Traveling west on Washington Street turn right on North Grove Street. West Cemetery will be on your left. Travel to the last entrance on the left into the cemetery. St Stephens will be on your right.
Edward Geer Bush
Edward Bush was born in Pittsfield, Pike County, Illinois on February 5, 1838. He was the son of Colonel Daniel Brown Bush Sr and Adeline Geer Sellon Bush. The success and networking of his father paved the way in life for Edward. In 1854 Edward received an appointment to West Point by Congressman William A. Richardson. Richardson was a native of Kentucky. He had served in the Mexican War as a Major of Illinois Volunteers. In 1847 – 1856 he was elected US Congressman from the Illinois 5th District to fill the vacant seat caused by the resignation of Stephen Douglas. Richardson would serve in the US Senate once again elected to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Stephen Douglas.
Edward Bush entered West Point in 1854. He would complete his five years of study graduating in the Class of 1859. Within the Class of 59 they were a few men that would go on to fame in the Civil War. Abraham K. Arnold commissioned a captain in the 5th United States Cavalry who on May 10, 1864 at Davenport Bridge, Virginia led a gallant charge against a superior force of the enemy to extricate his command from a perilous position which his unit had been ordered. For his heroic deed Arnold was awarded the Medal of Honor on September 1, 1893.
The class also had a few cadets that cast their lots with the Confederacy. Major Samuel Henry Lockett, who would become an engineer in the Confederate Army. In 1862 Lockett would be challenged with the task of designing and laying out the massive earthworks around the city of Vicksburg. Earthworks that on May 22, 1863 many Pike County men would assault and lose their lives.
Joseph Wheeler who at the age of twenty-six found himself in charge of all the cavalry troops in Army of the Tennessee. He was constantly engaged in battle being wounded three times along with thirty-six staff officers falling by his side. Wheeler had sixteen horses shot from under him second only to Nathan Bedford Forrest. After the war he would be elected to Congress. When the United States entered into the Spanish American War Wheeler was commissioned a major general. He was retired from the regular army as a brigadier general.
Upon graduation Edward would be commissioned a brevet second lieutenant of Infantry on July 1, 1859 and stationed on garrison duty at Newport Barracks, Kentucky. On August 7, 1859 he was attached to the 10th United States Infantry as a second lieutenant. He was promoted to first lieutenant of the 10th on May 14, 1863. By the spring 1863 he was serving as captain leading his company in the battle of Chancellorsville, Pennsylvania Campaign and Gettysburg where he was wounded on July 2, 1863. Edward was promoted to brevet major that same day for gallant and meritorious services during the battle of Gettysburg.
After the war Edward would marry Sarah Ketchum in 1865. The life of the spouse of a career army officer was not easy. Sarah supported and followed Edward wherever the army stationed him. Many of these barracks and forts where on the edge of the frontier.
By 1882 Edward Bush was the Lieutenant Colonel of the 6th United States Infantry. Three years later he was transferred to the 11 United States Infantry. In April 22, 1892 he had been promoted to Colonel of the 25th United States Infantry. He had received orders to report to Fort Missoula, Montana with his regiment. Before reporting he had taken four months leave due to being in poor health from a brain affection. While he was resting he returned to Pittsfield and his boyhood home now owned by his sister Mrs. Lucia Bates whose husband was Daniel C. Bates brother to Therena Bates Nicolay wife of former Lincoln secretary John G. Nicolay.
After returning from a walk around town Edward was stricken by a stroke which he never recovered. Edward Greer Bush passed away on July 4 1892. The funeral service was held at the Bush house followed by escort by the Grand Army of the Republican Veterans to St Stephens Episcopal Cemetery where Edward and Sarah remains rest.
Joseph Merrick Bush
From birth Joseph was a bright child. It was said that by four he was reading very well and by the time he was ten he was studying Latin and Greek. When his father left for Illinois in 1834 he left Joseph behind in the care of an uncle. That fall of 1834 he entered William’s College at the age of twelve graduating in 1838.
Following graduation he came west taking up residence with his father. He once gained the position of deputy postmaster under his father who was the postmaster. At that time the post office was in a small building on what was called Shadel corner across from the jail. Later it was moved to the west end of the Bush Block (south side of the courthouse square).
Business was very slow at the post office so in 1840 Joseph at the age of 18 became a deputy sheriff under Alfred Grubb who was known as the “little bay horse”. In 1843 he was admitted to the Illinois State Bar. His license to practice was signed by Stephen A. Douglas of the Illinois Supreme Court. At the encouragement of his father Joseph went west seeking his fortune. He stopped his journey west in St Joseph, Missouri for a short time but eventually returned to Pittsfield.
He married Mary Alicia Grimshaw, daughter of John U. Grimshaw. Four children were born to the marriage. William Carroll Bush (1851-1931), Joseph Merrick Bush Jr. (1853-1914), Henry Bush (1857-1936) and Daniel B. Bush (1864-1936).
After his marriage Joseph purchased 240 acres northwest of Pittsfield. He moved his house from south of Pittsfield to his farm. There he focused his attention to farming until the summer of 1865 when he was approached by leading democrats wishing him to purchase the Pike County Democrat newspaper. The paper had fallen onto hard times after the Civil War in a time of strong republican sentiment and was near being discontinued.
On August 10, 1865 Joseph M. Bush took control of the newspaper becoming its owner and editor until 1900 when his health began to fail him. He found that he could no longer attend to his duties at the paper. Management was turned over to his two sons W. C and J. M. Bush Jr who had been actively involved in the daily operation for the last several years.
By 1902 he began to travel to Citronelle, Alabama to enjoy the milder climate. His trips were accompanied by his son Dan and his housekeeper Mrs. Minnie Guss. In the last two years of his life his health failed at a rapid pace even though he was still able to walk to town. In the last month of his life a nurse was called in to assist him. Unable to raise from the bed the last days of his life he peacefully passed away on June 12, 1906 at the age of 84 years, 4 months and 27 days.
Besides his successful career as a lawyer and leadership of the Pike Democrat newspaper, Joseph Merrick Bush also served as a state Senator, United States Commissioner for the Southern District of Illinois. He served for many years as Master of Chancery as well as President of the Board of Education in Pittsfield and President of the Pike County Agricultural Society.
Colonel Daniel Brown Bush Sr.
Daniel Brown Bush Sr. was born in Pittsfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts on May 18, 1790. Colonel Bush was a graduate of Lenox Academy. In 1814 he was admitted to the Massachusetts State Bar. Along with the practice of his legal profession Colonel Bush served several terms in the Massachusetts General Assembly.
On March 31, 1819 he married Maria Merrick daughter of Deacon Joseph Merrick of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Six children were born to the marriage. Anna Maria Bush (1819-1825), Joseph Merrick Bush (1822-1906), Ellen DeWitt Bush (1826-1893), Maria Merrick Bush (1826-1854), Daniel Brown Bush Jr. (1827-1913) and Chauncey Carroll Bush (1831-1907). In 1825 Colonel Bush was the Captain of the Berkshire Greys a favorite military company that had the honor of escorting General Lafayette through the streets.
On Christmas night 1831 Maria Merrick Bush died. In February 1834 Colonel Daniel Brown Bush Sr. married Mrs. Adeline Geer Sellon widow of Reverend John Sellon of the Episcopal Church. Daniel B. Bush Sr and Adeline had four children. Eugene Bush (1835-1836),Theodore Bush (1842-1863), Edward G. Bush (1838-1892) and Lucia M. Bush (1845-1929).
In October of 1834 Colonel Bush left Pittsfield, Massachusetts upon the advice of Colonel William Ross a former resident of Pittsfield, Massachusetts who now resided in Pittsfield, Illinois. Colonel Bush arrived in Pittsfield and from that date until the day of his death it became his hometown.
Since 1864 when owing to health issues he retired. Colonel Bush always stayed informed and interested in public events and home affairs. It was said that no other man kept up with the knowledge of events happening both near and afar. The walls of his room were covered with maps of the world so he could reference them while reading about some event in a far off land.
Adeline Bush would suffer a stroke in late April 1874 that would leave her with palsy on the right side of her body. She was unable to stand or walk. She died on May 15, 1874. Many times in the years following her death Colonel Bush would speak affectionately and kindly about her.
Throughout the last years of his life Colonel Bush was stuck with considerable pain. When the end came on November 23, 1885 he passed away peaceably at the “Old Homestead” that he had settled into in 1836.
Henry Budd Atkinson
Henry Budd Atkinson was born in St Louis, Missouri on July 29, 1842. He was the son of Budd Hilliard and Harriet Morgan Atkinson. Budd H. Atkinson had been born in Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey in 1806. Harriet Morgan was born in Pennsylvania in 1812.
Budd H. Atkinson moved the family from St Louis, Missouri to Pike County in 1846. He settled in Pittsfield where he entered into business as a tailor. When the Civil War began Budd had formed a business partnership with James B. Landrum in Pittsfield.
Henry Budd Atkinson attended private schools before entering the public schools. After school he worked on a farm before entering into business with his father where he learned the mercantile business and the occupation of druggist.
In 1861 Henry enlisted in Company K 16th Illinois Infantry for a short time. The following year in August of 1862 he enlisted in Company G of the 99th Illinois Infantry as a 2nd sergeant. He quickly rose through the ranks. On January 31, 1863 he was commissioned 1st Lieutenant commanding Company G. Later a promotion to Captain was applied for and granted but Henry was never officially sworn in as Captain. He was discharged on July 31, 1865 at Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
After the war Henry returned to his home and his career as a store owner specializing in hardware, stoves and furniture. In May of 1868 Henry married Orpha M. Dewitt. Orpha had been born in Vermont on February 26, 1845 and had come to Pike County in 1860.
In the spring of 1876 Henry moved his business west to the town of New Canton, Illinois. Henry was well liked in the community for his business practices and the way he treated people honestly and fairly. Over the course of his life he served his community in many different ways.
He served as the Treasurer of the Sny Island Levee District because he and his father owned over 2,000 acres within the district. From 1844 – 1890 he served on the Board of Supervisors, the last two years as Chairman. He served one year as Town Clerk in Pittsfield and Clerk of Pleasant Vale Township.
He belonged to the Modern Woodsmen of America and the Grand Army of the Republic. Henry’s spouse Orpha M. Atkinson died on August 23, 1899 she was laid to rest here in Saint Stephens Episcopal Cemetery. On September 9, 1904 Henry applied for and was granted a Civil War Veterans Pension. Henry died on July 18, 1913 in New Canton. He was laid to rest beside his wife here in Saint Stephens Episcopal Cemetery.