Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan
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BIOGRAPHIES MAIN PAGE
BUSH, PETER D.
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
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
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,
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.