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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Donald Livingston Brush

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 183-184 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Portraits | Illustrations | Maps

Donald Livingston Brush, one of the younger attorneys of Herkimer county and present judge of the Herkimer County Children's Court, was born in the village of Herkimer, November 10, 1890. His father was the late Abram S. Brush, a native of Nyack, New York, and a graduate of Harvard Law School, class of 1884. Judge Brush's mother, Mary E. (Quackenbush) Brush, is now living in this village. She is a gifted writer, being the author of numerous juvenile books and stories, among which the following have had wide circulation, viz.: "Paul and Persis", "Sarah Dakota", "The Scarlet Patch", "Island Patty", and "Little Maid of Doubting Castle", many of which are rich in the early history of the Mohawk valley. Judge Brush's ancestors were among the very early settlers of the state, several having served with the Continental army in the Revolutionary war.

After graduation from the local high school Judge Brush received his A. B. degree from Hope College, Holland, Michigan, and later (1918) graduated from the Albany Law School with honors. Four years were also spent as high school teacher and principal. After building up a good general practice and serving four years as justice of the peace of the town of Herkimer, he was elected the first judge of the newly created Children's Court, which office he has held since December 1, 1923. His knowledge of juvenile psychology and interest in boys and girls, acquired during his experience as a high school teacher, have been of as much value to him in this work as his technical knowledge of the law. Indeed, it would be difficult to find a trained lawyer anywhere better fitted for this responsible position, for tact and an understanding of child nature is fully as important as the legal aspects of the work if a juvenile court is to be a real constructive force in the community.

At Holland, Michigan, on June 24, 1915, Mr. Brush and Miss Agnes Visscher were united in marriage. Her people are of Dutch parentage and were among the early settlers in western Michigan. Judge Brush has one brother, Dr. H. R. Brush, who is head of the Department of Romance Languages at the University of California.

Judge and Mrs. Brush are interested in the welfare of the community, being members of the Reformed church of Herkimer, the former at present being one of the officers of the church. Mrs. Brush is secretary of the Progressive Club of Herkimer. Judge Brush is affiliated with the Masonic lodge and the local lodge, I. O. O. F., and he is a member of the Herkimer Exchange Club and various other organizations. He is a republican in politics.

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