Biographical Sketch of Mrs. T. G. Bush

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Mrs. T. G. Bush, 1851-1930

By Daphne Lavonia Stanley, Freelance researcher and Writer, Intern at Salem Museum, Salem, Virginia

Mrs T. G. Bush, whose maiden name was Alberta Williams, was born 13 March 1851. Her parents, Reverend Albert and Anna Williams moved from Georgia to Alabama before Alberta was born. The young Miss Williams was educated in Montgomery, Alabama.

Alberta Williams married Thomas Greene Bush in June, 1871. Mr. Bush served as President of multiple iron companies, as well as serving in the Alabama legislature during the 1886-87 year. The couple were active community members and served in the Baptist church. Mr. and Mrs. Bush raised five children – Annie, Albert, Morris, Thomas Jr., and Edwin. The family had a large farm close to Anniston. Alabama on which Mr. Bush raised Shetland ponies and Jersey cattle. In 1896 the Bushes donated fifteen acres of land to what became Birmingham-Southern College.

The Equal Suffrage Association was organized in Selma in 1910. The suffrage movement in Alabama was slow to develop due to “the great conservativism among women of the South,” as stated by Dr. Anna Howard Shaw. From this beginning, the Birmingham Suffrage Association was formed, then eventually a state convention was organized in Birmingham on 9 October 1912. Mrs. Bush as described as a “Woman Leader” in a Birmingham newspaper; still not much is known about her actual roles in the movement. This is due to the state of Alabama being primarily against suffrage. The first annual state Suffrage Association meeting was held in January of 1913. That year, Mrs. Bush travelled to Budapest to represent the Association during the International Woman Suffrage Alliance gathering.

Both Mr. and Mr. Bush were very active in other community organizations, as well. Mrs. Bush preceded her husband in death, passing away 30 April 1930. She was buried in Birmingham, Alabama, where she loved, lived, and worked to strengthen the rights of women in her state and throughout the nation.

Sources:

“Memorial Records of Alabama”, vol 1. P.585-7

Harper, Ida Husted; History of Women's Suffrage: 1900-1920 vol. 5; Chapter: “Alabama” [LINK]

Alabama Wills and Probate Records, 1753-1999. “Thomas Green Bush”

“Woman Leader is Laid to Rest Here”, Birmingham News 1 May 1930, p.1

“Alberta Williams Bush”; Alabama Deaths and Burials index, 1881-1974. www.ancestry.com

McDonald, Roland, Reference Archivist. Alabama Department of Archives and History

History of Methodism in Alabama and West North Florida, accessed online at https://archive-org.proxy.binghamton.edu/stream/historyofmethodi01laze/historyofmethodi01laze_djvu.txt

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