Bush Brothers and Company: Getting It Right!


| 2/24/2011 12:57:50 PM


Tags: ecology, water conseration, manufacturing, travel, tourism, Allan Douglas,

A photo of Allan DouglasThese days a lot of large, industrial companies take it on the chin for their lack of concern over ecologic and community issues.  Bush Brothers & Company, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, with processing plants in Chestnut Hill, Tennessee, and Augusta, Wisconsin, is not one of those.  But that’s not surprising given the values and community concern of the company’s founder.

 A History of Bush Brothers & Company 

In 1867 Andrew Jackson “A.J.” Bush was born in the community of Chestnut Hill Tennessee, where he lived for most of his life, leaving only to receive a college education at nearby Carson-Newman College. 

 In 1891 A.J. married Sallie and they rapidly produced 6 children; four boys and two girls.  Both A.J. and Sallie had a deep interest in their community and love for their family.  In addition to being a mother of 6, Sallie acted as a midwife and nursemaid as well as training young girls the fine art of proper household management.  A.J. had been a school teacher since graduating college, and was elected to the local school board.

 A.J. was always looking for ways to help his community and had developed an interest in the trade business.  He decided to serve both interests by creating the A.J. Bush & Company General Store, which provided a convenient location for local residents to barter for goods that were not locally produced, as well as a training ground and legacy for his children to insure they would have a livelihood when grown.

 But A.J. wanted to do more for his community; its residents needed jobs.  He decided to open a hosiery factory; such a factory would provide many good jobs and hosiery was something that sold well.  As he worked on the building, word of his plans made their way to the Stokely Brothers Tomato Cannery in Newport Tennessee, and they approached A.J. with an offer: if he would provide the building and staff, they would provide the canning equipment to open a cannery instead of a hosiery factory.  In 1904 A.J. Bush partnered with Stokely Brothers and the cannery was opened, providing needed jobs to Bush family members and the tiny community of Chestnut Hill.  In 1908 A.J. bought out the Stokely Brothers’ interest of the partnership and formed a new partnership with his two eldest sons, Fred and Claude as Bush Brothers & Company.  The General Store continued to serve the community well as mercantile and social center, a place were locals would gather around the wood fired stove to exchange tall tales.

tommy coffey
7/21/2011 7:20:37 PM

WE JUST GOT BACK FROM VACATION AT PIGEON FORGE. WE WENT IN ON HWY 441 AND SAW THE PLANT AND THE MUSEUM AND DECIDED TO STOP WHEN WE CAME BACK THROUGH ON OUR WAY HOME. WE ARE GLAD WE DID, WE GOT TO SEE HOW MUCH WE WEIGH IN BEANS (LOL) AND WE GOT TO SEE THE MOVIE ABOUT HOW BUSH BEANS WERE STARTED AND WHAT THEIR CORE VALUES ARE. IT ALMOST MADE A TEAR COME TO MY EYE WHEN THEY SAID THEY EMPLOY 300 TO 400 PEOPLE AT THAT PLANT. THEY REALLY ARE SOME GOOD COMPANIES LEFT IN THE USA AND I BELIEVE BUSH BEANS IS ONE OF THEM. IF I LIVED IN THAT AREA I WOULD TRY TO GET A JOB TO WORK THERE IN A HEART BEAT. I WILL BE EATING MORE OF YOUR BEANS. THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOU DO IN YOUR COMMUNITY AND FOR THE WORK YOU DO FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. YOU GUYS ARE GREAT.


karla
3/28/2011 1:57:43 PM

That was great. I am from the textile companies that have been wiped out here and the history and giving back of any company is still one of my main interests. The McCreary's here in the Shoals area were a very giving family. The owners of the main tee shirts factories here. http://karlawithakg.blogspot.com/


allan douglas
3/4/2011 10:42:29 AM

Hi Dave, I was really impressed with their commitment to community and to family. Even today it's not *just* about making money. They give alot back too. Thanks for stopping in!


nebraska dave
2/25/2011 3:12:08 PM

@Allan, that's quite the history behind the Bush bean family secret recipe. I'll always think about what is behind the can of beans when I buy my beans. They really do have great taste and quality. Thanks for the stroll down the history lane of Bush Beans. Have a great day.





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