This collection contains the Bush family papers, Thomas and Ellen Bush’s professional papers, and miscellaneous land grants
and mortgages from San Diego County.
Thomas Henry Bush was born in Pennsylvania on June 8, 1831, and first came to California in 1853. During this period, he married
Ellen Augusta Porter. The couple’s only daughter, Bertha, was born in San Francisco in 1863. Before establishing himself in
San Diego, Bush was a bookbinder in San Francisco and later ran a store in Baja California where he mined locally. He came
to San Diego in 1865, and became Postmaster in Old Town in 1868. That same year, he was appointed county judge to replace
Julio Osuna, a position he held for eight years. Bush was also a member of the City and School Board of Trustees. As a city
trustee he was instrumental in the sale of the city lands to Horton, and actually signed the deed. Bush was absent from San
Diego between 1878 and 1887 as he returned east to visit his native state and also engaged in prospecting. After returning
to San Diego in his later years, Bush was a notary and served as the Director of the San Diego and Gila Railroad, and the
Secretary of the San Diego Society of Pioneers. His wife, Ellen, was an early teacher in Old Town.