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Accession Number 1900.001
Catalog Number 1900.001.041
Object Name Painting
Title Portrait of Asa Bushnell
Description Ohio's 40th governor, Asa Bushnell, served from 1896 to 1900. He is seen front-on in a three-quarter length portrait. He wears a long, dark-brown coat with a white shirt and a brown tie. He has a red pin in his proper left lapel. He has gray hair parted in the middle and a full gray moustache. He stands against a mottled green and brown background.
Date 1899
Artist Fauley, Albert C., 1858-1919
Notes Asa Smith Bushnell was born in Rome, New York, in 1834. His family moved from New York to Ohio when Bushnell was eleven years old. He briefly attended public school in Cincinnati but had little formal education beyond that. Bushnell's family was involved in the Underground Railroad, and one cousin was arrested for participating in the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue Case. Bushnell began to live independently at a young age and did not participate in his family's efforts to help runaway slaves.

When Bushnell was seventeen years old, he moved to Springfield, Ohio, where he became a clerk in a dry goods store. Within a few years, he obtained a position as a bookkeeper at a local business. In 1857, Bushnell married Ellen Ludlow and joined his father-in-law's drug store as a partner. Throughout much of the American Civil War, Bushnell continued his business pursuits. In the summer of 1864, he became a captain of a "hundred-day" infantry company, which was assigned to picket duty in the Shenandoah Valley.

After the war ended, Bushnell became a partner in a company that manufactured agricultural implements. He was a prominent member of the community, serving as president of the First National Bank of Springfield and the Springfield Gas Company at various times. He also invested in street railways and telephone companies in Springfield.

In addition to his business interests, Bushnell began to work for the state Republican Party. He helped Joseph Foraker win the election for governor in 1885. His efforts were rewarded in the following decade, when Foraker and George B. Cox helped him to obtain the Republican nomination for governor. Bushnell successfully ran against James E. Campbell in 1896. He won by more than 90,000 votes and became Ohio's fortieth governor. He was reelected to a second term beginning in 1898, but his margin of victory was smaller.

Bushnell's two terms as governor were busy years for the state and the nation. Some Progressive legislation was passed that required better working conditions for women and limited child labor in the state. The legislature also enacted some corporate taxes during this era that provided revenue for the state. In addition, Bushnell's attorney general pursued the monopolistic practices of the Standard Oil Company in the courts, and the General Assembly addressed the issue of trusts in the Valentine Act. The governor helped Joseph Foraker in his successful campaign to be elected to the United States Senate. Governor Bushnell also nominated Republican political boss Marcus Hanna to be a senator in 1897. Bushnell was governor when the United States entered the Spanish-American War in 1898. He was proud to claim that Ohio sent the first volunteer units to participate in the war.

Bushnell retired from politics when he left the governorship in January 1900. He returned to his home in Springfield, where he resumed his business interests. Bushnell eventually sold his agricultural machinery company to the International Harvester Company. He continued to play an important role in the development of Springfield and was a strong advocate of a plan to build an interurban railway that would connect the city to other communities in the area. Bushnell died in January 15th, 1904 in Columbus, Ohio.
People Bushnell, Asa Smith, 1834-1904
Fauley, Albert C., 1858-1919
Signed Name "AC Fauley--1899--"
Sig Loc Lower right
Image size 56" x 38"
Frame size 61-1/2" x 43-3/4"
Material Oil Paint/Canvas/Wood
Provenance In 1867, the Ohio General Assembly passed a joint resolution relative to the governors of Ohio. The legislators resolved that "the secretary of state, on the first Monday of January next, whether the portraits of the governors of Ohio, state and territorial, can be procured, and if so, whether original portraits or copies, and the probable expense of procuring such portraits for the governor's office."

The 1901 Annual Report of the Ohio Auditor shows a payment of $500 to A.C. Fauley on January 2, 1900 for the portrait of Governor Bushnell. The payment came from the Miscellaneous Disbursements of the Revenue Fund.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board took over the care of the Statehouse and its collections in 1988.
Search Terms Ohio Governor
Ohio Governor's Portraits
Subjects Governors
Portrait paintings
Collection Statehouse Artwork Collection/Governors' Portraits