Background of Pioneer Bush Family
News, September 6, 1945
celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of
the settlement of
Tumwater, the people of the State of
Washington should know the real
history and background of George Bush and
his wife, Isabelle James
Bush, who were members of the Simmons party.
story is a
matter of Congressional and historical
record as well as from the Bush
family Bible. All of which is in the
possession of the descendants of
George and Isabelle James Bush.
The father of
George Bush, Matthew Bush
was born in India and was brought to America
as a young man before the
Revolution by a British shipping merchant by
the name of Stevenson.
Mrs. Stevenson had an Irish maid who married
Matthew Bush. George Bush,
an only child, was born near Philadelphia in
1779. Matthew Bush sailed
many years on the merchant ships. He and his
wife cared for the
Stevensons in their declining years, as they
had no family of their
own, and at their death they left a vast
fortune to Matthew Bush.
George Bush was raised a Quaker and educated
in Philadelphia. In spite
of his religious belief he was a veteran of
the war of 1812 and is
credited with being the soldier who persuaded
General Jackson to use
bales of cotton as barricades in the battle of
New Orleans and thus
bring about the defeat of the British. He was
also a veteran of the
black Hawk Indian War, at which time he was
some companions, he made a trip to the
Pacific Coast, traveling from
Mexico to the Columbia River, trapping and
hunting for a fur company of
St. Joseph, Missouri.
he married Isabelle James, the daughter of a
Baptist preacher. She was
born in Tennessee in 1801.
Simmons was organizing the party to make the
trip to the northwest,
became interested at once, disposed of his
property and helped finance
expedition. The story of his building a
double floor in his covered
in which to carry his money has been told
and retold. At one time, when
party was crossing the plains and were
running out of supplies, h e
enough flour at $60 a barrel and sugar at $1
a pound to last the entire
until they reached Oregon City.
Puget Sound in October, 1845, and George
Bush and his wife and family
settled on the prairie which bears his name.
Lewis N., the youngest
son, was born December 25, 1848.
April 5, 1863 and Isabelle James Bush died
September 12, 1866. Their
generosity was a by-word. Old timers said
that the way was never too
long nor the night too stormy to go to the
assistance of some neighbor
or newcomer in distress.
the son of William Owens Bush, still lives (when
the article was
in 1945) and makes his home on the old
Bush homestead. He is the
living male descendant bearing the Bush name
and the only descendant of
Simmons parting living on the original