Jesse Rush, First Settler of Elkhart County, Indiana

I will be writing a series of blogs highlighting the first settlers of Elkhart County. I will be using the book titled “History of Elkhart County, Indiana”, Chicago: Charles C. Chapman &Co., 1881 for my source.

The first settler of Elkhart County was Jesse Rush.  Jesse was born May 1791 in Pennsylvania. At the age of 19, Jesse moved to Darke County, Ohio. He then moved on to Miami County, Ohio where he married Mary Sumption on April 12, 1812.

 Traveling from Ohio in a wagon with a team of four oxen, Jesse, Mary and their son Peter arrived in Elkhart County on May 18, 1826. Jesse and Mary had nine children. In 1881, it was reported in the” History of Elkhart County” there were seven Rush children living in Elkhart County, one son living in Alabama, and one son living on the old homestead.

Jesse was a voter in the first election in the Elkhart area. He also aided in building the first school and church in Elkhart County. He helped in laying out Elkhart County and Elkhart City, along with helping to form the city and county government.

In 1838, there was a cholera epidemic in Elkhart County. All of his family fell victim to the disease and recovered. Jesse was the only person in his family to succumb to the illness. Jesse died in Elkhart County on September 3, 1838.


About hoosierbeth

I have been researching my ancestors, your ancestors and everybody else's since 1981.
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7 Responses to Jesse Rush, First Settler of Elkhart County, Indiana

  1. Rachele Rush Plencner says:


    Ive just begun researching my Rush ancestory. I dont even know where to begin. Do you have any more Rush information or suggestions?

  2. hoosierbeth says:

    Thank you for your comment! The only information I have on Jesse is from the “History of Elkhart County Indiana”. I have to make a correction to the post I made. Jesse came from Darke County, Ohio to Elkhart County, Indiana.

    I used the Google book search engine to find the information for my post. If you log onto the Google book search engine and enter Jesse’s name, you will find three or four hits on his life and family line. If you have specific questions about the family, I would be happy to go to the Elkhart Public Library and do a look-up for you. I might be able to find obituaries, cemetery listings, or other information in the WPA books. Just let me know!

  3. Michael Rush says:

    I have extensive information of my g-g-g grandfather Jesse Rush, if you need any additional information.

    • Rachele says:


      Thank you so much for posting. I believe that Jesse is my great-(????) grandfather also but am not confident and not sure if there are 3 or 4 “greats”. My search leads to Jesse (1791), Peter (1824), Oliver (1874) and then my grandfather Kenneth (1902). It seems as though there should be someone between Peter (who married Susan Heasley) and my great-grandfather Oliver. Do you have any information on this line?

      • Michael Rush says:


        There is no one in between. Susan was Peter’s second wife, and Oliver was his son.
        Peter’s first wife (Mary “Polly” Livengood Deford), and their 3 children, seem to have “disappeared” after the 1870 census. Maybe they divorced, or all died from disease (which was quite common back then). It is a mystery I have not been able to solve. Cannot find Mary or the children on any census after.

  4. hoosierbeth says:

    Thank you Mike! Hopefully Rachele will see your comment and contact you.

  5. Jeff Bailey says:

    I am hunting for a record of items found in the Elkhart Museum, during the 1800’s I have a death mask ,Thought to be of Pierre Moran. I was told it came from the Miles Lab. personal collection. Most of the items in the collection came from Franklin Miles, Beardsley or the Comptons The collection was dispersed in the 1970’s when Bayer purchased Miles. The museum was in Elkhart and Miles was a director at one time. I think the mask was moved to the Miles collection after 1900.

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