Alva Bush was born in New York State in 1830. He married Elizabeth Jane Moore (Eliza Jane) who was also born in New York.
Alva was the second of six children born to Selden Frost Bush and Florina Blackman. After Florina’s death in 1844, Selden remarried and had five more children with his second wife, Mary Hemstead.
Alva was a Baptist minister who originally settled in Fayette County Iowa and taught school at Upper Iowa University. In 1862 he moved his young family to Osage, Iowa in Mitchell County and opened Cedar Valley Seminary in January 1863. Many tributes in the Mitchell County Press attest to Reverend Bush’s skill as a teacher and he was much loved by his students.
He died on June 26, 1881 and is buried in the Osage Cemetery. An article about the marker erected for his grave notes that the granite marker was provided at cost by Mr. Wall of West Mitchell, because he remembered the days when ALva Bush served the small Baptist Church in West Mitchell, before moving to Osage to start Cedar Valley Seminary.