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Guide to the Thomas and Ellen Bush Family Papers MS 241
MS 241  
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Collection Details
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  • Comments
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Title: Thomas and Ellen Bush Family Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 241
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
    Date (inclusive): 1858-1927
    Abstract: This collection contains the Bush family papers, Thomas and Ellen Bush’s professional papers, and miscellaneous land grants and mortgages from San Diego County.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English and Spanish.
    creator: Bush family
    creator: Bush, Ellen A.
    creator: Bush, Thomas


    Material added to collection from Document Files Collection; Bush, Thomas H. & Ellen file.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Katrina White on July 11, 2012.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Preferred Citation

    Thomas and Ellen Bush Family Papers, MS 241, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    Thomas Henry Bush was born in Pennsylvania on June 8, 1831, and first came to California in 1853. During this period, he married Ellen Augusta Porter. The couple’s only daughter, Bertha, was born in San Francisco in 1863. Before establishing himself in San Diego, Bush was a bookbinder in San Francisco and later ran a store in Baja California where he mined locally. He came to San Diego in 1865, and became Postmaster in Old Town in 1868. That same year, he was appointed county judge to replace Julio Osuna, a position he held for eight years. Bush was also a member of the City and School Board of Trustees. As a city trustee he was instrumental in the sale of the city lands to Horton, and actually signed the deed. Bush was absent from San Diego between 1878 and 1887 as he returned east to visit his native state and also engaged in prospecting. After returning to San Diego in his later years, Bush was a notary and served as the Director of the San Diego and Gila Railroad, and the Secretary of the San Diego Society of Pioneers. His wife, Ellen, was an early teacher in Old Town.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains personal and professional papers related to the Bush family, as well as miscellaneous land grants and mortgages from San Diego County. It includes the Bush family’s legal and financial papers and mortgages, as well as the professional papers of both Thomas and Ellen Bush. There are documents related to the School Board of Trustees, on which Thomas Bush served for many years, as well as documents related to the San Diego Postmaster. The collection also includes miscellaneous land grants, declarations of homesteads, mortgages and property deeds of numerous San Diego residents. Of particular interest are Thomas Bush’s Will, Ellen Bush’s teaching certifications, and professional testimonials and letters of recommendation for both Thomas and Ellen. An additional document of note is a Redemption of Real Estate Certificate for Horton’s Addition.


    Collection materials are arranged by subject.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Bush family
    Bush, Bert
    Bush, Ellen A.
    Bush, Thomas
    Horton, Alonzo E., 1813-1909
    Louis, E. J.
    O'Neill, Patrick
    Porter, R. K.
    Soto, J. M.
    Westgate, Annie
    Westgate, J. B., Jr.
    Land grants
    Los Angeles (Calif.)
    Old Town (San Diego, Calif.)
    San Diego (Calif.)
    San Diego County (Calif.)