Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
June, 2014
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Have a Fun and Safe, Boating Season!

Please be Safe While Swimming or Rafting.

Sheriff’s Office Awards Ceremonies

How much money did you throw in your garbage can today?

Take a Tour on Thurston County’s Bountiful Byway

Trolleys a Big Hit! (‘til it rains)

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 Praise for Settler George Bush.

From The Archives.

Every February, Thurston County has a special reason to celebrate Black History Month: pioneer settler George Bush. Not only was Bush a brilliant agronomist, but a man of great energy, resourcefulness and compassion. The following excerpt is from So Fair a Dwelling Place written in 1950 by Gordon Newell.

A Man of Intelligence and Character


Bush was a man of intelligence and character and had done well in a world where all the cards were stacked against him. When he arrived in Puget Sound and unpacked his goods he removed a false bottom from his wagon. The boards below were neatly covered with silver dollars, laid edge to edge.

Bush did not stay at New Market (Tumwater area), but settled on a fertile little prairie nearby, which is still called Bush Prairie. The later settlers had much reason to bless the name of George Bush. By the fall of 1852, his farm was bursting with acres of wheat, corn, potatoes, beans, pumpkins and livestock in abundance.

Then came the wagon-trains of that ill-fated year. Cholera had attacked them on the broiling plains. Starvation had struck in the mountains and many of them had been forced to eat the grain meant for seed in the new land. They arrived on Puget Sound in pitiable condition.

Most of these tattered men had a few dollars to start a new life in a new country, but they would have given all they had to George Bush for a pittance from his plenty. He could have made himself a fortune, but instead he gave his fortune away. He gave the newcomers all they needed to start a new life and didn't collect a dollar.

Later he almost lost his farm because negroes weren't allowed to own land in the United States. But his neighbors rallied to his defense and carried their protest to the national capitol, where Congress passed a special act allowing George Bush and his heirs to hold land forever.

By Keith Eisner

Pioneer settler George W. Bush. Pioneer settler George W. Bush.