Biography of James H. Bush

James H. Bush
James H. Bush

James H. Bush, deceased, was one of the prominent and widely known businessmen of Boise, where he spent the greater part of his life. He was born in White Lake, Oakland County, Michigan, July 29, 1842, and was a son of Elias Oliver and Mary Jane (Fife) Bush, both of whom were well-to-do farmers and early settlers of Michigan and members of the Baptist church.

James Bush was educated in Flint, Michigan, and in early manhood was a purser on a steamboat. In February, 1865, he sailed from New York for the Pacific coast by way of Panama, reaching Boise Basin in April, and there engaging in mining with William Law. In the summer of 1874 he came to Boise and purchased the Central Hotel, which he personally conducted for fifteen years in a most successful manner. He was one of the organizers of the Capital State Bank, was elected its first vice-president and filled that office up to the time of his death, devoting his time and talents during his incumbency to the task of making it the prosperous institution it became. As a businessman he was enterprising, capable and energetic, and in 1892 built one of the beautiful and commodious houses which adorn the city of Boise. As an early settler of the state he took a great interest in its development and progress and did everything in his power to advance its interests. During the Bannack war he was captain of a company, and on one occasion, with forty-five men, he gallantly rescued a train of sixty wagons which was besieged by the Indians near Cold Springs.

Residence of Mrs. James H. Bush, Boise, Idaho
Residence of Mrs. James H. Bush, Boise, Idaho

On January 5, 1876, Mr. Bush was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Kelly, a daughter of the late Judge Kelly, one of Idaho’s distinguished citizens, and three children were born to them: Mabel, now the wife of George S. Lindsey, of Blackfoot: Florence and Milton. Mrs. Bush survives her husband and is a most estimable lady, who now resides in the beautiful home provided by Mr. Bush.

Mr. Bush departed this life on November 22, 1897, and his loss was deeply felt not only by his family but also by all the citizens of Boise, to whom he had long been endeared. He was a valued member of the Masonic fraternity and was made a Master Mason in 1868, at Idaho City. He was also made a Knight Templar, at Flint, Michigan.


Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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