Family Heritage
Individual Family Members            Josiah Glidden Poem
mary Elva Glidden Bush

Elva Frances Glidden was born December 29, 1851, in DeKalb, or Buena Vista as it was called then. She was the only child born to Joseph and Lucinda Warne Glidden.

Initially educated in local schools, Elva later attended St. Xavier Academy in Chicago, where she was taught by the Sisters of Mercy.

At the age of 25, Elva married William Henry Bush Jr. (1849-1931), an ambitious young entrepreneur who was a wholesale dealer of hats, caps, and gloves in Chicago. The couple was joined together in a Thursday evening wedding in the west parlor of the Glidden home on February 1, 1877. The bride was “magnificently dressed in white silk en train, and elaborately trimmed.” Flowers and greenbrier vine adorned the family home. A lavish wedding supper was spread in the dining room, while an orchestra in the hall provided a musical background.

The newlyweds moved to Chicago after their marriage. At one time the Bush home was located at 606 N. State Street, near the south end of Lincoln Park. William and Elva were active in the Chicago social scene and were members of the Fourth Presbyterian Church; Elva joined the Chicago Woman’s Club. The couple never had children.

On land that Joseph Glidden farmed about five miles south of DeKalb, the town of Elva was founded in 1884 when the Chicago & North Western Railroad established a station there. No Glidden family members ever lived here, but Joseph named the town in honor of his daughter. Located on Elva Road between South First Street and Route 23, the little town of fewer than a dozen residences was home to a church and several businesses: a general store, creamery, coal yard, lumberyard, grain elevator, post office, and saloon.

In July 1895, the Bushes welcomed Elva’s mother, Lucinda Glidden, into their home. Lucinda was suffering from cancer and remained in Chicago until her death in late October. Elva would also fall victim to cancer. At the age of 54 years, after several months of illness, she died at her Chicago home on May 19, 1906. Elva was laid to rest in the Glidden family mausoleum in Fairview Cemetery in DeKalb.

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