News10NBC discovered former President George H.W. Bush had ties to Rochester

December 03, 2018 08:17 PM

Kathy Kanauer is Penfield's historian.

On Monday, News10NBC poured over documents she and her colleagues gathered over the years, showing that former President George H.W Bush had ties to our community. 


"His great-great-grandfather [Obadiah Bush] was born in Monroe County. He lived in the city. He worked as a merchant. He also had something to do with the Rochester city schools. He was a trustee, perhaps working there as well," said Kanauer.

News10NBC learned that the Bush roots run even deeper.

"His father, Timothy, also lived in Monroe County. He wasn't born here. He came from back east. He lived and worked and died in Penfield and he worked as a blacksmith," added Kanauer. 

Timothy Bush, Obadiah Bush's father, is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

Obadiah's son, James Bush, became an Episcopalian minister and lived here until he was assigned to churches out of the area.

This isn't the first time this information has surfaced.

Kanauer says her predecessor wanted to give the Bush family town certificates, but Kanauer says when the library reached out to then-President H.W. Bush, he didn't respond.

"Back in 1985, Penfield handed out Pioneer Certificates to anyone who had family here before 1885. They had certificates for both President Bush's. And I don't know if they sent them off or if they just informed them that they were here and they needed to pick them up. Perhaps that's why they're still here," said Kanauer. 

Obadiah Bush is not buried in Penfield. He died at sea on a trip back from California.


Lynette Adams

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