.) at the age of 89 y's 6 m's 4 d's, occupation Banker, name of father Asahel Bush (b. Westfield, Mass.), maiden name of mother Sally Noble (b. Westfield, Mass.), interment 24 Dec, informant A. N. Bush of Salem, Oregon.
2nd MARRIAGE - "Asahel Bush & Eugenia Zieber, m 14 OCt 1854; Francis S. Hoyt, M. G.  Wit: John Zieber & Albert Zieber #142 pg 33".
BIOGRAPHICAL: 
ASAHEL BUSH - Any history of Oregon, touching upon its early political, commercial or civic development must include reference to Asahel Bush, whose varied interest and activities were of a nature and importance as to bear directly on the life of his day. 
As newspaper owner, banker and public official, he stood consistently at all times for those things which tended to stabilize society, and was essentially progressive and constructive in his policies and methods, his labors and influence contributing in large measure to the state's progress along right lines. 
For over six decades he commanded general recognition as one of the ablest and most public-spirited citizens of Oregon and his memory is revered by all who knew him for his stanch integrity, his unselfish efforts and his exalted citizenship. 
Mr. Bush was born in Westfield, Massachusetts, on the 4th of June, 1824, and died in Salem, Oregon, December 13, 1913, in the ninetieth year of his age. The Bush family is of Welsh origin. Early in the eighteenth century, a branch of the family moved from Connecticut to Westfield, Massachusetts. Asahel Bush, senior, was of the fourth generation of the family's residence in Westfield. He was born in 1788, was a farmer by occupation and became a man of prominence in his community, serving as selectman of his town and also representing his district in the state legislature. He held membership in the Universal church. He was married to Miss Sally Noble, a native of Westfield, Massachusetts. To them were born six children, one of whom was Asahel. 
Asahel Bush secured his education in the public schools and Westfield Academy, which he attended until fifteen years of age, when his father died. He then went to Saratoga Springs, New York, and spent three years learning the printing trade in the office of the Sentinel. He next went to Albany, where for a few months he was connected with the state printing, and from there went to Cleveland, Ohio, where he remained about a year. He then returned to his native village, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar of Massachusetts in 1850. 
From January 24, 1849, until July 3, 1850, he served as editor of the Westfield Standard, also filling the office of town clerk, which position he resigned in July of that year, when he decided to locate in Oregon. He traveled on the steamer "Empire City" [page 44] to Aspinwall, thence across the isthmus, and up the coast to San Francisco, whence he proceeded by boat to Astoria, Oregon, which was then only a fur trading post, and continued up the Columbia and Willamette rivers to Portland, then a town of but a few hundred inhabitants. 
After a brief period he located in Oregon City and on March 28, 1851, began the publication of the first distinctively democratic paper in this state, the Oregon Statesman, for which he had shipped the printing press from the east around Cape Horn. In this enterprise he was associated with Samuel R. Thurston, the delegate from this territory, whose interest in the paper Mr. Bush subsequently purchased. In 1853 he transferred the office and plant to Salem, where he continued its publication until 1863, when he sold it, the name of the paper being then changed to that of the Union
Energetic and thrifty, Mr. Bush achieved both a monetary and literary success in this enterprise, and during that period became one of the most influential men in the public affairs of the state, the Statesman and its friends being credited with practically controlling the government at Salem, while throughout the state he exerted a strong influence in party affairs. On the division of the democratic party in 1860, Mr. Bush aligned himself with the Douglas wing and at the outbreak of the Civil war stanchly supported the Union cause. In 1862 he was a member of the convention which put a Union ticket in the field and in the election of 1864 he supported McClellan for the presidency. 
In 1861 he was appointed a member of the board of visitors to the United States Military Academy at West Point, his colleagues being David Davis, who became a United States senator and a justice of the supreme court, and James G. Blaine, the editor of the Kennebec (Maine) Journal, and later prominent in national politics. In 1878 Mr. Bush was appointed superintendent of the state penitentiary and held that office four years, during the first two of which he would not accept any salary. He had accepted the position in the belief that the institution was costing the state more than it should and his views were vindicated in the fact that under his administration the expenses were reduced from one-fourth to one-half. At the democratic state convention in 1888 he was chosen chairman of the state central committee, in which position he antagonized some newspaper men by refusing to subsidize their papers. 
Throughout all his political activities he stood squarely for honesty and cleanness in public affairs and commanded the respect of all. In the early '60s, Mr. Bush was for four years a silent partner in the mercantile firm of Lucien Health & Company at Salem, and in 1868 he engaged in banking in association with William S. Ladd, under the firm name of Ladd & Bush, and erected a building in Salem for the accommodation of the bank. The Ladd & Tilton Bank of Portland, Oregon, really owned a half interest in the business and Mr. Bush the other half. In December, 1882, Mr. Bush acquired the sole ownership of the business, which, however, was continued under the old name, and ran it as such until 1910, when it was incorporated as a state bank, with a capital of five hundred thousand dollars, being the largest bank in Oregon outside of Portland. He remained the president of this institution until his death. 
In October, 1854, in Salem, Mr. Bush was united in marriage to Miss Eugenia Zieber, who was born in Princess Anne, Somerset County, Maryland, January 13, 1833. She was a daughter of John S. Zieber, who was a native of Philadelphia, [Page 45] and her mother was a native of Maryland. In 1851 the Zieber family came across the plains to Oregon, locating first in Oregon City, but eventually moving to Salem, where, two years later, Mr. Zieber became surveyor-general of Oregon, in which position he served one term. Mrs. Bush was a graduate of the Moravian Seminary, at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and was a lady of tactful manner and gracious personality, endearing herself to all who came in contact with her. She died in Salem, September 11, 1863, leaving four children. 
In his political affiliation Mr. Bush was always a democrat and throughout his life maintained the closest touch with public affairs, on which he held well defined opinions. He was a Unitarian in his religious faith. He performed valuable and appreciated service for his state for eight years as territorial printer for Oregon, being the only man to ever hold that office, and was the first state printer. 
He served for a number of years as a regent of the University of Oregon, from which he resigned; was one of the first trustees of Willamette University, and was a member of the Oregon Historical Society, while in 1902 he was made a member of the board of directors of the Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition, which was held in Portland in 1905. 
He was a loyal friend and helpful supporter of every worthy cause brought to his attention and in every relation of life displayed those qualities of character which mark the ideal citizen. He met the obligations and responsibilities of life not merely from a sense of duty but with a desire to be of practical service, a quality which was one of the keynotes to his character and career, and he is ranked among those whose lives have conferred honor and dignity upon the community and state. 
HISTORY OF THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY OREGON, by Robert Carlton Clark, Ph. D., Chicago, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company © 1927; vol. II, pages 44-46; vol. I (illustration) pg 414. 

AN EASTERN TRIP. 
Return of A. Bush and Daughter from Their Extended Easter and Southern Trip. 
Mr. A. Bush, the well known banker of this city, and daughter, Sally, returned on this morning's California express from their extended Eastern and Southern trip. They report a very pleasant trip, but appear to be glad to get back home again. They left here about the 15th of last October, going to Canada, stopping at the principal points of interest on the way. After visiting Montreal, Quebec and other principal points of interest they went to Westfield, Mass., Mr. Bush's childhood home, where they spent several pleasant days, including Thanksgiving, with relatives. New York, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Charleston and other large cities on the Atlantic sea-board were each well viewed in turn before they left for the glades of Florida. From thence they went through the gulf states to New Orleans. They then took in Texas, and wound up their trip south in the city of Montezumas. In January they came up to Southern California, where they remained until two weeks ago, when they changed to San Francisco, remaining there until they were ready to come home. The above only gives a partial idea of the magnitude of the trip and our space is altogther too limited to print the graphic accounts which Mr. Bush can give of it. Capital Jounal, 6 Mar 1888, 4:2. 
FATHER: Asahel Bush, MOTHER, Sally Noble, both born in Westfield, Massachusetts, 89 yrs. 6 mos. 19 days; 
See also: http://salemhistory.net/people/pab01.htm http://salemhistory.net/people/p002.htm
DEATH CERTIFICATE: 
OBITUARY: 
ASAHEL BUSH, PIONEER, DIES THIS MORNING. 
Death Comes After Sixteen Days of Illness With Arterio Sclerosis. 
WAS EDITOR AND BANKER.
 He Leaves Four Children to Mourn His Loss. 
Man Who Assisted in Development and Upbuilding of Capital City Follows the Great Procession of Pioneers Into the Great Beyond - 
Started Life a Printer. 
Asahel Bush, aged 89 years, 6 months, and 18 days, died at 12:40 this morning at his home on Church and Mission streets, of arterio sclerosis. He was unconscious for twelve hours previous to death and never regained consciousness. He had been ill sixteen days with the disease and had been very weak and feeble during the past few days. He leaves to mourn him: A. N. Bush, Sally Bush, Mrs. Thayer of Berkeley, Miss Eugenia Bush, children; and Asahel Bush, an only grandson. Asahel Bush was one of the pioneers of the city of Salem and has contributed largely to the upbuilding and development not only of this city but of the Willamette valley. He was also one of the founders of Willamette university and the financial backing he gave the institution is said to have tided it over many dangerous periods. In the early days Mr. Bush was a printer and was one of the first owners and editors of The Daily Oregon Statesman. Early in the '50's he bought the site now occupied by Ladd and Bush band and in 1866 opened up a banking business with which he has been identified until but recently. Funeral announcements later. It is requested that no flowers be sent. 
Oregon Statesman 23 Dec 1913 1:1 

FUNERAL HELD TODAY OF LATE ASAHEL BUSH. 
Body to Be Placed in Mount Crest Abbey Mausoleum Ultimately. 
SERVICES TO BE PRIVATE. 
Rev. T. L. Elliot, Portland, to Conduct Services. Deceased was Example of Self-Made Man of Affairs - 
Ancestral History Distinctively American - 
When but Young Man Came to Oregon by Way of Panama. 
Funeral services over the remains of Asahel Bush, who died at his home on Mission street early Tuesday morning, as announced in The Statesman yesterday morning, will be held from the residence this afternoon at 2 o'clock. The Rev. T. L. Elliott, a Unitarian minister of Portland, will conduct the services. The funeral will be private. The Ladd & Bush bank will be closed at noon today on account of the funeral of its founder. The other banks of the city will close during the funeral hour. The body will be placed temporarily in the Cook vault in the Odd Fellows' cemetery. As soon as the Mount Crest Abbey Mausoleum is completed it will be transferred to the Bush family apartment. It is believed that the body of Mr. Bush will be the first to be entombed in the new mausoleum. 
Asahel Bush. 
The citizenship of Oregon probably affords today no more conspicuous example of the self-made man of affairs, no better or more worthy type of American citizenship, than is to be found in the life of Mr. Bush. His ancestral history, both lineal and collateral, is distinctly American. The founders of the family in the new world emigrated from England in 1630 and from that time to the present men bearing that name have lent their best efforts toward the promotion of the welfare of the country, placing America first in their affections and interest. Born in Westfield. In 1650 representatives of the family moved from the state of Connecticut, where they had resided for more than twenty years, to Westfield, Mass. Aaron Bush, grandfather of Asahel Bush, was a farmer of New England. Asahel Bush, father of the deceased, who was born in Westfield, Mass., also carried on agricultural pursuits. Asahel Bush, the Oregon pioneer, who died early yesterday morning, was born in Westfield, Mass., June 4, 1824, and was the only one of five children to locate on the Pacific coast. He completed his literary education in the Westfield academy, and at the age of 17 moved to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where he was apprenticed to the printer's trade in the office of the Saratoga Sentinel. Here he was employed about four years, during which time he learned the details of the trade, it having been hid original intention to make newspaper work his vocation. 
Takes Up Law. 
As he grew to maturity he determined to master the law. With this ambition dominant in his mind, he returned to his native state and began the study of law in Westfield under the direction of William Blair and Patrick Boise, being admitted to the bar in Massachusetts. Judge P. R. Boise, of Salem, a nephew of Patrick Boise, who had been a student at Westfield in his uncle's office, was a friend of Mr. Bush, and the two young men arrived at the conclusion that the well nigh boundaries of the then new and undeveloped west offered to them broader opportunities than the east. Accordingly they decided to put their fortunes to test in the territory of Oregon, whither a tide of immigration was then flowing. 
Comes to Oregon. 
Mr. Bush started for Oregon by way of Panama, leaving New York city as a passenger on the steamer Empire City, bound for Aspinwall. He made the journey across the Isthmus on a boat poled up the Chargres river and on the back of a mule over the mountains, re-embarked on the steamer Panama, which after stopping for a short time in the harbor of San Francisco, proceeded northward to Astoria. At that point, Mr. Bush took a small boat to Portland. 
Locates at Oregon City. 
A short time after he arrived at Portland, Mr. Bush located at Oregon City, where he established the Oregon Statesman, for the publication of which he had a printing press shipped from the east around the horn. The first issue of The Statesman appeared in March 1851. Mr. Bush continued to be editor, proprietor and publisher of the pioneer newspaper until 1853, when he removed his office to this city, where he continued in journalism until 1861. 
Sells Paper. 
In 1861 Mr. Bush sold his newspaper and in 1867 engaged in the banking business in this city as a member of the firm of Ladd & Bush. This relation was sustained until 1877, when Mr. Bush purchased the interest of his partner. Through his individual efforts he has made it one of the strongest banking houses in the Pacific northwest. In 1867 he erected the commodious brick structure now devoted to the Bush banking interests. 
Baker of Enterprises. 
Mr. Bush was one of the strongest backers of commercial enterprise of the capital city. He was interested in the Salem Flouring Mills, in the Salem Woolen Mills, in the Salem Foundry, and for a long time was a stockholder in the Oregon Steam Navigation company, known as the Oregon Railroad and Navigation company. He was identified with many other enterprises which have helped to establish the city of Salem on a sound manufacturing, commercial and financial basis. 
Active in Politics. 
Mr. Bush was also active in the political life of the state. For several years he was a member of the Democratic state central committee, of which he was at one time chairman. In 1892 he was sent as a delegate to the Democratic national convention in Chicago. For eight years he served as territorial printer for Oregon, the first and only man to hold that office. He was appointed a member of the board of visitors to the United States Military academy at West Point, N. Y.; for many years he was a regent of the Oregon State university, and at the time of its incorporation was a trustee of Willamette university. He was a member of the Oregon Historical society. In 1902 he was made a member of the board of directors of the Lewis and Clark Centennial exposition, which was held in Portland in 1905. 
Goes to Old Home. 
In 1854, he made a trip to his old home in Massachusetts by way of the Panama route, returning to Salem the same year. In 1861 he made a second trip by the same route, and in 1865 crossed the plains to the east by stage, returning home by way of the Isthmus. 
Married Here. 
Mr. Bush was married in Salem in October 1854, to Eugenia Zieber, who was born in 1833 in Princess Ann, Maryland. She was a graduate of the Moravian Seminary at Bethlehem, Pa. She died in Salem in 1863. 
Man of Influence. 
It is difficult to place a proper estimate upon the services of Asahel Bush to the state of Oregon, and particularly to the community in which he has been for so long a period a most potent factor. Thoughtful men who have watched the progress of the state for the past four or five decades are generally agreed that there was no individual whose personality, sound judgment in affairs of finance, trade and commerce, broad mindedness, thoughtfulness for the welfare of the community at large, and unselfish and disinterested desire to witness the most economical utilization of the partially developed resources so abundant throughout the country in which he was a pioneer, has made so marked an impression upon the trend of events as Mr. Bush. Oregon Statesman 24 Dec 1913 1:1-2 

LEAVES LARGE ESTATE. 
Late Ashel Bush Holdings Have Probate Value of $2,000,000. 
According to the documents filed yesterday in the Marion county circuit court in regard to the last will and testament of Asahel Bush, who died in this city December 23, the estate left by the deceased is given a probate value of $2,000,000. Of this amount $200,000 is designated as real property and the remainder as personal property. The rental value of the real property is given as $12,000. The heirs at law are Estelle Thayer, of Tillamook; A. N. Bush, Sally Bush and Eugenia Bush, all of Salem. The last will and testament is dated July 20, 1899, with a codicil dated November 10, 1905. The will was witnessed by S. A. Sanford and Claud Gatch, and the codicil by Claud Gatch and J. Baumgartner. By the terms of the will Asahel N. Bush and Sally Bush are the executors of the estate. The provisions of the will give the homestead, consisting of 100 acres of land with the residence and all its contents to Sally Bush, and after her decease to A. N. Bush. To Sally Bush also is bequeathed one-third of the residue of the estate, while the remaining two-thirds is given to the son, Asahel N. Bush, subject to the annuities of $2,500 to Mrs. Thayer of Tillamook during her life, and $5,000 to Eugenia Bush during her life. Not mentioned in writing in the will, but which will be held as sacredly as if they were so written, there were verbal requests and wishes expressed by the deceased pioneer and banker to his son, A. N. Bush. 
Oregon Statesman 31 Dec 1913 1:4
INSCRIPTION: 
Asahel Bush 
Born 
At Westfield, Massachusetts 
June 4, 1824 
Died 
At Salem, Oregon December 23, 1913 

MONUMENT: Upright white marble tablet with rounded top. Lot is surrounded with wrought-iron fence.
SOURCES: 
OSBH DC (Marion Co., #4399)
Rigdon Vol 6 #365 
S&H pg 27 
Saucy
Corning, Howard McKinley. Dictionary of Oregon History, 1956, Binfords & Mort Publishers, Portland, OR Clark, vol. II, pgs. 44-46; vol. I (illustration) pg. 414 
Marrage Records of Marion County Oregon, 1849-1871, Vol. I, pg 8
CJ, 6 Mar 1888, 4:2 
OS 24 Dec 1913 1:1-2 
OS 31 Dec 1913 1:4 
See Also: "Ladd & Bush Quarterly", Vol. 2, No. 2, pg. 15.
CONTACTS: 
LOT: 066 SPACE: 2 SW LONGITUDE:  LATITUDE: 
IMAGES:
           
 
 

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