Ulysses E. “Bud” Bush, 71, passed away Monday, October 8, 2012 at Henry County Hospital after a courageous fight for his love of life. He was born in Henry County, a son of the late James Harvey “Ed” and Adda P. (York) Bush.
He served with the United States Army, with the 21st infantry division during the Cuban crisis and the Vietnam era. He retired in 1993 from Chrysler Corporation after 25 years of service. He was a member of the American Legion.
Bud was a Henry County Cemetery Commissioner and was dedicated to Henry County Genealogy and spent countless hours at the Historical Society helping others do research. He was very instrumental in preserving the up-keep of pioneer cemeteries of Henry County. He designed his own website to help others in locating their family member’s burial sites. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren and being involved in community volunteering, in particular, Day of Caring.
He is survived by his children: Brenda Logan, Tracy Sharp, Aaron (wife, Beth) Bush, and Jami Reese all of New Castle; 9 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and one due in October; 2 brothers: Julian (wife, Joyce) Bush of New Castle, Frank (wife, Judy) Bush of Hagerstown; several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers: Kenneth and James “Jim” Bush.
Memorial services will be at 3:00 PM Saturday, October 13, 2012 at Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service in New Castle with Reverend Steven Dugger officiating. Friends may call from 1-3 PM prior to the memorial service. Memorial contributions may be given to the Henry County Cemetery Commission c/o Henry County Community Foundation, Inc. PO Box 6006, New Castle, IN 47362. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. You may express a condolence or share a memory of Bud at www.hinsey-brown.com.
The History of HCGS
Henry County Genealogical Services (HCGS) began in the summer of 1999 in the small town of New Castle, KY. Ulysses Bush, and his son Aaron (me), traveled 102 miles from New Castle, IN to begin the journey of researching his family history.
He knew the general location of the cemeteries that his ancestors were buried in, but not the exact location. We found a few of the burial sites, but there were a few that were gone or almost impossible to find. Dad decided that he would drive to New Castle, KY, the county seat of Henry County Kentucky, and stop at the local library to find out any information that he could about the location of the remaining cemeteries.
Upon arriving at the library, he immediately headed for the genealogy section and began thumbing through books to find out where his remaining ancestors were buried. He was in luck, he found the names of the remaining cemeteries and proceeded to speak with the librarian about getting directions to the remaining burial places.
It turned out that luck wasn't on his side. The librarian informed him that she would be more than happy to tell him how to get there, for $15 per cemetery! She stated that this was a fee for doing genealogy research. When he told her that he looked up the information and was only asking for directions, that didn't sway her. She was steadfast on selling the directions to someone that she new was from out of town and didn't know his way around the area.
Needless to say, we left the library not knowing where we were headed. We eventually found a few helpful locals that were more than happy to give us directions at no cost. Dad finally found all of his remaining family members in the area and we began our travels back home to New Castle, IN.
During that two hour car ride, HCGS was born. Dad was very upset about the way he had been treated at the library and decided at that point that he wanted to do all that he could to provide genealogy assistance to anyone that asked, at no charge other than the fees he had to pay to get the information in some cases such as copy fees, death certificate fees, etc.
He said "Most of the information is free. The only problem that people have is being able to get to the information." If you have family that is from the other side of the country, you either pay someone to find it for you or go find it yourself.
At this time, dad didn't own a computer. He always asked, "what would I do with a computer at my age?" I had just begun using one at home myself and was overwhelmed at all of the information that was online for anyone to see. I told him about all of the genealogy websites that were out there but they all had one common denominator, they charged a fee. He wasn't against paying someone to find information that he needed help with, he just thought that most of the time they were charging way too much for information that could be looked up by anyone that wanted to take the time.
I had recently returned from a trip to Texas and was at the airport waiting on my flight. I popped into the gift shop to find something to read while I waited. I ended up picking a computer magazine to try to learn more about the amazing machine that I had recently purchased. The cover story was about learning HTML, the computer language used to construct web pages. It looked fairly easy so I decided that I would like to learn more about it. I learned to make very basic web pages. A few pictures, a little text and I was hooked. I spent many hours dissecting other pages to see how they were constructed and eventually I learned enough to put some pages online.
As we talked, I told him that I thought it would be pretty easy to put up a website. We could post basic information about genealogy research options. We could tell people where to look for the information and try to guide them while they searched for clues into their family histories. He didn't want to stop there. He said "all of the death records and probate records were free to lookup. It just takes time sifting through the books to find what you need." He stated that there should be a place where a person could type in a name and find out at least where to look for the information, but there needs to be more.
Dad had recently retired from the Chrysler Corporation. He had all of this new free time on his hands and didn't know what he was going to do with it. He talked about how a few friends that he had worked with had passed away. He said after they retired they just stopped doing anything and decided they would relax in their retirement years. He told me about how a few of the men had died because they went from working to doing nothing. "A person needs to stay active," he said. "I don't want to just sit at home waiting to die."
During the next few weeks, dad spoke with friends and decided he wanted to put up a website. He had been working with the folks from the Henry County Genealogy Society researching his family history. At first, they loved the idea that we had came up with. They thought it would be great to have a place where people could look up where to find information.
HCGS was born in partnership with the Henry County Genealogy Society. We first just had a few pages and a couple of pictures. It started as our Resources page. We only had a few links to other pages. Henry County Genweb, Henry County Historical Society and the Indiana Genealogical Society were the first links that he wanted posted. He had used these places during his research and thought it would be a good place to start.
During the next few months, I discovered that I had created a genealogy monster. Dad was always going to the library, court house and any other place he could find information. He was hooked.
Dad decided that he wanted to start posting some of the things that he had found. He had a list of people that were in the Henry Country Pauper's Asylum from 1900-1919. He found a list of the Hillsboro Cemetery lot owners and burials, as well as the burial permit index for the cemetery.
I was starting to feel overwhelmed by everything he was giving me to post. He was constantly giving me lists of names that were well over 100 listings. It was a tedious task typing out the HTML for every single line of the list. I think I wore out my keyboard typing the same tags over and over. The tags to create a table row, <tr><td>, were probably typed by me at least a hundred thousand times that first year of HCGS. Thankfully, after posting on a forum, one of the users recommended a great program that I'm still using to this day. The program was called UltraEdit. It allowed me to copy and paste dad's lists into the program. Then using the column feature, I only had to type the tags once and then the program would fill them in down the rest of the list. My keyboard and fingers were saved! What once took hours to complete, now took minutes.
For the next few months everything was working out great. He was finding burial lists for cemeteries and posting them. He was posting death records from the Health Department. Any free public information he could get his hands on we wanted to post on his site so others didn't have to take the time to look for it. They could just use the HCGS search feature to instantly find what they were looking for without cost.
It was a huge success. He started getting emails from all over the country thanking him for putting the information online and not charging a fee to search through it. People would tell him how difficult and expensive it was to find the information that he was posting. Almost everyone loved it.
Unfortunately, dad's colleagues at the genealogy society didn't feel the same way as the rest of the world. They demanded that he take the site down because he was giving away what they charged for. Dad was devastated. He actually wanted me to take everything down and close the site for good. He didn't want to make his 'friends' mad. He believed they had the right to sell the information and the right to ask that the site be closed. He was using their name, Henry County Genealogy Society as the name for the site. He didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, he only wanted to help others.
Dad was very upset, I was mad. I told him he was doing a great thing here and I wasn't going to close it down. I didn't care who was asking. Everything he was posting was a matter of public record. They only thing we had to do was change the name of the site.
Dad was worried about getting a new domain name. HCGS was, of course, the acronym for the Henry County Genealogy Society. He didn't want to have to purchase another domain. I told him it was only an acronym and all we had to do was change Genealogy Society to Genealogical Services. There was nothing the society could do once that change was complete.
Dad wrote the HCGS mission statement, and Henry County Genealogical Services was born, again. "This site has been developed to aide the Henry County, IN researcher. This site is not affiliated with any group or organization. I still believe in the concepts of some of the other organizations, but they get too bogged down with power struggles, petty arguments and childish behavior. This site has been put together for the love of Henry County Genealogy, NOT for the power or politics that manage to invade other organizations." UEB.
I'm sure he lost a few friends over that episode. But we knew that he was doing a good thing, and we were not going to stop. He gained many, many more friends by choosing this path.
The site moved on. It grew and grew, and grew. Dad was posting everything he could find that was legal and ethical to post. From 2000 through 2005 dad had added well over 500 pages and more than 700 pictures. He was helping people from all over the world. He would get emails of thanks from places I had never heard of. Where is Seychelles anyway? Well now I know.
During this time dad was featured in a few news stories in the local paper. There was also a very nice article published on Christmas Eve 2001 in the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/24/us/new-preservation-movement-leaves-no-headstone-unturned.html. Mr. Peter Kilborn traveled to Henry County to write the story and spent a couple of days getting the cemetery tour from dad. Mr. Kilborn was so impressed by all of the holiday displays that it inspired him to do another story. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/25/us/christmas-2001-santa-snowmen-and-old-glory.html?src=pm
In 2006, dad started having health problems and the site slowed down a bit. He would do what he could. He still managed to get out and do research. He would attend meetings of the Henry County Cemetery Commission which he helped to create. He would still go sit in the courthouse basement looking through records. He loved going to the museum and visiting with the great friends he had made there. Everyone knew him and everyone loved him.
He received a few community awards for his work and dedication. In 2008 he was recognized by the Cemetery Commission for his dedication to cemetery preservation. In 2009 he received the Henry County Hoosier Hospitality Award. He was very upset that he was unable to attend the ceremony but I was honored to be able to be there for him to accept it on his behalf.
He always thought it was funny. He had worked so hard that people believed he had a huge organization that was doing all of this research and posting all of this useful information on the internet. When in fact it was one man. One very special man. Ulysses Bush, Bud, UEB, Dad.
He proudly displayed his awards and news articles on his wall. He loved having people visit and talk about genealogy. He had a small genealogy library. Many inquiries could be resolved by rolling his chair across the floor and opening a book. People were amazed by how quick he would answer their emails.
On October 8, 2012 dad lost the battle he had been fighting for so long. All of his family was by his side. We all got to tell him that we love him. We know that he heard us because as he breathed his last breath, he also shed his last tear.
I love you dad! I will miss you every day of my life. You have made me who I am today and I will always be grateful for everything that you taught me. I know that you are in Heaven and I know you aren't sick any more. I will always remember you as the great man that you were.
In dad's honor, I will keep his website up and running. I'm afraid I can't really do the research that dad did. I will keep all of his hard work and dedication online for all to use in the search of their Henry County history. It will never cost anything for people to use the site. The site will never be sold to a for-profit website. He was actually made an offer from a couple of big-name sites to buy his site. But of course he refused. He loved what he had created. We love what he created.
If you would like to contact me with any questions, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you about how dad has helped you or affected your life. I would also like to continue posting things like Pioneer Photos. If you have any photos you would like to share, please send them. I will also post any other information about Henry County history that is sent to me. Although I don't have the time to find the information, I do have the time to post it on the site.
Thanks to all of you. You gave dad a reason to stay active and live his life to the fullest in his retirement years. I will always be grateful. You brought us closer together by encouraging him to continue with the site.
Thank you Dad. I will always love you and I will miss you forever!
Oct. 14, 2012