J.O.A. Bush

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.                                                               
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