The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan



History of Tuscola And Bay Counties, Mich., H. R. Page & Co., Chicago (1883), p. 94

Peter D. Bush.  Among the names of the early settlers of Tuscola County will be found that of Peter D. Bush, who came into this section of Michigan about the year 1857, some twrenty-five years ago.  He was born in the town of Parma, Monroe County, N. Y., and his early days were spent on a farm.  He and his brother Elias - both mere boys - came to Michigan in 1837, traveling through Canada.  It was during the time of the Canadian rebellion, or "patriot war," as some called it.  They met with considerable trouble on their way through Upper Canada, as it was then called, both from the Canadian militia and the Indians.  Notwithstanding, however, they reached Detroit in safety.  The people whom they met then expressed great surprise that two such striplings as they wTere had been able to make their way through.

They located in Highland, Oakland County, and commenced to clear up a farm, building a shanty for themselves, and keeping
bachelor's hall.  After living in that township for a few years, Peter D. decided to remove to Tuscola County, and accordingly bought a quantity of land in the township of Indian Fields, on a part of which the flourishing village of Caro now stands, and removed there in the year 1857.

After some years, Mr. Bush decided to lay out a village plat and accordingly employed Mr. D. A. Pettibone, a surveyor, from Lapeer, to do the work.  The village was named Centerville, but the postoffice was known as Tuscola Center, as the rules of the post- office department did not allow two offices of the same name in one State.  The land on which the village was located was originally purchased from the late James J. McCormick, of Bay City, and was bought for Mr. Bush by the late Samuel P. Sherman.  The ground on which the couut-house now stands was cleared by Mr. B., and in 1866 was donated by him to the county.

The board of supervisors for Tuscola County at a meeting held June 19, 1866, passed a resolution, thanking the people of Centerville, and Mr. Peter D. Bush, especially, for the very welcome reception extended on their meeting at the new county seat.

On October 9, 1866, Messrs. L. Hurd, C. K. Selden, J. M. Dodge, B. W. Huston, and H. Remick were appointed a committee to examine the site for a court-house which Mr. Bush offered to donate to the county.  On October 12th the committee reported that the site was a very suitable one, and recommended its acceptance by the county on his making a good and sufficient deed of the same, which he did a few days afterward, as the records show.

On June 8, 1867, a committee consisting of J. H. Richardson, H. Hobert and D. P. Hinson were appointed to examine a building furnished by Mr. Bush to be used for county purposes.  This building was donated to the county by Messrs. Giles, Bush and others.  It was moved from the opposite side of State Street to the county grounds, and was used for a number of years as a court-house, but was afterward moved back across the street, and is now used as a town hall.

Mr. Bush is yet but a man in the prime of life, scarce a gray hair to be seen on his head.  He has been married three times, and has one son and a daughter living.  The son, Mr. D. C. Bush, deals in sewing machines and millinery goods.  The daughter is the wife of D. C. Deckensheets, village marshal.

Mr. Bush is now a resident of the village, but still carries on farming.

NOTE:  Elias Bush, brother of Peter D. Bush, appears on the 1840 Census for Highland.


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