Oregon Republican League: History 104 Biographies
Every Wednesday/Thursday, the Oregon Republican League will post the biographies of important figures, in the League's/State of Oregon's history. Feel free to comment or share stories of your family's Republican affiliation.
An Illustrated History of Umatilla County & Morrow County, by Colonel William Parsons and W. S. Shiach with a brief outline of the early history of the State of Oregon. W. H. Lever, Spokane, WA, (1902), p. 379-380.
JOHN RUSH.- As a defender of the flag in the time of war, an intrepid pioneer during the days of explorations, a loving husband and estimable citizen, the man whose name heads this paragraph has left a record untarnished and commendable, of which those who succeed him may be justly proud. The spirit in the “Green Mountain” boys that led them to accomplish deeds of valor in the days of the Revolution, is the same that inspired this one of their descendants to equally as brilliant efforts in defense of the Union, which they established.
Born in Vermont, to Benjamin and Mary (LaBelle) Rush, on March 25, 1841, he passed the first years of his life there also, gaining the education possible in the limited time. When but fourteen years of age, in 1855, he traveled across the continent to engage in the mining fields of California. Considering the modes of travel then in vogue, and his tender years, together with the lawless state of affairs in the western regions at that time, this is sufficient to demonstrate the sterling qualities in the lad, which so brightly materialized during subsequent years. When the call came for men to fight for the honor of their flag, young Rush was ready to respond, and enlisted in Company B, First Battalion, Nevada Cavalry, under Captain Joseph H. Mathewson. June 21, 1863, was the date of his enlistment, and for three continuous years he did faithful military service for his country, when he was mustered out at Camp Douglas, Utah. From here he went to Kansas and remained there until 1872, at which date he came to this county and took up a homestead and purchased one hundred and sixty acres more from the railroad, ten miles northwest from where Athena now is. Here he engaged in the cultivation of his farm until the time of his death, which sad event occurred October 5, 1895.
The record of his life shows Mr. Rush to have been a man of great energy, of fearless courage, directed by an excellent and wise judgment, and possessed of a tender heart that always accompanies a really brave spirit. The time of his demise was a day of sadness for all who knew him, but his meed is that he left the heritage of a brilliant career and untarnished life for the edification and encouragement of those who follow after.
His political life was marked with activity and uprightness, being a prominent figure in the convention , but never seeking for himself political preferment. He held with the Republican party and was a member of the G. A. R. In 1868 he was married to Miss Martha Ann Seratt, daughter of John and Nancy (Lane) Seratt. She with six children survives him. The children are as follows: Anna, Harriet, Dorothy, Alberta, Edwin, Ida M. Mrs. Rush still lives on the old home place, which she is carrying on in a commendable manner, demonstrating that she is capable of wise husbandry in addition to her other many accomplishments. On August 15, 1901, death again made inroad into the household, this time carrying off Miss Dorothy, who peacefully passed the river and now sleeps in that great bivouac of the dead.