James Osgood Andrew Bush
James Osgood Andrew Bush was born in Pike County, Ark., December 1, 1854. His father's name was James Radford Bush who was born near Glasgow, Ky., May 5, 1820. His mother's name was Amanda (Reeves) Bush. She was born in S.C. July 6, 1825. They were devout members of the Methodist Church and named their son for a Methodist Bishop.
In 1874, before he was 20 years old, J.0.A. Bush married Lucetta J, Eastwood. She died in 1876 without children.
When Mr. Bush was 21 years of age, he was elected Justice of the Peace of White Township, Pike County, and served 2 terms. During his term of office as Justice of the Peace, he acquired a strong liking for law and studied Greenleaf on Evidence, Kent's Commentaries, The Arkansas Justice Guide, and Mansfield’s Digest of the Statutes of Arkansas. During this time, he was engaged in farming and teaching school end also took an active interest in politics. In 1884 he was elected County and Circuit Clerk of Pike County, defeating Capt. W.B. Thomasson by a majority of 99 votes. In May 1891 he went as a delegate to Cincinnati, Ohio to a meeting of the Labor forces for the formation of a new party. It was called the People's (or Populist) party. He attended every National Convention of that party - at St. Louis in Feb. 1892, at Omaha Neb., July 4, 1894, and at St. Louis 1896 when William J. Bryan was nominated by the Populist Party for President, and Thos. E. Watson, V. President. In 1896 he was elected as a Populist of the Arkansas Legislature.
In 1891, J.0.A. Bush moved from Murfreesboro, Pike County to Prescott, Nevada County, Arkansas, where he actively engaged in the work of organizing the young People's Party. He established the "People's Tribune, a paper devoted entirely to politics. He made a speaking tour over the County, meeting Hon. T.C. McRae, member of Congress (elected by the Democratic Party) in debate. About 1908, J.0.A. Bush, together with John M. Pittman and many others (including Thos. E. Watson of Georgia), joined the Democratic Party. This was after the death of the Populist Party. In 1914, he was elected nominee of the Democratic Party for State Senator, defeating C.B. Andrews for that office in the district composed of Hempstead and Nevada Counties. He served as State Senator in the sessions of 1915 and 1917.
Although he studied law in early manhood, J.0.A. Bush did not apply for admittance to the Bar until Feb. 1898. He then sold his newspaper and entered into the active practice of law. He was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court and Federal court soon after entering the profession.
J.0.A. Bush was always a member of the Methodist Church, In May 1908 he attended a Layman's meeting in Chattanooga, Tenn. At the annual conference at Little Rock Nov. 1908, he was elected V. Conference Lay-Leader which place he held until Nov. 1913, being relieved at his own request. In 1914, he went to Oklahoma City as Lay Delegate to the General Conference. He was an excellent Bible Scholar; was for a number of years teacher of the men's Bible class of the Prescott church, Mr. Bush took an active part in getting passed what is known as the state "Anti-Evolution Law". He was active in the cause of Temperance.
In 1889, he married Viola Reese who died in 1893. One child survived this union: Dexter. In 1895, Mr. Bush married Alice Hawkins and had: Nell Rose, Mildred, Lou Kate, James Radford, Judson Chandler, Dora and Elva.
(Arranged partly from his autobiography, written in 1938. J.0.A Bush died January 29, 1939)