Elbert Willis Bush

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
April 11, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 381, 382
Bio: Elbert Willis Bush, Marion County

Elbert Willis Bush. Prominent among the public officials who are
contributing to the civic welfare and advancement of Huntington stands Elbert
Willis Bush, city
commissioner of public utilities, public buildings and grounds. He has held
some city position regularly since 1915, during which time he has established
an excellent record for conscientious and constructive work, and in addition
to being well known in public life is a prominent figure in fraternal
circles, particularly in the Knights of Pythias.

Mr Bush was born February 15, 1878, at Sabina, Ohio, the only son and
child of Owen an Mary (Fenner) Bush.l His father was born in Clinton County,
Ohio, and resided near Sabina all his life, devoting himself without
interruption to the pursuits of agriculture, in which he achieved success.
He was a republican in his political views,
and his religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which
he was an active worker. He died at Sabina in 1915. Mr Bush married Miss
Mary Fenner, who was born in 1857, in Adams County, Ohio and died near Sabina
in 1887.

Elbert Willis Bush was educated in the rural schools of Clinton County,
Ohio, and prepared for a business career by attendance at the Buckeye
Business College at
Sidney, Ohio, in 1896 and 1897. For two years after graduation he served as
an instructor in this college, and in 1903 came to Huntington, where he
entered the
employ of the Huntington Cold Storage and Commission Company in the general
offices. Later he resigned this position to accept one with T. H. Clay, a
brokerage commission merchant, with whom he was employed in office work. In
1915 Mr Bush was appointed assistant city treasurer of Huntington by the city
board of
commissioners, and filled that office for three years. Next he was appointed
auditor, and held this office one year exactly. In the meanwhile he was
elected a
city commissioner of Huntington, in May, 1919, for a term of three years, his
term of
office expiring the second Monday in June 1922. He is a commissioner of
public utilities, public buildings and grounds, and as before noted, has
established an excellent record. All those having business at Mr. Bush’s
office in City Hall, Eighth
Street and Fifth Avenue, have found him courteous, obliging and prompt, and
he has succeeded in making and retaining numerous friends in the regular
course of his
duties. He is a republican in politics.

Mr. Bush has made a hobby of fraternal organizations, and is prominently
in this connection, particularly the Knights of Pythias order. He was
knighted in
Huntington Lodge No. 33, Knights of Pythias in June 1906, elected chancellor
commander in December of that year, received the Grand Lodge rank at
HUNTINGTON in 1907, and in December, 1907 was elected master of finance, with
which office he was connected until 1912, when he was elected keeper of
records and seal, a position he has held since. He is the only grand
chancellor to fill this office
during his term, but the subordinate lodge would not release him. He served
as deputy grand chancellor in 1912-13, was a representative to the Grand
Lodge at the session
held at Charleston in 1912, was made chairman of the committee on reports by
Chancellor Sam R. Nuzum, and elected grand outer guard in 1914, after which
he advanced each year until 1918, when he was elected grand chancellor at
Mr. Bush is a member of Shiraz Temple No. 29, Dramatic Order Knights of
of Charleston, having joined at a ceremonial held at Huntington in 1911. He
likewise holds membership in Lewis Temple No. 22, Pythian Sisters; Huntington
Lodge No. 313, B.P.O.E.; Mohawl Tribe No. 11, I.O.R.M.; Huntington Council
No. 190, J.O.U.A.M.;
Huntington Council No. 53, U.C.T., of which he served as secretary for
several years; Huntington No. 347, L.O.O.M., and Ivanhoe Castle No. 13,
K.G.E. He has other connections of a business, social and civic character,
and is a member of the Huntington Chamber of Commerce. His religious
connection is with the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church.

On January 9, 1918, at Covington, Kentucky, Mr. Bush was united in
marriage with Mrs. Mamie (Roberts) Hardwicke, daughter of Frank N. and Mary
Roberts, the latter now deceasedand the former a resident of Hamlin, Lincoln
County, West Virginia.
Mr. Roberts, who is now ninety years of age, is living in retirement after a
longand successful career as a merchant. To Mr. and Mrs. Bush there has come
one child, Mary Virginia, who was born at Huntington September 2, 1919.