Chauncey Carroll Bush, called the father of the active business city of Redding, is one of the men of mark, who with others planned and laid out the foundation of the prosperity of the county of Shasta. He comes of good old Revolutionary New England stock. His great-grandfather, David Bush, married Thankful Pettibone at Simsburg, Connecticut, and had two sons, born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The eldest of these sones, David Bush, Jr. (Mr. Bush’s grandfather), was born October 29, 1762, and married August 13, 1783, Anna Brown, a twin daughter of Major Jacob and Anna Brown. They had seven children, all born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The third of their family, Daniel Brown Bush (Mr. Bush’s father), was born May 18, 1790. David Bush, one of Mr. Bush’s uncles, reared several children, among them Charles P. Bush, a Congregationalist minister in Michigan, and his brother, George Bush, a Congregational minister in New Jersey. Peregrine, another of them, married a daughter of John Francis, a Baptist minister, and their son, John P. Bush, was at one time publisher of the Oneida (New York) “Observer”. The Judge’s ancestry were all men of distinction in their town. Jacob Brown, his maternal grandfather, in 1775, joined the Revolutionary army in Boston, was elected a Major and marched through Maine to Quebec, Canada, with Benedict Arnold. All the soldiers suffered from hunger, and they were compelled to eat horses and dogs. Mr. Brown died on the Plains of Abraham, with small-pox. Mr. Bush’s grandmother’s uncle, John Brown, was a lawyer in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, joined the Revolutionary army, was made a Colonel, and was killed by Indians and Tories in ambush at Stone Arabia, New York. Major Henry C. Brown, a cousin of his grandmother, was sheriff of Berkshire County for twenty years. Mr. Bush’s father, Daniel Brown Bush, married Maria Merrick, a daughter of Lieutenant Joseph and Mercy (Smith) Merrick. They had three sons and three daughters, of whom he was the youngest. His mother died when he was five months old. His oldest brother, Joseph Merrick Bush, has resided in Pittsfield, Illinois, since 1838, and has published a paper there for over thirty years. Judge Bush’s eldest sister, now Mrs. Ellen Dewitt Hatch, resides at Big Timber, Montana, and is a writer of much ability. His sister, Maria Merrick, married Hon. Jackson Grimshaw, a noted lawyer of Illinois. His brother, Colonel Daniel Brown Bush, resides in Portland, Oregon, and is manager of the Home Mutual Insurance Company. He served through the Mormon war at Nauvoo, Illinois, after that through the Mexican war and through the war of the Rebellion. Judge Bush’s father married for his second wife, a widow, and a daughter of Captain Geer, of New York city. They had five children, only two sons of whom now survive. One of them, a brother of Judge Bush, is Colonel Edward Geer Bush, a graduate of West Point, who served through the war of the Rebellion. There is a sister, now Mrs. Lucia Bates, residing at Pittsfield, Illinois. Judge Bush’s family are noted for longevity. His father died November 28, 1885, aged ninety-five years, six months and five days, and none of his brothers died under seventy years.

Judge Bush was born July 31, 1831, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His parents moved to Pittsfield, Pike County, Illinois, in 1834, then called the far West. In 1850, at the age of eighteen, he crossed the plains, by way of St. Joseph’s, Missouri, Fort Hall, Fort Laramie and Carson Valley, arriving in Hangtown, now Placerville, July 22, 1850; wintered at Ophir, near Auburn, until February, 1851, and then removed to Shasta County, arriving at Shasta February 21, 1851. For several years he following mining, then clerking in stores and engaged in other callings. In 1861 he was elected Justice of the Peace in Shasta, afterward Associate Judge of the Court of Sessions. The next year he was elected County Judge, and re-elected twice afterward, the satisfaction given to all parties during the first two terms being so great that the Democrats declined to nominate a candidate against him the last term. During his three terms as County Judge, only one case was appealed to the Supreme Court, and that was affirmed. Having decided to remove from Shasta he declined to let his name go before the people for re-election. For ten years he was engaged in merchandising in Shasta. He spent much time and money in trying to induce the railroad company to build their road to the town of Shasta. Failing in this he decided to move to the newly projected town of Redding, and induced a few of his neighbors and friends to do likewise. Acting upon this decision, the night of July 22, 1872, found Judge Bush sleeping on a soft pine board, with one blanket over him, on the lot where now stands the Bush block, which at present contains the Bank of Shasta County, Chambers & Campbell’s hardware store, the postoffice and other occupants. August 12 the first bill of goods from a general stock of merchandise in the town of Redding, was sold by him. He cast his lot with the town, and has staid and worked for its success.

It is no disparagement to the efforts of others to say that Judge Bush is the father of the city of Redding, and the father is and has just reason to be proud of his child, as it has become at eighteen years of age a fine city with its many brick blocks, electric lights, fine system of water-works and sewerage, and every brick laid and every timber put in place to make it the lovely, populous city it is destined to become. It is a monument to his sagacity, enterprise, faith and tenacity of purpose, and is destined to become the “city of the north.” Judge Bush is now its very efficient Postmaster, and has held the position three different terms and makes a very obliging and prompt official. He held the office of United States Court Commissioner for twenty-two years. Has been a Mason for twenty-five years, and Master of Western Star Lodge two terms, and of Redding Lodge two terms, and is now Grand Bible Bearer of the Grand Lodge. He has been a School Trustee for several years, taking a deep interest in educational matters. Was a member of the School Board that erected Redding’s fine brick school-house. He was the founder of the Bank of Shasta County, and its first president. He was a delegate to the National Convention at Chicago, that nominated James G. Blaine for the Presidency, and was one of the Pacific coast committee that visited him at his home in Augusta, Maine, and congratulated him on his nomination; and he was also one of the committee that notified Logan of his nomination at Washington, District of Columbia. Although not a communicant he is a firm and consistent supporter of Sabbath-schools and churches. During the war he was a worker for and a member of the Sanitary Commission.

In 1865 he was married to Miss Ida M. Schroeder, and they have had seven children, three of whom died in infancy. The surviving children are Eda Ellen, Chauncey Carroll, Jr., George William and Harry Edward. Judge Bush and his estimable wife are held in high standing by their neighbors and a large circle of acquaintances. Their silver wedding was held June 27, 1890, and their warm friends gathered around them in throngs to do them honor. The pleasant and commodious home was filled to overflowing, as well as their beautiful grounds that surround their home.

Mrs. Judge Bush and daughter, Eda, are members of the Presbyterian Church, and constant workers in the church and Sabbath-school, Mrs. Bush being now and for several years Assistant Superintendent. The family is noted for its many charities and assistance in times of distress, Miss Eda being a very active member of the Young Ladies’ Aid Society, that is well known for its good works.

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler, July 2004.
SOURCE: Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891. pg. 305-307.

Biography Index