____________________________________________________________________________ J.O.A Bush, circuit and ex-officio county clerk, Murfreesboro, Ark. No name is justly entitled to a more enviable place in the history of Pike County than the one that heads this sketch, for it is borne by a man who, though young in years, has yet been usefully and honorably identified with the interests of this county, and with its advance in every worthy particular. Steadily and surely has he come to the front in public as well as business affairs, and it is but the utterance of a well-know fact that it would be a difficult matter to find a person of greater popularity, one who enjoys, to such a boundless extent, the respect of all. Mr. Bush owes his nativity to White Township, of this county, his birth occurring on December 1, 1854, and is the fifth of ten children born to the union of James R. and Amanda (Reeves) Bush, the father a native of Kentucky, and the mother of South Carolina. The father was reared in his native State, came to Arkansas in 1849, settled in White Township, Pike County, and there entered and bought about a section of land. He made this place his home, and placed considerable improvement on the same. He was a prominent members of the Methodist Protestant Church, and also took a prominent part in the politics of the county, In political preferment he was, during the existence of that party, a Whig, and upon the dissolution of that, became a Republican, being in favor of the Union during the Civil War. He remained at home during that time, and supported both sides, with the result of his farm produce, without prejudice. In 1868 he was elected to the Lower House in the General Assembly, by the Republican party, from this county. During his residence in Pike County he was sincere and outspoken in the advocacy of any views that he had adopted, and was all times respected by his neighbors for his honesty. He died November 12, 1882. The mother is still living on the old homestead. She removed to Tennessee with her parents with her parents, at an early day, and while making the trip the family was robbed by John A. Murrell. On the father's side an uncle, Smith Barlow, served as State Senator from Barren County, Ky., for thirty years, and died in that State about 1881. J.O.A. Bush was early instructed in the mysteries of farm life, and, although he had but limited educational advantages, he was naturally of a studious turn, and by personal application in his books, as time wore on he secured a good general education. He always had a taste for debating and in the contests at the debating society was always a victor. He remained under the parental roof until twenty years of age, and was then married to Miss Lucetta J. Eastwood, a native of Pike County, Ark., and the daughter of Hiram and Margaret Eastwood, who were also natives of this county. At this time Mr. Bush bought and homesteaded 160 acres of land in White Township, made many improvements, and farmed on this place for two years, when, on December 7, 1876, he lost his estimable wife. After this he began teaching, and followed it with farming during the intervals, for about eight years. He also became very active, politically, advocating the principles of the Greenback party, and, in 1884, was elected county clerk, as an Independent candidate. In 1885 he purchased the Pike County Sentinel from R.H Waddell, changed it in politics from a Democratic to an Independent paper, with Greenback proclivities, and conducted the same until June 1, 1889, during which time he was a member of the Press Association, and went on various excursions with that body. He was re-elected at the expiration of his term in 1886 by a large majority. In 1887, from a technical error, Mr. Bush was removed from office, and an especial election was immediately ordered by the governor. Mr. Bush declared himself a candidate for re-election, and was returned to office by a majority from every township in the county. So great was his popularity that he was elected to his third and present term in 1888. In 1885, during the trouble attending the burning of the county jail, from the firm and outspoken attitude in his condemnation of such acts of violence, in his personal conversation, and through the columns of his paper, the life of Mr. Bush was frequently threatened. On September 10, 1887, he was assaulted in the streets by four armed men, was shot at with a shot-gun twice, and ten or twelve times with pistols, and, although most of the shots pierced his clothing, he received but slight injury. He was married, the second time, on February 10, 1889, to Miss Viola Reese, a native of this county, and the daughter of S.W. and E.J. Reese, natives of Tennessee, who came to Arkansas in 1849, and were pioneers of this county. Both are living, and reside at Corinth, Howard County. On February 3, 1890, was born a daughter to this union - Vivian. Mrs. Bush is a members of the Corinth Christian Church. During his leisure hours Mr. Bush has been pursuing the study of law, and is now prepared for examination. His natural tastes and talents for oratory, and his influence with this power, will eminently fit him for this profession, and undoubtedly make him successful. In personal character Mr. Bush is pleasant, social, courteous and gentlemanly. In moral habits he is above reproach, and, being enterprising and public-spirited, is striving in all ways to advance the interests of Pike County. He is a members of the A.F. & A.M. Pike Lodge No. 91. ____________________________________________________________________________ Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas, 1890, Pike County, pages 318-321. ____________________________________________________________________________ HTML file and design by David Kelley, 1997. All rights reserved.