Edwin Rice Bush

Edwin Rice Bush was born on October 17, 1846, in Gallatin, Mississippi, to Jonathan Platt Bush and Nancy Quick. During the Gold Rush of 1849, Jonathan moved the family to San Francisco, California, where he began work as a doctor. In the early 1850s, however, Jonathan sent his children—including Edwin—back east to receive their education. Edwin attended school in Geneseo, New York, and at Sand Lake Collegiate Institute. 

On September 6, 1864, at the age of 17, Edwin Bush enlisted as a private in the Union army, mustering into Company L of the 1st New York Veteran Cavalry. His service record lists him as a clerk with hazel eyes, dark hair, a fair complexion, and a height of 5 fee, 7 1/2 inches. He served throughout the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, participating in operations against Confederate Major William Witcher in November 1864. He mustered out on June 8, 1865, at Camp Piatt, West Virginia. 

After the war, Bush studied law at the University of Michigan from 1865 to 1866. He spent the next two years working with Judge Scott Lord before enrolling at the University of Virginia in 1867. He earned his law degree from UVA in June 1869 and returned to California that August. There, he served two terms as a public administrator. He joined the Democratic Party, and in 1875, he became a county judge in Yolo County. He held that position for the next four years, and in 1879, he was elected to the state’s new Superior Court. His health deterioriated in the early 1880s, forcing him to retire from the bench in 1884. He established a large legal practice in Woodland, California, working with "fidelity and ability." He became a district attorney in 1898, but his "shattered constitution" forced him to retire four years later. In his final years, he "took a great pride in gardening." A local writer observed that he had "one of the gentlest of dispositions, and was one of the best of men in the home." His "affection for and tenderness to his family could not be excited. He was kind to all animals and loved books and flowers."

Bush married Mary J. Yerby on June 14, 1876, and together they had three children: Henry J., born in 1877; Edwin Y., born in 1879; and Clarence, born in 1883. Mary passed away on July 21, 1886, and Edwin died of heart failure on October 9, 1914, while "carefully tending his favorite flower beds."


Obituary of Edwin R. Bush

Obituary of Edwin R. Bush (2)

Name:Bush, Edwin Rice
Alternative names:
  • Soldier
  • UVA (Union)
1st Regiment New York Veteran CavalryL
Branch of service:Army
Enlistment1864-09-06Catharine, NYaccepted18
Muster In1864-09-06Owego, NY18
Muster Out1865-06-08Camp Piatt, WVMustered Out
Residence at UVA:Oakland, CA
UVA Begin Year:1867
UVA End Year:1869
Residence at enlistment:
Rank In:Private
Rank Out:Private
Highest rank achieved:
Person 1Person 2NumberRelation Type
Bush, Edwin RiceBush, Edwin Rice1378405application-invalid
Bush, Edwin Ricenoneapplication-minor
Bush, Edwin Ricenoneapplication-parent
Bush, Edwin Ricenoneapplication-widow
Bush, Edwin RiceBush, Edwin Rice1154635certificate-invalid
Birth date:1846-10-17
Birth date certainty:certain
Birth place:Gallatin, MS
Death date:1914-10-09
Death place:Woodland, CA
Causes of death:
Occupations:Attorney, Judge, Clerk
Person 1Relation TypePerson 2
Bush, Edwin Riceparent ofBush, Henry J.
Bush, Edwin Riceparent ofBush, Edwin Y.
Bush, Edwin Riceparent ofBush, Clarence
Bush, Mary J.wife ofBush, Edwin Rice

Edwin Bush's pension record could not be located at either the National Archives in Washington, D.C., or the Veteran Personnel Record Center in St. Louis, Mo.

Compiled Service Records for Edwin R. Bush, RG 94, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; Pension records for Edwin R. Bush, RG 15, National Archives and Records Administration; United States Census, 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1910, accessed through Ancestry.com; UVA Student Catalogue, Jefferson's University: Early Life; Oscar Tully Shuck, History of the Bench and Bar of California: Being Biographies of Many Remarkable Men, a Store of Humorous and Pathetic Recollections, Accounts of Important Legislation and Extraordinary Cases, Comprehending the Judicial History of the State (1901); Lewis Publishing Company, A Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California Illustrated (1891).