Sally Bush

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sally Bush
Photo credit: Bush House Museum, Salem Art Association Photo ID number bh1317.
BornOctober 29, 1860
Salem, Oregon, US
DiedNovember 3, 1946(1946-11-03) (aged 86)
Salem, Oregon, US
Resting placeSalem Pioneer Cemetery
Alma materSmith College
Known forPhilanthropy, photography
Board member ofLadd and Bush bank,
Vice President [1]

Sally Bush (October 29, 1860 – November 3, 1946) was an American photographer also known for her quiet philanthropy, especially her generosity toward hungry people during the Great Depression of the 1930s. She also served as her father's hostess at their home, Bush House in Salem, Oregon, in the United States.

Early life and education[edit]

Sally Bush, daughter of Asahel Bush and Eugenia (Zieber) Bush, was the third of their four children. Born in Salem, after her father was invited by Samuel Thurston, to get a newspaper to assist with his re-election. When she was three years old, her mother died of tuberculosis in 1863.[2][3] She attended Sacred Heart Academy in Salem, and graduated high school from Moravian Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After attending Martha Burnham school in Northampton, Massachusetts, she graduated from Smith College in 1883.[4]

While she was still at Smith, she assisted her father in choosing wallpaper and other furnishings, but budgeted their money, for the new Bush residence in Salem, Oregon, which was eventually completed in 1887,[5] but didn't change things too much, to keep the original styling of the house consistent.[6]

"Lady of the House"[edit]

For the next thirty years, Bush hosted guests from the town, as well as her father's business and political acquaintances.[5] She was also

...the loving caretaker of the home; the hostess at her father's dinner parties; the avid gardener, cultivating the flowers of the newly constructed Conservatory near the house, managing the vegetable beds and fruit trees on the property; the animal lover, tending to the cows and other farmyard creatures, caring for the dogs and cats — particularly the cats — which people left at her doorstep, knowing that each would be given a home.[7]

She "carried on her many charities without ostentation",[4] encouraging and sometimes financing the early careers of young writers and artists.[7] Although she was a "complete vegetarian", she offered guests main courses of fish, fowl or meat, as well as many vegetable choices.[8] She was a member of the Salem Garden Club and the Unitarian Church.[4]

Bush purchased a 1909 Baker electric car, but stopped driving it after her first outing, when she drove it through the front window of a local pharmacy.[2][9][10] Subsequently, chauffeurs drove the car.[11][12]

By 1912, she had become the vice president of the Ladd and Bush bank established by her father.[1]

Bush House from Mission Street, with oak trees, wildflowers, and cat. By Sally Bush, using glass plate negative process.
Photo credit: Bush House Museum, Salem Art Association Photo ID number bh0005


Along with her brother A. N. Bush, Sally Bush became a proficient photographer.[7] The Salem Public Library archives include over 2200 of their photographs, more than half taken by her, some using glass plate negatives.[13] She created both portraits and candid photos of her friends and family, Bush House, the grounds, and conservatory.[14]


Bush is remembered as "a kind, generous, and compassionate woman, always prepared to assist families in need of food or clothing,"[15] focusing much of their legacy, in what they called, "quiet philanthropy."[6] In her honor, the Bush House Museum has established an annual Sally Bush Memorial Food Drive, in conjunction with the "Women Ending Hunger" campaign of the Marion-Polk Food Share.[15]

She has also been honored for her stewardship of Bush’s Pasture Park and Historic Deepwood Estate, in an exhibition at the Bush Barn Art Center, Parks for People: Lord and Schryver's Legacy.[16]


  1. ^ a b Oregon. State Banking Dept (1912). Annual Report of the State Banking Department of the State of Oregon: 1910–1912. State Printer. p. 91.
  2. ^ a b "Salem (Oregon) Online History – Sally Bush". Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  3. ^ "Oregon Biographies: Asahel Bush". The Oregon History Project. 2002. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved December 1, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c "Salem Pioneer Cemetery – Sally Bush Obituary – part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon". Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Asahel Bush House Museum". Archived from the original on April 16, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Asahel Bush House |". Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Green, Virginia (Fall 2003). "The Ladies of Salem's Bush Family" (PDF). Historic Marion. 41 (3): 2–3. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  8. ^ "Bush House Museum: Dinner at Bush House". Bush House Museum. September 29, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  9. ^ Green, Virginia (February 25, 2010). "Salem Heritage Network (SHINE): Salem in 1884". Salem Heritage Network (SHINE). Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  10. ^ "Sally Bush's Electric Car: What's Old is New!". Salem Breakfast on Bikes. March 16, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  11. ^ "Bush family chauffeur, Jimmy, near the family's car, Salem, Oregon, 1913 – Bush Family Historic Photographs". Salem Public Library. 1913. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  12. ^ "Jacob Amsler, Bush family chauffeur, in Baker Electric car, Salem, Oregon – Bush Family Historic Photographs". Salem Public Library. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  13. ^ "Bush House viewed from Mission Street, Salem, Oregon :: Bush Family Historic Photographs". November 19, 2003. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  14. ^ "Bush Family Historic Photographs". Salem Public Library. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Sally Bush: Woman Ending Hunger". Bush House Museum. October 14, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  16. ^ Sutherland, Ross (2011). "A Legacy of Stewardship in Salem's City Parks" (PDF). Salem Art Association. Retrieved November 3, 2016.

External links[edit]