William Bristow, a well known Methodist minister of Baldwin, was born on a farm in Montgomery county, Kentucky, Sept. 28, 1837, a son of Joseph H. and Ann (Smith) Bristow. The father was born in Kentucky on Mar. 31, 1813, and died at Baldwin, Kan., Mar. 31, 1896. The mother died in Kentucky in 1871. They were married about 1835, and became the parents of five childrenThomas, William, Margaret A., Andrew W. and Sarah M.all deceased except William and Margaret A.
William Bristow was educated in the public schools of Bath county, Kentucky, and lived with his father until the breaking out of the Civil war, when he enlisted in Company K, Twenty-fourth infantry, and served three years and four months. Two fingers of his right hand were shot off in battle, which was the only casualty he suffered during his military service. His regiment went under Buell through the campaigns of Pittsburg Landing and Corinth, thence through northern Alabama and back through Tennessee into Kentucky, then under Burnside, it crossed the Cumberland Mountains into East Tennessee and, after the siege of Knoxville, Mr. Bristow was transferred to Company B, Engineer battalion of the Twenty-third corps in which position he served until after the Atlanta campaign, when he went back to his regiment and to Kentucky, for muster out. Prior to the war he had taught several terms of school. After the war he farmed for one year in Clinton county, Indiana, after which he returned to Kentucky and taught for two years. In 1867, he joined the Kentucky conference of the Methodist Episcopal church and for four years was a circuit rider. He was ordained a deacon in 1867, and an elder in 1871. In the latter year he was transferred to the Kansas conference by Bishop Clark, and was assigned to the church at Fredonia where he built the first Methodist house of worship in Wilson county. His active work in Kansas includes three years at Fredonia; one year at Eureka; two years at Hartford; one year at Coyville; three years at Howard; and one year at Elk Falls, where he became superannuated on account of impaired health and since then has not filled a regular assignment. In 1883, he became a resident of Baldwin, where he still lives. He is a Republican in his political affiliations; was superintendent of the forestry station at Ogallah, Kan., in 1895-96, and now holds the office of justice of the peace and a commission as notary public. In 1897 he was a clerk in the office of the Denver division of the postal service; was then transferred to the United States Indian service, where he remained for three years during which time he was a clerk at the Mescalero agency, New Mexico. He resigned in 1901, and returned to his home in Baldwin. Mr. Bristow is a member of the Masonic fraternity and has been honored by being elected worshipful master of his lodge. He has been married three times. His first marriage was with Savannah Little, on Nov. 4, 1858. To this union were born two childrenSarah Ann, born on Oct. 2, 1859, died at Moline, Kan., in 1882; and Joseph Little, born July 22, 1861, one of the United States senators from Kansas. The mother of these two children died April 9, 1868, and on May 2, 1871, Mr. Bristow married Miss Ellen Longwell, a teacher, of Fredonia, Kan. She died at Baldwin on Nov. 8, 1887, having borne her husband four children: John H., born Jan. 11, I874, died in June, 1886; William M., born Aug. 8, 1876, is engaged in mining in Montana; Bertha F., born Mar. 27, 1879, is the official court reporter at Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Hattie E., born June 2, 1882. Mr. Bristow's third marriage was with Mrs. Mary J. Powell of Baldwin, the ceremony being solemnized on Dec. 13, 1892.Pages 391-392 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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