Leroy Bishop, a successful farmer and stockman, of Lyon township, came to Kansas in 1872, and settled one mile east of Delphos, where his father had homesteaded. Mr. Bishop is a native of Vermont, born near Reedsboro, in 1853. He is a son of Joy and Rohanna (Stearns) Bishop.
His father was Joy Bishop, Jr., and his place of nativity was also Reedsboro, Vermont. He was born February 12, 1815. He was a Universalist minister for more than fifty years. He began his ministerial career in 1840, and was pastor for several societies in the states of Vermont and Massachusetts. In 1856 he moved to Iowa, where he organized societies at Valley Farm, Strawberry Point, Greely and other places. In 1871 he emigrated to Kansas, where he did excellent work as an evangelist in Delphos and other towns. He was also a great temperance worker and organized many societies for this cause. No man was more universally loved and respected in this part of the state than Reverend Bishop. Through his labors the society was organized at Delphos, and he was chiefly instrumental in building the first Universalist church in that town, which blew down in the cyclone of 1879, and replacing it with another church edifice. He was a prominent Odd Fellow and received a medal of honor - a veteran jewel - for twenty-five years of active service, a gift from the Odd Fellows grand lodge, which he esteemed very highly.
Leroy Bishop is a grandson of Joy Bishop, Sr., who was born in North Haven, Connecticut, about 1725 and served through the Revolutionary War under General Washington. He married Abigal Blakely. They were married young, moved to Vermont in 1790, where they purchased one hundred acres of timber; cleared the land, built a small log house and reared their family of fourteen children. In this humble home, where the mother spun the flax they raised and converted it into clothing, Joy Bishop, Jr., was born.
Leroy Bishop's great grandfather, with his two brothers, came to America from England in 1650, and settled at North Haven, Connecticut. Leroy Bishop began his career by farming. His intentions were to go to Chicago and become a machinist, but he came to Kansas and in the spring of 1874, was induced by circumstances to buy the homestead of Horace Wilson. Although he experienced some drawbacks with grasshoppers, prairie fires, drouths and various other things, he does not regret having established himself in Cloud county.
One year be had all his hay and much of his corn destroyed by prairie fire. He began existence in Kansas in a 9x11 dugout, and this was large enough after being furnished with a bed, organ and other necessary furniture, to accommodate another family. The next season he hauled lumber from Clay Center and erected a small frame house, where they almost froze to death. It was not nearly so warm as the dugout. It was built of green cottonwood, which shrunk and left great cracks for the Kansas zephyrs to swirl through.
Mr. Bishop has made most of his money in raising corn and feeding cattle and hogs. His cattle are of the Hereford breed and he has at present (1901) about ninety head. His farm consists of four hundred acres. A handsome two-story residence and a barn 28x50 feet, a good apple orchard of about two hundred trees, a large peach orchard with about twenty different varieties of budded fruit: plums, cherries, raspberries, etc.
The magnificent growth of trees that surround and shadow their stately home from the blistering summer sun, were set out by Mr. and Mrs. Bishop in 1876, and have made a wonderful growth. In the spring of the Centennial year, to commemorate that event, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop each planted a cottonwood slip, which have made an enormous growth, one of them measuring twelve and one-half feet and the other eleven and one-half feet in circumference and are about sixty feet in height. Many squirrels play through their branches and it is nothing unusual to see the sportive fox and gray squirrel gamboling over the roofs of the out buildings.
Mr. Bishop was married in 1873, to Ida E. Ostrander, a daughter of John E. Ostrander, who came to Kansas in 1872, and settled about four miles northeast of Delphos. Mr. and Mrs. Bishop's family consists of a son and daughter. Leon Clare, is a graduate of the Delphos high school, class of 1897. He is in the employ of a publishing company. Ida Rowena is taking a course in music in Washburn College, Topeka. She is on her second year and is pursuing both voice culture and instrumental. Her voice is high soprano. The family are members of the Universalist church at Delphos. Mr. Bishop votes the Populist ticket. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., of Delphos.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project