Bush, Ira Jefferson (1865–1939)

By: Cheryl Ellis Vaiani

Type: Biography

Published: November 1, 1994

Updated: October 26, 2019

Ira Jefferson Bush, frontier physician, was born in 1865 on his grandfather's plantation in Lawrence, Mississippi, the oldest son of Rev. Thomas Deloach and Emily (Price) Bush's ten children. He attended public schools and the University of Mississippi, and graduated in 1890 from Louisville Medical College. His first patients were from the cotton plantations of Alto, Louisiana, on the banks of the Boeuf River. After he had swamp fever, on the advice of his doctor to find a better environment for his health, he established a practice at Fort Davis, Jeff Davis County, Texas, in 1891. The army abandoned the post a few months after his arrival, and in 1893 Bush took over the practice of a medical school classmate in Pecos. There he served as surgeon for two railroad companies and was the county health officer. In the summer of 1899 he moved to El Paso. Hobbies of big game hunting and archeological exploration led him to visit Mexico frequently. He served several years as the company doctor for mining and lumber interests in Temósachic, Chihuahua, and elsewhere in Mexico, before returning to El Paso. As a close friend of Francisco (Pancho) Villa, Bush served as chief surgeon general of the insurrectionist army during the Mexican Revolution. He was a member of the El Paso County Medical Society, the State Medical Association of Texas, and the American Medical Association. He married Bertha Henderson in 1907. They had no children. Bush died on March 10, 1939, in an El Paso hospital.

Ira Jefferson Bush, Gringo Doctor (Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, 1939).

  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Cheryl Ellis Vaiani, “Bush, Ira Jefferson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/bush-ira-jefferson.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994
October 26, 2019

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