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Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ Asahel Nesmith Bush ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
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Asahel "Nes" Nesmith Bush
BORN: 25 Jan 1858 DIED: 24 Feb 1953 BURIED: Feb 1953
BIRTH PLACE:  Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon

BIOGRAPHICAL (source - Panegyric II, 1973):
Ashael Nesmith Bush
(1858 - 1953)
A. N. or "Nes" Bush, as he was familiarly called, was a bank president and philanthropist, who would have rather been and architect or engineer, and introduced the curved ball in Salem baseball.  His father, honored by Panegyric II as a printer, founded and was president of the Ladd Bush Bank before him.  A. N. was a shy, kindly, charitable and modest man who avoided publicity, but was generous to worthy causes and shrewd in business.  Born in Salem, he had one year at Willamette, and graduated from Amherst in 1882.  He spent a year in a woodworking factory, and then entered his father's firm as a janitor.
As Salem grew, and at his father's death in 1913, there were $2,200,000 in deposits.  Both A. N. and his father gave credit to individuals they trusted, and set many businesses on their feet.  Such credit carried  Salem through the depression.  During the 1933 banking holiday he reluctantly locked only the front door, and left the side door open for jittery depositors.  He was a stickler for liquid assets and astonished treasury officials by sadly turning in $350,000 in gold when the Federal government forsook the gold standard.
In 1940 he sold his bank to the United States National, retaining the Pioneer Trust Company, which he created in 1924.  He was interested in Salem history andpublished the "Ladd and Bush Annual."  His vice was chocolates and his hobbies hiking and photography.  He recorded Salem and the west in panoramic pictures of great interest and beauty.  The donation of 57 acres of Bush Pasture to the city and the sale of the balance at a bargain was the most public benefaction of A.N. and his sister Sally.

A. N. Bush, an early-day Salem banker and one of a pioneer family closely identified with Salem's history, died Tuesday afternoon at the age of 95. 
He was a Salem native and the son of Ashael Bush I, who had come from the East in 1851 to found the Oregon Statesman and to later take a prominent role in Salem banking.  A. N. Bush, who followed in the banking profession after his father, was president of Pioneer Trust Co. and was a former president of Ladd & Bush Bank. 
Until about eight months ago he still was a familiar figure in downtown Salem, making a daily visit to his desk in the Pioneer Trust Building.  The banker was in failing health in recent months.  He died about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in the historic 92-year-old Bush home on Mission Street where the 100 acre family tract long known as Bush’s Pasture has recently become a Salem public park and site for a Willamette University athletic stadium.
With him when death came were his grandson, Stuart Bush of Salem; Mrs. Fay Livesley, the widow of his other grandson (Ashael IV, who was killed in World War I) and Miss Sara Stewart, a nurse for Mr. Bush for many years.  Also surviving are three great grandchildren.  Two are sons of Stuart Bush and a daughter of Mrs. Livesley. 
The funeral services will be conducted by the Rev. George H. Swift, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Bush residence.  Interment will be private. 
Oregon Statesman, Feb. 25, 1953, 1:6-7. 

A. N. Bush DIES, PLAYED ROLE in VALLEY HISTORY (story also on page 1)  The life story of Asahel Nesmith Bush who died Tuesday afternoon at his home in Salem, is so importantly interwoven with the growth and development of the Willamette Valley that no history ever will be complete without his name figuring heavily in all the social and economic aspects of pioneer times. 
His complete faith in the future of Salem and its environs, his energy and foresight which contributed so markedly to its progress, and his quiet philanthropy which brought him thousands of friends will go into folklore as one of the outstanding sagas of the restless west. 
A. N. Bush was the son of Eugenia Bush and Asahel Bush I, printer, lawyer, publisher and banker, who came from the east to found The Oregon Statesman as a democratic newspaper in opposition to the Whigs, in 1851. 
He was born Jan. 25, 1858 a year before Oregon became a state and five years before a historic fire destroyed half of Salem, in a dwelling situated on the northwest corner of North Cottage and Center Streets. Two years later, in 1860, the Bush family moved to the Mission Street residence, on the 100-acre tract long known as Bush pasture, where his sister, Miss Sally Bush, resided until her death in 1946. 
Graduate of Amherst 
Bush attended Salem public schools and Willamette University, with which he long was identified in official capacities, and in 1882 was graduated from Amherst College where he was a Phi Upsilon and manager of the school’s baseball team, and developed an interest in that sport which carried with him all his life. 
Returning to Salem, he entered the Ladd and Bush Bank, which had been founded by his father and which originally was known as Bush Bank.  He was connected with that institution, for many years as its president, until 1940 when it was sold to the United States National Bank of Portland and made a branch of that institution.  He was also president of Kay Woolen Mills. 
Grandson Killed 
In 1886, he was married to Lulu Hughes, member of a well-known pioneer family, and moved into a little cottage across the street from the present site of Hazeldorf Apartments on South Cottage street. It was here that a son Asahel, was born to them.  Several years later, the family moved to 278 N. Capitol, which was A. N. Bush’s home until it was acquired by the state along with other homes to make way for the new State Public Service Building.  The son, Asahel III, who became associated with his father in the banking business, died some years ago, as did the younger Asahel’s wife. They had two sons, Asahel IV and Stuart. The former, who followed his grandfather’s footsteps to Amherst and became an outstanding student, evinced more interest in the newspaper business than in banking, and progressed to the point of being one of The Associated Press’ foremost war correspondents.  He was killed by a Japanese bomb on Leyte in October, 1944. 
Headed Trust Firm 
With the death of Asahel IV, only remaining survivors to A. N. Bush include a grandson, Stuart; and two great grandchildren, Asahel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Bush and Jody Bush, daughter of Mrs. R. M. Livesley. Stuart Bush served in the navy in World War II, then returned to Salem to enter business. Mrs. A. N. Bush died several years ago. A. N. Bush retained a life-long interest in hiking and photography, and until recent years was a familiar figure striding Salem streets and nearby roads with a camera.  Many of the treasured pictures of early Salem were taken on these frequent tours. Since 1940, when the Ladd and Bush bank was sold, Bush has maintained his office in the Pioneer Trust Company, which was founded as the Ladd and Bush Trust Company in 1924 and was not included in the bank’s sale to the Portland institution. It was a rare day, even in later years, that Bush was not at his desk actively engaged in the management of the trust firm. 
Oregon Statesman 25 Feb 1953 10:1.
Asahel N. Bush 
1858 - 1953 
(shares marker with Lula Hughes Bush 1861- 1937)
Panegyric II, 1973
S&H pg 27
OS 25 Feb 1953 10:1

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