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The Bush Family-My Ancestors

Bush Family Research

By Clifton W. Bush

 

 

             Section from Quisenberry book relating to the Bush family.

 

 

Genealogical Memoranda of the Quisenberry Family

                         and other Families

 

 

 

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CHAPTER IX.

THE BUSH FAMILY.

The Bush family, of Clark county, Kentucky, is said to have descended from John Bush, who came from England and settled at Kiccoughtan (now Hampton), Virginia, in the year 1618, and while there is probably no doubt whatever of this being a fact, still, on account of the destruction of many old records in Virginia, it has not been found possible to trace the connection.

The furthest back the Clark county Bushes have been absolutely traced is to John Bush, of St. Thomas Parish, Orange county, Virginia, whose will was probated in that county in 1746. (See Appendix, VIII, 19.) In this will his wife is mentioned as Bridget Bush, and the following children are enumerated: (1) Philip; (2) Martha Bruce; (3) Elizabeth Sanders; (4) John; (5) Thomas; (6) Daniel. The testator, John Bush, was probably born not later than 1670, and was doubtless the grandson of the pioneer John Bush who settled at Kiccoughtan in 1618. In this connection the following note from the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (Vol. I, page 194) may be of interest:

"John Bush, of Kiccoughtan, in the Corporation of Elizabeth City, Gentleman, who came over in the Neptune, at his own charge, in 1618, was patented 300 acres; 50 in his own right, 150 for the transportation out of England of his wife, Elizabeth, and his children, Elizabeth and Mary Bush, who all came in the Guift, in 1619; and 100 acres for the transportation of his two servants, Thomas Hand and William Pucker, who came in the Charles in 1621, said land being in the parish of Kiccoughtan and adjoining the lands of Lieutenant Albino Lupo and William Julian and bordering on the main river. Granted by Wyatt in 1624."

 

 

 

 

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This extract mentions only two children, both daughters; but there were doubtless several others, both sons and daughters, in the course of time. The Bushes have never been deficient in that respect.

Philip Bush, of St. Thomas Parish, Orange county, Virginia, the eldest son of John Bush, sr., of the same county and parish, was the ancestor of the Clark county branch of the family. The first mention found concerning him in the records of Orange county is where, on March 6, 1745, William Bryan, of St. Thomas Parish, Orange county, sold to Philip Bush, of the same county and parish, one hundred acres of land in the same county and parish, "in consideration of five shillings and the rent of one ear of Indian corn yearly, at the feast of St. Michael, the Archangel, when lawfully demanded." One of the witnesses to this deed was Zachary Taylor, the grandfather of the President of that name. The William Bryan who sold the land was very probably the ancestor of William Jennings Bryan, whose Virginia forefathers lived in Orange and the adjoining county of Culpeper.

Philip Bush, in his will (see Appendix VIII, 20), probated in Orange county, Virginia, on September 24, 1772 (which was probably not more than a month or so after his death), and witnessed by James Madison, the father of President Madison, names ten children, and disposes of five hundred acres of land, œ75 in money, four slaves, and some personal property. Several of the children received no bequests of land, and doubtless he had previously provided for them in that respect. At the time the will was made it seems his wife was not living, as she is not mentioned in it, and none of her descendants now know what her maiden name was. Her given name was Mary. The children mentioned in the will are: (1) Josiah; (2) Philip; (3) John; (4) William; (5) Ambrose; (6) Mrs. Sarah Watts; (7) Mrs Mary Richards; (8) Joseph; (9) Joshua; (10) Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson. It is likely that all the sons named saw service in the Revolutionary War. It is known that some of them did.

Most of these children moved to Kentucky, sooner or later, and some of them settled in what was called "the Barrens," in the southwestern part of the State; and to this stock belongs Sarah Bush, the second wife of Robert Lincoln, the father of Abraham

 

 

 

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Lincoln. Christopher Bush was on Robert Lincoln's bond for this marriage.

Those of the children of Philip Bush, sr., who settled in Clark county, Kentucky, and founded the famous "Bush Settlement," in the midst of which Providence Baptist church. or "the old stone meeting house," was located, were:

1. PHILIP BUSH, born October 18, 1736. In his youth he courted a young lady in Virginia who rejected him and married Colonel John Vivion instead, but she promised that he might marry her first daughter, if she should have a daughter; and sure enough he did marry her eldest daughter, Frances Vivion, some eighteen or twenty years later, when he was forty years of age. Among his children were Robert Bush, the father of the famous Dr. Bush, of Lexington; Colonel John Bush; Peggy, who married Tandy Quisenberry, and Polly, who married a Mr. McMurtry.

2. MARY BUSH, born July 3, 1738; married Robin Richards.

3. JOHN BUSH, born February 2, 1742. He was twice married, and the name of his first wife is not now known. His second wife was Polly Tillman.

4. WILLIAM BUSH (better known as "Captain Billy Bush"), born October 29, 1746; died July 26, 1815. He married Frances Tandy Burris, a sister of Jane Burris, the first wife of Rev. James Quisenberry. Captain Billy Bush accompanied Daniel Boone on his second trip to Kentucky, in 1770, and was a great Indian fighter. He also served under George Rogers Clark in the Illinois campaign, which won the great Northwest Territory for the United States. His tombstone says that "He was the friend and companion of Daniel Boone."

5. AMBROSE BUSH, born April 8, 1748; married Lucy Golson, or Gholson. They were the grandparents of Hon. Ambrose G. Bush, who for fifty years has been the clerk of old Providence church, and of Judge James H. Bush, Richard G. Bush, and Valentine W. Bush.

6. FRANCIS BUSH, born February 20, 1750. The name of his first wife is not known, but their children were: (1) Fanny, who married (???) Bradley; (2) Polly, who married Ambrose Christy; (3) Nancy, who married Thomas Vivion; (4) Betsey, who married Daniel

 

 

 

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Orear. The second wife of Francis Bush was Rachel Martin, and their children were: (5) Lucy, who married Colby Burris Quisenberry; (6) Sallie, who married George Matthews; (7) Fielding, who married Adelaide Halyard, daughter of Captain John Halyard, who commanded a Virginia company in the Revolutionary war; (8) Jordan, who married Sallie Miller Stewart. One of the granddaughters of Fielding Bush married Hon. John H. Reagan, one of the founders of the Republic of Texas, afterwards Governor of the State of Texas, then Postmaster-General of the Confederate States of America, so called, and subsequently Representative and then Senator from Texas in the United States Congress.

Francis Bush was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He enlisted February 14, 1778, in Captain William Taylor's company of Colonel Christian Febiger's 2d Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line, and served one year. His second wife's father, John Martin, served as a sergeant in the same regiment and company from September 16, 1776, to September 16, 1779. This family of Martins are traditionally descended from Captain John Martin, one of the Royal Councillors of Jamestown in 1607.

Francis Bush's home was on the hill, southwest of the old stone meeting-house, and distant about a quarter of a mile from the church. It was demolished about sixty years ago (1836), but remnants of the chimneys still remain to mark the spot. He originally owned the spot upon which the old church stands, and deeded it to the congregation to build their house of worship on. He united with the church by open confession and baptism on August 5, 1786. The date of his death is not known, but Rachel, his wife, died in 1861, being then nearly one hundred years old.

The following extract from Mrs. Julia Tevis' valuable autobiography, "Sixty Years in a School Room," is very interesting, not only in connection with the Bush family, but also in connection with the early history of Clark county.

Mrs. Tevis says:

"I was born December 5, 1799, in Clark county, Kentucky. My grandparents on both sides were among the earliest immigrants from Virginia into this State. Their location in the vicinity of

 

 

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Boonesboro' brought them into familiar intercourse and companionship with Daniel Boone, and my maternal grandfather, Ambrose Bush, with his four brothers, were among the most celebrated of the 'old Indian fighters.' Their numerous descendants were scattered over so large a portion of Clark county as to give it the name of 'Bush Settlement.' Thrifty and respectable farmers, they occupied a position in society both honorable and useful. * * * My grandmother Bush was a strictly pious Baptist; my grandmother Hieronymous a Methodist of the old school, a real Wesleyan, thoroughly and decidedly religious. * * * I remember my grandmother Bush more distinctly, as much of my time between the ages of four and seven was spent with her. Like gleams of light come up now my joyous Saturday evenings and Sundays at the old homestead, and the many dear, merry, warmhearted cousins, with whom I so often played 'Mrs. Bush,' or 'Lady Come to See'--the Bushes being so numerous that we had no idea but that they filled the world. Our world they did fill. I can, even now, see in the dim, shadowy distance the tall, queenly form of my grandmother, simply attired in a dove-colored dress and plain white 'kerchief, with a cap faultless in shape and of snowy whiteness, setting off the most benevolent of features. I can hear her quick step, and her sweet voice calling 'Jennie, Julia, Esther, Polly!"(???)her four daughters; for when she wanted one she never failed to call them all over before she could get the right name. And from habitual quickness of word, thought and action she often made a laughable pell-mell of words. When she called for her black mare to be saddled--for everybody rode on horseback in those days, there being nothing more than bridle paths--it was: 'Warrick, run up the black mare, bring down the backstairs and put my saddle on it right away; quick, quick, for I must go to sister Frankey's at once.' And how often have I ridden to the stone meeting-house behind her on that same black mare, and walked over and around the churchyard where now my beloved grandparents lie buried with many of their descendants. Grandfather was often away from home on the 'war-path' for days and weeks at a time. During his absence my grandmother kept her little ones about her, and never failed to commend them to God in family prayer, night and morning.

 

 

 

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She was gifted with a fine voice, and I never heard her sing anything but hymns. Often have I heard my mother relate thrilling stories about Indians, panthers and wolves that came stealthily around the solitary dwellings, their approach undiscovered in consequence of the dense canebrake, until their gleaming eyes peering through the unchinked walls aroused the family to a terrible consciousness of danger. But never did they seem able to molest the charmed circle within. Indians would steal the horses and fly; wild beasts found other prey and departed.

"At the time that my grandfather, with his four brothers and sister, came to Kentucky, many families traveled together for mutual safety and protection against the Indians, whose hunting-grounds extended to the border settlements of Virginia. On their way through the wilderness they encountered bears, buffaloes, wolves, wild-cats, and sometimes herds of deer. Thus they moved cautiously onward, in long lines, through a narrow bridle-path so encumbered with brush and undergrowth as to impede their progress and render it necessary that they should sometimes encamp for days in order to rest their weary packhorses, and forage for themselves. A space of country that can now be leisurely passed over in less than ten days, was then a journey of many weeks, and sometimes months. I have heard interesting anecdotes related connected with the emigration of my grandfather's family through this wilderness. When they tarried, even for a day or night, pickets were thrown out and every pass was guarded vigilantly, lest haply some lurking foe might invade the camp. None dared to speak aloud, and generally the horses' feet were muffled for fear of attracting attention. No camp-fires were lighted, and when night dropped her dark curtains around the weary travelers some rested or slept while others gazed in death-like stillness upon the sparkling firmament, or listened to the music of streamlet or breeze, occasionally starting at the rustling of a leaf--anything that broke the solemn stillness striking terror to the heart.

"Once, after having passed over many miles without interruption, the travelers grew careless, and scattered groups pursued their way without apprehension. One family, being considerably in advance, was entirely separated from the company. Several

 

 

 

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hours had elapsed without one of them being seen by those in the rear. Night came on; the stars shone in full glory, shedding a hazy light on a few of the nearer objects, but adding to the dimness and uncertainty of everything beyond. The profound silence was broken only by the restlessness of the tethered horses, or the low murmuring in dreams of the disturbed sleepers. So intense was the stillness that an imaginary noise more than once startled the guards into an apprehension of a night attack, deepening the ominous silence and quickening the light step of the sentinel as he made his lonely round. The report of a gun was heard, and then another, followed by the fierce war-whoop of the savage. Some of the young men, dashing rapidly onward, soon reached a spot where, in the gray light of dawn, a scene of horror presented itself, not uncommon in those perilous times. A party of Indians had come upon the family stealthily, and, after a fierce struggle, had fled precipitately with all the plunder they could carry. The lightfooted mysterious enemy had left the impress of his hand on the dead and dying, scattered in every direction. One young girl, about fourteen, had been scalped and left for dead in a deep ravine. She had only swooned, and her brother, after the fray was over, seeing something in the dim distance that looked like an animal, creeping slowly toward them through the bushes, raised his gun to fire, when he saw a human hand uplifted in an imploring attitude. In a few minutes more he discovered it to be his sister, crawling on her hands and knees, her face completely covered by her matted hair. As he drew near she threw back her hair, and uttering the word 'brother,' fainted in his arms. She had been scalped, but not deeply wounded, and her only permanent loss was a portion of the skin of her head, rudely torn off by the firm grasp of an Indian. This young girl lived to reach Kentucky, grew up into womanhood, married, and became the mother of a number of sons and daughters--a proof that scalping does not necessarily produce death.

"One circumstance, often related to me, forcibly illustrates the keen instinct of the panther. My grandfather had been out on a hunt for many days. Weary eyes and anxious hearts were watching and waiting his return. It was midsummer, and the tall cane, with its gracefully waving leaves, excluded the view of every

 

 

 

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object not in the immediate vieinity of the lonely and scattered dwellings. About sunset one lovely afternoon my grandmother, with her faithful handmaiden, 'Mourning,' set out to fetch some water from the spring which, though at no great distance from the house, was hidden from sight. Always in fear of ambushed savages, they were walking slowly along when startled by the lost hunter's cry of 'hoo-hoo!' which was suppressed at intervals, as if listening for a response to assure him that he was in the neighborhood of home and loved ones. My grandmother answered, as she was wont to do, while her heart thrilled with the joyful anticipation of meeting her returning husband. 'Hoo-hoo!' in a loud voice was again heard and responded to, each time seeming nearer and more distinct; when, just as they emerged from the thicket and caught a glimpse of the shelving rock that over-arched the spring. they perceived something moving among the bushes above. At first they supposed it to be nothing more than a raccoon or an opossum, but it proved to be a panther. This animal, when stimulated by hunger, would assail whatever would provide him with a banquet of blood. Lo! there he stood on the rock high above the spring, squatting on his hind legs in the attitude of preparing to leap--his glaring eyeballs fierce with expectation. His gray coat, fiery eyes, and the cry which he at that moment uttered, rendered by its resemblance to the human voice peculiarly terrific, denoted him to be the most ferocious of his detested kind. My grandmother, whose presence of mind never forsook her, even under the most appalling circumstances, retreated slowly, keeping her eyes steadily fixed on the eyes of the monster, which seemed momentarily paralyzed by her gaze, until she and the negro girl could turn by a sudden angle into the woods, when, adding 'wings to their speed,' they soon reached the house and barred the doors behind them.

"I do not wish to give the impression that the name of Bush is entitled to any patronymic distinction, or that any branch of the family claim nobility; nevertheless, they came from a pure and ancient stock, upon whose bright escutcheon no stain had ever rested. It had never been legally disgraced, and never forfeited its claims to respect and consideration. The family was originally English, and the tradition among them is that the founder of the

 

 

 

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American branch, John Bush, came over among the first settlers of Jamestown, and was the friend and companion of Captain John Smith. My great-grandfather, Philip Bush, pessessed a large landed estate. His eight sons and four daughters were matrimonially connected with some of the most distinguished families in the 'Old Dominion.' My grandfather, Ambrose, the youngest child, save one, married a Gholson, a family from whence originated statesmen and orators. My great-uncle, Captain Billy Bush, came to Kentucky with Daniel Boone on his second trip. He was fortunate in securing the fairest portion of the land in Clark county, by warrants and otherwise, extending from Winchester to Boonesboro'. He gave away, or sold for a trifle, farm after farm to his friends and relatives that they might be induced to settle near him. These seemed so well satisfied with the Goshen of their choice that even their descendants had no disposition to emigrate, nor, indeed, to enter the arena of public life. Thus they continued their pastoral and farming occupations, 'lengthening their cords and strengthening their stakes,' marrying and intermarrying with the families in the vicinity as well as among their own kindred, until the relationship can scarcely be traced to a vanishing point. There are the Quisenberrys, the Vivions, the Elkins, the Gentrys, the Embrys, the Bushes, etc.--all uncles, aunts or cousins, and at one time you might travel for miles without being out of the favored circle. When I can first recollect, it was a community of Baptists, and they all worshiped at the stone meeting-house, on Howard's Creek. There is an interest attached to this old church that deserves mention. It is probably the first Baptist church built in Kentucky, [It is the first of any kind.--A. C. Q.] and its foundations are laid deep and strong, though not large and wide. A community of Baptists living in Virginia determined to emigrate to Kentucky, in 1780. The ruling elder, Rev. Mr. Vinton [Vivion], was their leader. They passed through much tribulation, and finally reached their destination, but had no permanent place of worship until the stone church was erected and called 'Providence.' Rev. Robert Elkin was their pastor for forty-two years. Among the most prominent members for a long time were my grandparents, who lived to see many of their descendants baptized into the same church. I visited

 

 

 

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the neighborhood in 1824, and found attached to the congregation thirteen widow Bushes. During the past year (1864) I had the privilege of entering within its hallowed walls and hearing an excellent sermon from a Reformed Baptist minister. The Reformers preach on alternate Sundays with the old Baptists, and the two congregations worship together, generally without any disagreement. The old church is in good condition. We reach it through a lovely bluegrass region, dotted with stately mansions and rendered attractive by green lawns and magnificent old sugar trees, through whose foliage the sunlight streaming down covers the ground with enchanting figures of light and shade. The rugged hills surrounding the creek present a striking contrast to the green valleys where summer sleeps upon beds of roses. Now and then a simple cottage is seen sparkling like a diamond in its granite cup; or on the top of some green and goodly hill a dwelling, white and fair, gleaming through depths of richest verdure. In a lovely nook, nestled among the rock-hills of the creek, stands the house of a dear old relative [Roger Quisenberry], with whose family I was privileged to spend a few hours during my recent visit--a golden link in the chain of reminiscences binding me to the past. What a tide of sweet memories swept over me as I listened and learned again the oft-repeated histories of my childhood's rosy hours, and stood once more in the graveyard where, amid crumbling gravestones, rested the bodies of so many I had known and loved in early life. What changes had passed over Kentucky since my grandparents were deposited in that quiet resting-place! Their tomb-stones are hoary with age. and crumbling into dust; but affection keeps the spot green with fresh memorials. Flowers bloom in loveliness around them. The sweetbrier sends forth its fragrance and summer roses are found there gushing with dewy sweetness.

"Of my uncle, Billy Bush, a word and I am done with this subject, rendered somewhat tedious by the clinging fondness of my own recollections. This famous old Indian fighter, after having suffered, in common with the rest of the settlers, many privations. and having endured much, found himself with but a few hundred acres of that vast domain he had fought to defend. He had munificently given away much, and was probably bereft of some by defective

 

 

 

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titles. He spent his latter years in the visionary pursuit of silver mines, which he never found. Like the mirage of the desert they eluded his grasp, forever and forever vanishing as the spot was neared. The glittering prize proved 'a glorious cheat,' but it kept up its delusions until the 'silver-chord was loosened and the golden bowl was broken,' and the poor old man found a resting place beneath Kentucky soil, with many other patriarchs of the infant State.

* * * "I recollect what an inexpressible feeling of awe crept over my childish spirit as I listened to the veteran pionecrs teling their exploits with the Indians and recounting with peculiar zest their perils, their bloody struggles, their hairbreadth escapes, and their victories. The whites scarcely ever took prisoners; they considered it safer to dispatch them at once to another world. My heart-bubbling laughter was stilled and my childish sports forgotten as, listening, I crept nearer to my grandmother's side. * * * The whole State of Kentucky was then a perfect jungle of beautiful luxuriance, and, to the admiring eyes of the new settlers, another Eden, with its green glories of canebrake (which in some places grew twenty feet high) and forest, crystal streams and laughing skies; its luxuriant cornfields and bluegrass woodland pastures. No wonder our good old preacher, with his own peculiar quaintness, in describing the beauties of heaven called it 'a fair Kentucky of a place.' To the early settlers of Kentucky it appeared a fairy land. Leaf-embowered streams, whose laughing waters danced over polished pebbles that glittered in the sunlight like diamonds; hill and dale, mountain and glade, varied the scene to the charmed eye of the huntsman, as he wandered through the thick forests under a canopy of softest blue, while the lofty trees sang a pleasant melody at the bidding of the balmy, flower-laden breeze. No wonder that the tales of the past, which now in memory dwell, are full of mystical fancies, arising from those days and beautiful solitudes where--

'All the boundless store of charms
Which nature to her votary yields,
The pomp of grove and garniture of fields.'--

fills the heart with emotions of love and gratitude to that great and good Being who created this earthly paradise, as if to reflect the

 

 

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glories of that world of light and love, where silvery vales and glittering streams, green fields and budding flowers 'forever and forever rise.'

* * * "In the early part of the present century the cottonfields in Clark county yielded enough of the best quality of cotton to supply the wants of every family; and while tobacco was the staple of the State, rich harvests of wheat, extensive corn-fields, and every variety of cereals gladdened the happy farmer with the consciousness of a bountiful provision for his family. Sugar was made in abundance from the maple, whole groves of which were found in Kentucky before the utilitarian ax of the woodman laid them prostrate to give place to the more useful bluegrass. One of these groves, on my grandfather's place, contained a thousand trees, many of which are still standing (1865). The sugar-making time, in February, when the rich sap began to flow abundantly, was a glorious time, and long looked forward to with as much delight as Christmas. A regular encampment on the ground made a pleasant home for the two weeks devoted to this gypsy life. The children, including the little negroes--and there were swarms of them--to use their own word, 'toted' sugar-water in their tiny pails hour after hour, and were amply rewarded when the sugar was in its transition state of wavy consistency, with as much as they could eat. My grandmother's sugar-chest was every year filled with grained maple sugar, whiter and purer than that made from the cane, while a great quantity was put up in cakes for eating--like candy, and as much molasses was reserved as would abundantly supply the family until sugar-making time came around again.

"And now, while I write, I can see the camp-fires lighted, the dusky figures passing and repassing, groups of happy children laughing and shouting as they bring in their contributions of crystal water for the steaming boilers. I almost inhale the delicious breath of an atmosphere redolent with a freshness and purity never known in the crowded haunts of men. I have counted nearly sixty years since those days of unmingled joyousness, yet still the memory of that time is green, when I played beneath the boughs of the lofty maple trees, at whose roots grew the fresh moss, clustered with tiny blue flowers, or wandered through avenues of pawpaw

 

 

 

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bushes, as I wended my way from my father's house to the dear old grandfather's homestead."

Of a visit she paid to "The Bush Settlement," in 1824, Mrs Tevis, in a subsequent chapter of her book, says:

"Most of the old landmarks had been swept away; the paw paw bushes were gone; the double line of cherry trees that formed an avenue from my grandfather's to my uncle Gholson's white cot tage on the hill, under which I had so often stood holding up my little check apron to receive the clustering cherries thrown down by brothers and cousins, were no longer there. * * * There was the same old stile to cross before we could enter the yard, ever then covered with a living green as soft and rich as in midsummer There was the quaint old brick house--the first brick house ever built in Kentucky--with its projecting gables and its ample door standing wide open to welcome the coming guest. * * * The next day, the news of my coming being spread throughout the neighborhood, a numerous delegation of uncles, aunts and cousins came to welcome us and invite us to partake of their hospitality. The family tree, transplanted from Virginia to Kentucky soil, had lost neither beauty nor glory. Its branches were widespread and flourishing, and from its roots had sprung a thousand ramifications, whence arose many a roof-tree, affording shelter and protection to wayworn travelers and homeless wanderers. * * * My eyes wandered about the best room in search of some familiar objects. The same old clock stood in the corner ticking its 'ever, forever,' as regularly as of old, and near by the little square table with its deep drawer in which my grandmother kept the cakes, baked every Saturday afternoon for the children who generally came with their parents to dine on Sunday. The wide, open fireplace brought to mind the 'yule log,' Christmas fires and winter cotton-picking. I could almost see the little woolly-headed cotton-gins of olden times, each with a heap of cotton before him from which to separate the seed, and sundry little grandchildren plying their nimble fingers in the same manner, grandmother superintending the whole--the click of her knitting-needles, meantime, as uninterrupted as the ticking of the clock. Our tasks done, cakes, nuts, etc., were distributed,

 

 

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and then followed a game of romps, which my grand father enjoyed as much as the children, and he could laugh as loud and long as any of us. * * * I recalled old 'Uncle Billy Bush,' of Indian memory, who lived near by, and frequently formed one of the merry group, chasing us about the room with his cane. How we all loved to see his ruddy face, so full of intelligence and good humol, a lurking jest ever in his eye, and a smile about the corners of his mouth, with a voice loud enough to hail a ship at sea without the aid of a speaking trumpet! It was wonderfully rich, too; harmonizing admirably with his blunt, jovial face; and this warm, rosy scene generally closed with an exciting Indian story, in which Daniel Boone figured, as well as himself. * * * During our stay here we spent one charming day with 'Aunt Frankey Billy,' the widow of this old uncle, so called to distinguish her from another 'Aunt Frankey,' and noted for her good housewifery, as well as her boundless hospitality. Simple-hearted, right-minded, and pious she was loved by all who knew her. So free from selfishness, so liberal, so everything a nice old lady ought to be--what a pleasure it was to see her still presiding at her own table, abundantly spread with all that could minister to the most delicate taste or satisfy the most craving hunger."

A word concerning Mrs. Julia Tevis herself. Her father's patronymic was Hieronymus, and her mother was the daughter of the first Ambrose Bush. Her grandfather Hieronymus was a native of Austria, who emigrated to America and settled in Virginia prior to the Revolutionary War; and he was among the first settlers in Clark county, Kentucky. Although an Austrian, the name Hieronymus clearly shows that he was of Roman or Latin descent. Hieronymus was the name of one of the numerous Roman Emperors, and there was also a Roman historian of the same name. Mrs. Tevis' grandfather was a highly educated man, and spoke all the European languages. When she was quite young her father, Pendleton Hieronymus, moved with his family to Virginia, because of the superior educational advantages of that State at that time. He settled first in Winchester, Va., but subsequently removed to Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, where his daughter finished

 

 

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her education under the best masters. Here she saw the burning of the Capitol by the British in 1814. She continued to live in Georgetown until 1824, and met, in Washington City, the most distinguished men and mingled with the most polished society of the times. In 1824 she was married to Rev. John Tevis, a native of Kentucky, and a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church. In 1825 she founded in Shelbyville, Ky., the "Science Hill Academy" for young women, and it became one of the most famous schools in the country. In 1875 she celebrated the semi-centennial of this school. Up to that time she had educated more than three thousand young women, and some of her first graduates attended the celebration and brought their grandchildren with them. Mrs. Tevis continued to direct this school until her death, which occurred in 1883.

 

THE OLD STONE MEETING-HOUSE.

No account of the Bush family, however brief, would be complete without some acount also of old Providence church, which that family in a great measure founded, and which they have largely nurtured and sustained for almost one hundred and twenty years.

The records of the church go back continuously to December, 1780, when the congregation was residing temporarily at Holston, Va.; but the church had existed as an organized body prior to that time, and, according to tradition, the following is, in substance, its previous history:

Captain Billy Bush, who had accompanied Daniel Boone to Kentucky, returned to his home in Virginia about the beginning of the year 1780, and he gave such glowing descriptions of the new country that a colony of about forty families, living in Orange and Culpeper counties, and all Baptists, were induced to start in the summer of that year for Boonesboro', Ky., at or near which place they determined to settle. Captain Billy Bush went in advance to Boonesboro' to choose and locate lands in that vicinity for each of these families, and, sensible man that he was, he chose the lands on the north side of the river, in what is now Clark county. The others, or such of them as were church members, organized themselves into a Baptist church, but the name of the

 

 

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church at that time, if it had one, has not survived. They had no regularly ordained pastor, but Elder John Vivion acted in that capacity, and under his leadership this unique church colony made ready and started, and proceeded as far as Holston (now Abingdon, Va.), which is near the line between Virginia and Kentucky, arriving there in December, 1780. On their tedious march through the wilderness to this point they had held divine services in their temporary encampments every Sunday, invariably making a halt for the purpose of keeping the day holy and engaging in divine worship.

At Holston they received advice by a runner from Captain Billy Bush, who was then in the fort at Boonesboro', warning them not to proceed any further for the time being. The troubles with the Indians at that time rendered it impolitic and unwise for them to proceed into Kentucky. At this point they met Rev. Robert Elkin, a regularly ordained Baptist minister "from the older parts of Virginia," who was also on his way to Kentucky, with his family, and choosing him as their pastor they at once (December, 1780) reorganized the church, and the minute records of its history are complete from that time to this. At that time the Baptist fraternity was divided into two factions, known severally as "Regulars" and "Separatists," and this church was of the Separatist faction. Among the names prominently mentioned in the reorganization proceedings are those of Rev. Robert Elkin, pastor; John Vivion, elder; Philip Bush, clerk; Ambrose Bush, Lucy Bush, William Bush, Frances Bush, John Bush, Robin Richards, Mary Richards, Daniel Ramey, Philip Johnson, William Fletcher, John Vivion, jr., Benjamin Johnston, Mary Johnston, Thomas Sutherland, Joseph Embry, Milly Embry, Mary Harris and Mary Clark. There were forty-five members in all.

This body remained at Holston until 1783, raising three crops there; and, the colony being reinforced by numerous accessions of people en route to Kentucky, they then moved forward to Lewis Craig's Station, on Gilbert's creek, in Lincoln county, Kentucky, where they remained until November 12, 1785, or about two years. From this point a number of members of the church proceeded to the so-called "Barrens" of Southwestern Kentucky, but the great majority of them, in 1785, removed to the waters of Lower Howard's

 

 

 

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creek, in what is now Clark county, and occupied the lands that had been located for them by Captain Billy Bush. Their first meeting as a church in the new locality is quaintly chronicled in the church records as follows: "Through a turn of God's providence, the church chiefly moving to the north side of the Kentucky river, and for the health and prosperity of Zion, we have appointed a church meeting at Bro. William Bush's house for November 27 1785."

At that meeting new officers were elected, and the organization was named "Howard's Creek Church," and for about two years the meetings were held in the houses of the members. The first house o?? worship erected was a log structure, built in 1787 on a lot given for that purpose by Francis Bush and Robin Richards, his brother in-law. This log church was provided with loop-holes through which the devout pioneers could fire their trusty flint-locks at In dians who might attempt (and they sometimes did) to interrup the devotions with hostile demonstrations. This building was replaced, on the same site, by the famous "old stone meeting-house," which was finished and dedicated to God in May, 1799.

Spencer's History of Kentucky Baptists says: "In 1785 James Quisenberry, an ordained minister from Virginia, joined this church, and in January of the next year Andrew Tribble, also a minister from the same State, became one of its members. About this time a revival began in the church and continued nearly two years. During this period a considerable number were baptized, o?? whom were Christopher Harris, Squire Boone, jr. (nephew of Danie Boone), and James Haggard, who became preachers. In 1787 the church entered into the constitution of South Kentucky Association. In 1790 another revival visited the church, and many were baptized, among whom was Edward Kindred, who became a good preacher. The church had now become quite large. But during this year a difficulty between Robert Elkin and Andrew Tribble caused a division in the body. By the advice of Elders John Bailey Joseph and William Bledsoe, and others, the Elkin party retained the constitution, but changed the name of the church from 'Howards Creek' to 'Providence,' while the Tribble party was constituted under the name of 'Unity.' The two churches agreed to live in fellowship.

 

 

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Providence continued a 'Separatist' church until 1801, when the terms of general union between the Regulars and Separates were ratified at its house of worship. After that it belonged to the old North District Confederacy for a number of years, and finally united with the Boone's Creek Association. Many prominent citizens of Clark county have been among its members, and most of the Bushes, Haggards, Quisenberrys and Elkins in the State, and multitudes of them in the great West, are descendants of the fathers of this famous old church."

In 1830 another serious difficulty confronted the church. Many of its members then united with the sect originated by Alexander Campbell and others, then known as Reformers but now as Disciples of Christ, or Christians. The minutes show that on October 2, 1830, there was "a motion in order before us to know whether we will or will not commune with members of the Baptist church who call themselves Reformers. The church says she will not." The Baptists, however, permitted the withdrawing members, who organized a church of their own, to use the church building on alternate Sundays with themselves, and this continued in all peace and amity until 1870, when the Baptists built a new house of worship on the Boonesboro' and Winchester turnpike, a mile or so away, and sold the old stone meeting-house to a colored Baptist congregation, who still occupy it. The old church building is in a good state of preservation and bids fair to easily last another century or two.

In 1876 Mr. Ambrose G. Bush printed in the Winchester Democrat a brief sketch of the history of old Providence, in which he stated that up to that time one thousand and forty-six members had been received into the church by experience and baptism and two hundred and twenty-seven by letter--a total of twelve hundred and seventy-three; and it had had seventeen pastors, viz.: Robert Elkin, 1780 to 1822; Richard Morton, 1822 to 1828; George Boone (a nephew of Daniel Boone), 1828 to 1833; (???) Elrod, 1833 to 1834; Abner D. Landrum, 1834 to 1838; Thomas German, 1838 to 1842; Buford E. Allen, 1842 to 1847; Edward Darnaby, 1847-1848; without a pastor for some months, then: Buford E. Allen, September and October, 1849, when he resigned and the church was again without

 

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a pastor; Buford E. Allen, 1851-1852; Pleasant T. Gentry, 1852 to 1855; Buford E. Allen, 1855 to 1861; Ryland T. Dillard, 1861 to 1865; Henry McDonald (a converted Roman Catholic) during the remainder of 1865; C. E. W. Dobbs, 1866-1867; W. B. Arvin, 1868 to 1874; G. T. Stansbury, six months in 1874; George Yeiser until March, 1875, and in June, 1875, A. F. Baker became the pastor.

The churches that have had their origin from old Providence are Unity, in 1790; Indian Creek, in 1792; these two united in 1845 and formed Mt. Olive; Boggs' Fork, in Fayette county, in 1812, which was afterwards merged into Boone's Creek church, at Athens; the Baptist church at Winchester, in 1859; and the Reform, or Christian church, now known as "Forest Grove Church," in 1830.

 

 

 

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