Revolutionary War.   James Bristow served in Captain John Mitchell’s Company, Virginia, as a Volunteer.  

1788,  28 April.     Elijah Bristow born in Virginia  Mountains, Tazewell County, Virginia, [28 June 1813].

Parents:  James (1752-June 1818) and Delilah Elkins (?-1795/1812),  mar. ca. 1780, Maryland.

                                   2nd mar.: Elizabeth Clevenger. date?

 1805.  James and wife (name?) moved to Cumberland County, KY.  [Elijah 17 y.o.]

[Ref: Woolley]

 1811-1812               War of 1812. 

Elijah Bristow (24 y.o.) served as a sharpshooter for General Johnson at Talladega, and later in Tennessee. [Ref: Woolley].

Pioneer Index notes state :  “Elijah Bristow, Pvt., under Col. Edward Bradley and Captain John Kennedy.  Riflemen.  AWOL.”

 Also noted:  Eliza Bristow, Pvt., served under Col. Wm. Hall and Capt. John Kennedy, Volunteer Infantry.        

 1812, Nov. 7            Elijah Bristow (24 y.o.) mar. Susannah Gabbert (b. 23 Aug 1791) in Overton Co., Tenn..

Children, all of Overton County:     

  •       1. Twins: James and
  •                        2. Michael,         born  28 June 1813
  •       3. John Kennedy     b. 26 Mar  1814
  •       4. Elizabeth Elkins b. 19 Oct  1815
  •       5. Sarah Brown          b. 11 May  1817
  •        6. Abel King            b. 6  Jan  1819


1814, Mar 26            Birthdate for John Kennedy Bristow.  John Kennedy was named  after the Captain of his father’s Regiment.                        [Ref: Woolley, p. 43-44].

1819/1820               Elijah, Susannah and the first 6 kids moved to Cumberland  County, KY.

1820  Census            Cumberland County, CLD 152.

1820-1826               4 more Bristow Children are born in Cumberland  County:

  •  7. Mary Ann (Polly) b. 28 Oct  1820
  •  8. Delilah Cherry   b. 26 Jan  1822
  •  9. Henry Gabbert  b. 21 Aug  1824
  • 10. William Wil(k)shire 18 July 1826

                        [Ref: Woolley. p. 43-44.]


1817 Division of Illinois into districts.

1819  The establishment of medical society(s)

1821  Act for mode of licensure barring payments to anyone unlicensed.

                    Acts ca. 1824-1845?

Five more attempts would be made to control medical practitioners, leading to passage of the 1868 Act for better regulation.                                 


1827              Family moved to Macoupin County, Ill.

                        5 more children are born, 3 survived:

  •                               11. still born son   b. 1827
  •                               12. Catherine Sims   b. 21 Sep 1828
  •                               13. Elijah Lafayette b.  2 Jan 1833
  •                Twins:  14. Zilphia Etna  b.  9 Mar 1834
  •                               15. Still born son.

 [Ref: Woolley, p. 43-44.]

1830 Census       McDonough County Geographical Portion of  Schuyler County, Ill.

                        “7N 4W” (Cor. of Henderson, Hancock, and McDonough Counties.)

Elijah Bristoe

  • 1 male less than five. (Wm. Wilshire)
    1 male 5 and over, less than 10 (Henry    Gabbert)   
  • 1 male 10-15 (Abel King)
  • 1 male 15-20 (John Kennedy, 16 y.o.)
  • none   20-30, 30-40, 40-50.
  • 1 male 50-60 (Elijah)
  • none for the rest. 
  • 1 female  less than 5 (Catherine Sims)
  • 1 female   5-10 (Delilah Cherry)
  • 3 females 10-15 (Polly, Sarah, Betsy)
  • no female 15-20
  • 1 female  20-30 (?)
  • none        30-40
  • 1 female  40-50 (Susannah? Sister-in-     law?)
  • none for the rest.


Post 1834               Elijah Bristow Family moved to McDonough Co., Ill.       [JKB 20 y.o. or older]

1835 +8/-3 years  John Kennedy Bristow begins learning  medicine.  Apprenticed by a neighbor for 2 years.  Medical apprenticehsips are a 3-year program in the McDonough County region of Illinois.

Related medical practitioners:

Dr. Michael Gabbert, Kentucky and Dr. Benjamin Gabbert, both known as “Dr” 1812, ca. 1815/1820. [War Records?]   The eldest son of George Gabbert was also a doctor, perhaps trained by his uncles.

Waller Massie b. ca. 1816  Not yet a Physician?

Edmund Green Browning (b. 19 Aug, 1816, Tenn), son of David and Vashti West Browning, also learned medicine by 1850; (although census does not indicate this).  Teacher for Bristow and Massie.

      E.G. Browning emigrated to Oregon, staying in Myrtle Creek.  He was married to Nancy Callison in 1840, in Ill.



       By 1840, there were around thirty M.D. medical schools, with a total of around 2500 students.  A typical program consisted of two courses (three at the University of Virginia), and the length of each course was ten months.  It typically took three years to accomplish these studies in most American medical schools.



      New Medical Schools up until the 1840s

         (as listed in the Polk Directory)

                        Programs [cumulative sums], given in the following order:     M.D. –   Eclectic  –  Botanical Medicine

  • 1760-90s  4 [4]             
  • 1800s   2  [6]     
  • 1810s   6   [12]
  • 1820s  11 [33]    
  • 1830s  10 [43]   –  3 (’32’34,’39)   –   1 (1839)
  • 1840s   5 [48]     –  1 (1848)            1 (1840)
  • 1850s   1 [49]


Alternative Medical Schools of the 19th Century

         (as listed in the Polk Directory)

Programs [cumulative sums], in the following order:  Bot. Med. –  Eclectic – –    Homeopathy  Physio-med.

  • 1830s   1 (’39)      3                   —                        —
  • 1840s   1 (’40)      5 [8]           3 (’48,’49)        —
  • 1850s   1 (Thom.)    4 [12]    2 [5]                 —
  • 1860s   —               3 [15]          2 [7]               1
  • 1870s   —               5-6 [20]    8 [15]            1+*
  • 1880s   —               5 [25]         2 [17]            2 [4]

            * — two schools  dedicated just to electrotherapy were opened.

1834/35  Medical Schools available vs. an apprenticeship.

Before 1834/35, 31 medical schools were available.  The following are the earliest schools (sum 44 schools).

 Wash. D.C. 

  •       National Medical College, Medical Department,   Columbia University.     Org. 1821, 1st class 1822.


  •       Medical College of Georgia, Augusta.    Org. 1829.
  •       Southern Botanico-Medical College, Forsythe.    Org. 1839, 1st class 1841.        Botanic.


  •       Rush Medical College, Jacksonville.        Org. 1842, 1st class 1843.       Medical Department, Illinois College,     Jacksonville.       1843.


  •       University of Indiana, New Albany.        Org. 1833.  Extinct by time of Polk’s writings.


  •       None.


  • Transylvania Univeristy, Medical Department, Lexington.   Org. 1817, 1st class 1850/9.

Univ. of Louisville, Louisville.  Org. 1837.

  • Eclectic Medial College, Louisville.  From ? — to ca. 1848.


  • Tulane University, Medical Department, New Orleans.  Org. 1834.


  • Medical School of Maine, Bowdoin College, Brunswick.  Org. 1820, 1st class 1821.


  • University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.  Org. 1807, 1st class 1810.


  • Harvard University, Medical School, Boston.  Org. 1782, 1st class 1783.
  • Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield.  Org. 1824.


  • None.


  • Missouri Medical College, St. Louis.  Org. 1840, 1st class ca. 1845(?).
  • St. Louis Medical College, St. Louis.  Org. 1841.
  • Univ. State of Missouri Medical School, Columbia.  Org. 1845, 1st class 1846.

New Hampshire.

  • Dartmouth College, Medical Department, Hanover.  Org. 1797, 1st class 1798.

New Jersey.

  • None???

New York.

  • College of Physicians and Surgeons, of NYC.  First estab 1767, Org. 1807, 1st class ca. 1811.
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Western New York, Fairfield.  Org. 1812.
  • New Medical Institute (Queens College).  Org. 1814, –1830.
  • NY Reformed Medical College (Eclectic), NYC.  Org 1834, –1838.  Eclectic.
  • NY School of Medicine, NYC.  Org. 1831.

Also Auburn, Geneva (1830), Albany (1838) schools.

North Carolina

  • University of North Carolina, Medical Department, Chapel Hill.  Org. 1796, 1st class???


  • Medical College of Ohio, Cinncinati.  Org. 1819, 1st class 1821.
  • Worthington Medical College, Cinn,.  Org. 1834.
  • Cinn. Med. Coll, Cinn.  Org. 1834.
  • Willoughby University, Medical Department, Willoughby.  Org. 1835, 1st class ?
  • Botanic-medical College, Cinn.  Org. 1840.   Name was changed to Physio-medical college 1850.  Botanic.
  • American Medical College (Eclectic), Cinn.  Org. 1839.  Eclectic.


  • Department of Medicine, Univ. of Penn., Philadelphia.  Org. 1765, 1st class 1768.
  • Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.  Org. 1826, 1st class 1827.
  • Pennsylvania Medical College, Philadelphia.   Org. 1839.  Extinct by time of Polk’s writings.

Rhode Island.

  • Brown University, Medical Department, Providence.  Org 1811–1827.

South Carolina

  • Medical College of South Carolina, Charleston.  Org. 1824–1839.
  • Medical College of the State of South Carolina, Charleston.  Org. 1833. 


  • None.


  • University of Vermont, Medical Department, Burlington.  Org. 1822, 1st class 1823.
  • Vermont Medical College, Woodstock.  Org. 1827.
  • Castleton Medical College, Castleton.  Org. 1818, by Oct. 29th, 1818 State Act.


    • Univ. Virginia Medical Department, Charlottseville.  Org. 1825, 1st class 1828.
    • Medical School Valley of Virginia, Winchester.  Org. 1826.
    • Medical College of Virginia, Richmond.  Org. 1838, 1st class 1840.




  • California Medical College, Oakland California.  Org. 1879.


  • Bennett College, Eclectic Medicine and Surgery, Chicago.   Org. 1868, 1st class 1869.
  • Indiana Eclectic Medical College, Indianapolis.  Org. 1880.


  • Beach Medical College, Indianapolis.   Org. 1883.


  • Iowa Medical College (Eclectic), Drake University, Des Moines.  Org. 1883, 1st class 1884.


  • King Eclectic Medical College, Louisville, KY.  Org. 1848, extinct by printing of Polk’s Dir.


  • Eclectic Medical College of Maine, Lewiston.  Org. 1881, 1st class 1882.


  • Worcester Medical College, Worcester, Mass.  Org. 1845–1859.


  • St. Louis Eclectic Medical College, St. Lousi, MO.  Org. 1874–1883.
  • American Medical College (Eclectic), St. Louis, MO.  Org. 1873, 1st class 1874.

New York

  • N.Y. Reformed Medical College, NYC.  Org. 1834–1838.
  • Metropolitan Medical College, NYC.  Org. 1852–1862.
  • Syracuse Medical College, Syracuse.  Org. 1850–1857.
  • Rochester Eclectic Medical College.  Org. 1848–1852.
  • Brooklyn Academy of Medicine/Eclectic Medical College, NYC.  Org. 1865/1866.
  • U.S. Medical College.  Org. 1878


  • Worthington Medical College, Worthington, OH.  Org. 1832.
  • American Medical College, Cinn.  Org. 1839.
  • Eclectic Medical Institute, Cinn.  Org 1845, 1st class 1845.
  • Eclectic College of Medicine and Surgery, Cinn.  Org. 1856, 1st class 1857.
  • Physio-Eclectic Medical College, Cinn.  Org. 1879–1882, 1883


  • American Eclectic Medicine College, Phil, Pa.  Org 1859–1880.
  • American University of Pennsylvania, Phil., PA.  Org. 1867–1880.

TOTAL:  32 Eclectic Schools (1 physio-eclectic).


    • Botanic-medical College, Memphis, Tenn.  Org. 1846–1860.




  • Hahnemann Medical College, San Francisco.  Org 1884.


  • Hahnemann Medical College, Altosp., Chicago, Ill.  Org. 1851, 1st class 1860.
  • Chicago Homeopathic Medicial College.  Org. 1876, 1st class 1877.


  • State University of Iowa, Homeopathic Medical Department, Iowa City.  Org. 1877, 1st class 1878.


  • Boston University School of Medicine (Homeopathic), Boston.  Org. 1873, 1st class 1874.


  • Lansing Homeopathic Medical College, Lansing, Mich.  Org. 1871–1873.
  • Detroit Homeopathic Medical College, Detroit, Mich.  Org. 1871–1876.
  • University of Michigan Homeopathic Medical College, Ann Arbor, Mich.  Org. 1875, 1st class 1877.


  • Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri, St. Louis Missouri.   Org. 1859. 

(4 others in St. Louis)


  • University of Nebraska (Homeopathic, Eclectic and Regular) departments.  Org. 1883, 1st class 1884.

New York

  • New York Homeopathic Medical College, NYC.  Org. 1860, 1st class 1861.
  • N.Y. Medical College & Hospital for Women (Homeopathic).  Org. 1863, 1st class 1864.


  • Homeopathic College for Women, Cleveland, OH.  Org. 1870.
  • Homeopathic Hospital College, Cleveland, Ohio. Org. 1849.
  • Pulte Medical College, Cinn., OH.  Org. 1872.


  • Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia.  Org. 1848, 1st class 1849.
  • Homeopathic Medical College of Philadelphia.  Org. 1848.

SUM:  22 Homeopathic colleges



  • Physio-Eclectic, Cinn, OH.  Org. 1876, extinct.


  • Physio-medical Institute, Chicago.  Org. 1885.
  • Physio-medical College of Indiana, Indianapolis.  Org. 1873, 1st class 1874.
  • Curtis Physio-medical Institute, Marion, Ind.  Org. 1881, 1st class 1883.
  • Physio-medical Institute, Cinn, Ohio  Org. 1860–1885.


    • Southern Botanico-medical College, Forsyth-Macon, GA.  Org 1839, 1st class 1841.
    • Botanico-medical College of Cinncinati, OH.  Org. 1840.



    • Thompsonian College, Barbourville, GA.  Org. 1850,  Extinct.



    • Druidic University of Maine, Lewiston.  Org. 1874.
    • Electropathy Institute of Philadelphia.  Org. June 27, 1876.



American Health College, Cinncinnati.  Org. 1874-6.

Hygeio-Therapeutic College, Bergen Heights, New Jersey.  Extinct.


Eight Medical Schools were organized solely for Women.  The earliest was New England Female Medical College in Boston in 1848, lasting until 1874, the second was Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia.  Organized in 1850, its first class graduated in 1851.   New York Medical College, organized in 1863, was the first female school dedicated to homeopathy.  In 1870 another homeopathic institute for women opened in Cleveland, followed by Women’s Medical College of St. Louis in 1883.   Subsequently, medical schools for women were opened in New York, Chicago, and Baltimore. 


1844  America Institute of Homeopathy.

1846  American Medical Association (known as the      National Convention, they met in Cinn. Oh.; changed their name to A.M.A. the following year.)

1848  National Eclectic Medical Association, Cinn. Ohio.    Lasted until 1857, then reorganized in Chicago in     1870.

1864  American Ophthalmological Association

1868  America Otological Association, Newport, R.I.

1872  American Public Health Association.

1875  Western Academy of Homeopathy, St. Louis.

      American Neurological Society, N.Y.C.

1876  American Association of Medical Colleges, Phil.

      American Gynaecological Society, NY

      American Dermatological Association, NY

      American Academy of Medicine

1877 American Homoeopathic, Ophthalmological and      Otological Society.

1879 National Board of Health

1880 International Hahnemannia(n) Association

      American Surgical Association, NY

1883 American Association of Physio-Medical Physicians      and Surgeons

      American Climatological Association, NY


1840 Census

In the Census, Bristow’s partner, Waller Massie, is 24 years of age, and living with his father (name?).  His occupation is listed as “Physician;” his father was a farmer.  In the same census, J.K. Bristow is found although not listed as a physician.  He is residing with his father.

Elijah Bristow (JKB 26 y.o.)


  •                   one  5-10 y.o.    [Elijah Lafayette]
  •                   two 10-15 y.o. [Henry and Wm. Wilshire]
  •                   two 20-30 y.o. [Abel King and John K.]
  •                   0   30-40 y.o.
  •                   one 50-60 y.o.    [father–Elijah]


  •                   one  5-10 y.o. [Zilphia]
  •                   one 10-15 y.o. [Catherine]
  •                   one 15-20 y.o. [Delilah/Polly]
  •                   one 20-30 y.o. [Delilah/Polly]
  •                   one 30-40 y.o. [Betsy/Sarah?]
  •                   one 40-50 y.o. [wife–Susanna]  


      A medical apprenticeship was typically completed in three years.  A century before, indentures were made for six years.  The fact that Waller Massie was only 24 years of age when he was listed as physician on the 18(50) census suggests the apprenticeships took much less time by the early 1800s.  He could have intitiated his training in 1847 at the age of 21 and obtained this certification by the time the census was taken. 

Was JKB married to Mary Congers as Woolley suggests?


      Bristow [28 y.o.] met Emeline M. Hatch (at the State or County Fair?) at the age of seventeen years old. (Therefore Hatch was born ca. 1825.)


JKB begins apprenticeship?

Wed/unwed?  Met Emeline(?)

Father already left for west?

Ends 1849/50; begins Account book in the middle of that year.


      Elijah Bristow leaves for California.  Wagon Train began as two wagons in 1843, three more were added on by 1844.  California records show they arrived in about two years.  Elijah wintered at Sumner’s Fort and then headed northward to Oregon to make a land claim.

      [JKB 29-30 y.o.; in the midst of apprenticeship?]


Dr. Elijah White, regarding Oregon’s Climate:  “the most salubrious in the world.”

[See Elijah Lafayette Bristow’s letter dated May 4, 1857.]


      Elijah’s Overland immigration, according to J.H. Brown, was with the Grigsby-Ide Party.  They separated from the party at the point of………..  Elijah then chose a route heading northward along the Willamette Valley.  His initial accompaniment of over twenty men was reduced in size to just Elijah, Wm. Dodson, Felix Scott, and E.F. Skinner and wife, known as the Bristow-Skinner party.  These five followed the Hudson’s bay trail by way of Lorane.

      After arriving in what would later become Lane County, Elijah came upon land which reminded him much of his childhood living space and so made his claim to this land with a quote so …….. repeated throughout the accounts of local history.  Within a few years this land would be named after a location in Kentucky — Pleasant Hill. [This name was finally accepted by the state in 1851, according to Oregon Stateman…] In June. after staking a land claim, he sent a message back to his family in Illinois asking them to travel westward, bringing with them one or two wagons, the necessary farm tools, and valuable oxen. 

[JKB 32 y.o.] 

Susannah and friend arrived in 184(8/9).  On the land they were to settle a small cabin was built, just enough to house Elijah and his wife and a few of his youngest children.  The rest of his family ahd to brave the winter by staying in tents placed below several of the evergreens situated a small spell away from the cabin.  In the spring, thisliving space was enlarged and the gardening began. 

Several families related to the Bristows, the Hendricks, Basketts, and Callisons, all of which accompanied Susanna’s train, resided alongside the Bristows or in neighboring tracts of land.  Travelling in a separate wagon alongside Susanna Bristow, Abel King Bristow had his own family to attend to.

???Those probably attended to by Susannah Bristow’s Wagon were her unwed sons and daughters, namely Zilphia Etna the youngest (12 y.o.), Delilah Cherry, and Sarah Brown (considered by some to have been (handicapped). Catherine Sims (18 y.o.), Mary Ann (Polly) (26 y.o.), and Elizabeth Elkinswere in attendance with their husbands.   John Kennedy Bristow remained behind to complete his medical training and initiate his practice.  Mrs. Harriet (Hattie) Bristow came in 1852 with his train.  Henry Gabbert was already employed as a and married to (Susan Cherry, he chose to remain a resident of Illinois.  Nevertheless he refused to turn down the promises of the 1849 Gold Rush, so like many others in 1852, he travelled to California hoping to satisfy his Argonautical urge.

November 26, 1846

      On November 26, 1846, John Kennedy Bristow married his first wife Emmeline Hatch (b. Sep. 2, 1825, Erie County, Ill.), then residing in Warren County, Ill.

[Marriage Info???]  See Corbitt, Genealogy…


JKB has entered into an apprenticeship. [A.M.A. not established until 1848].  His father Elijah has left for Oregon (left ca. 1845), reaching it in 1846.  The sons are Abel King (26 y.o.), Henry Gabbert (21 y.o.), Wm. WIlkshire (19 y.o.) and Elijah Lafayette (13 y.o.)   They are able to take on a large part of the household and farming chores wile John Kennedy B. begins spending much of his time learning medicine (under whom?)

      All of family except Henry Gabbert Bristow leave for Oregon in April, 1848.  Henry G. lived in either Blandensburg or Peoria, Ill., and was employed as….

All six of the daughters head west, three of which are married.

1847, March 8th

Emmeline and John K. enter into a notebook,


John K.– “There is scarcely a man who lives on the earth.”                                     Vade Mecum p. 98.

Next page: “How frail is the Minds of Man Forgetful of its God.”

Next Page, Verse:  “Murmer gentle lyre,” probably by Emmeline.

1847, March 14

Prose:  “The Ills of Life we Cannot Escape”

                                          Vade Mecum p.

1847, June

Prose:  “Virtue a good thing” 

                              Vade Mecum p.

            by Emmeline and John K. Bristow.

Same page:

      “In Pleasure could this life be past

      we’d never wish to see the last.”

                                    E.M. Bristow

                                          Vade Mecum p.

1848, late Summer/early Fall

      Susanna and the wagoneers arrive in Pleasant Hill from Illinois.

            Mention of an ox-cart is made by one writer.


[1848–medical info]

AMA established for “the improvement of our system of medical education.”

                  Sentinel, Vol. 2 No. 2, Dec 1894, p. 522

Aug. 26, 1846:  Oregon Free Press announces (first) attempt to form a medical society.   P. Welch is Chairman.

[JKB 34 y.o.]


      First child of JKB and Emmeline, Elijah, is born.

1849  California Gold Diggings–year of the Argonauts.

      Attended by Wm. W. Bristow (1849), who returned in the Fall of the same year.

                                                      [Ref?           ]

Late 1849

Emmeline Hatch dies.

(1850?–check Account book for transaction involving production of a coffin.)

Dec 24, 1849

“Musings”                           Vade Mecum p. 91.

Written by JKB regarding the recent death of Emmeline.

The next writing is a verse written by A.A. Hatch, religious prose in nature.

Late 1849/1850

      End of apprenticeship???

      [JKB  36 y.o.]

1850 Census–Illinois

  •       Indicates J.K. Bristow and wife (Josephine Massie)
  •       Hancock, Ill.


  •       Gilmore Callison Family
  •       Nathan Massey, farmer, with son Waller, Physician           (24 y.o.), and Josephine Massie (19 y.o.).
  •       Edmund G. Browning (34 y.o., farmer.) family, with          Nancy (wife, 37) and 5 children.

1850, Pioneer Families of the Oregon Territory

      from Or. State Archives Bull. No. 3, Publ. No. 17

      Daniel C. Duniway, State Archivist, 1915.

p. 6 [Benton Co.]

  • Elijah Brister  62  Blacksmith      Va.
  • Susannah          59   keeps house Tn
  • William W.  23                     Ky
  • Eliza L.          18                     Ill
  • Sarah       32                     Ky
  • Catherine         22                     Ill
  • Sylphite          16 F             Ill


  • Brister Abel K. 20                        Ky
  •          Maria    23                     Ill
  •        Samuel E.  7                       Ill
  •          John H.  9/12              O.T.

p.49 [Clackamas Co.]

  • Robert Canfield  40     Merchant          Ireland
  • Jane                31                    Ireland
  • Robert T.            7                    Ohio
  • David          5                    Ohio       
  • Elizabeth            2                    O.T.
  • Mary Burnsides      66                    Ireland
  • Ninavah Ford        35 Farmer       N.C.
  • Catherine Bristo 22                       Ill


Pleasant Hill school opened with Wm. W. Bristow as first teacher.

land was donated by Elijah Bristow.  Construction of loghouse took place by Elijah and James Hendricks in the southwest corner of the Pleasant Hill cemetery area.  Used as a school and church.

Other early teachers included Elda Bristow, James Hendricks.

1850, June 1

      JKB 36 y.o.

      J.K. Bristow begins his Account Book in Illinois, near Blandensberg?.

      Inside of front cover notes  “86 patients Oct 7th 1850.”

      Inside of rear cover has bookseller’s stamp:

“R. Wilson DeSilver

Bookseller, Stationer and


No. 4, South Fourth St.


      Earliest entries:

June 8,  1850  Gillmore Callison

June 15, 1850     Tho. McClure

June 18, 1850     Lanson Lyons

June 20, 1850     J.D. Hiler

June 30, 1850     James Dean

July 2,  1850     A. Neunham

July 5,  1850     Pet. Comers

July 8,  1850  Mrs. Mathews, homesteader

July 14, 1850  Byson Pennocks

July 18, 1850  The. Butler

July 22, 1850     Minerva Hiccock

July 30, 1850  E.G. Browning

Aug.     1850     Dean of Adams County

Aug. 27, 1850     James Brison

Sep. 2,  1850  James Bridgewaters

      Significant entries in Ledger:

Oct 31, 1850  Gillmore Callison credited with   $2.00 for carrying out marriage     ceremony.  [Marriage to Josephine Massie.]

Nov. 1850.  JKB visits many of his patients     about paying up their debt.  [annual       collection?]

Dec. 22, 1850  “Commeced Practic with Dr: W.    Massie” [appears on inside of front       cover.]

1851.  Begins to clear records of debts in      Dec and again in April.  Dr. E.G.   Browning clears a number of these debts.

June 1851–S. Hopper “To one ox-yoke fix bows” 1.20, 1.00, 1.50.

July 18, 1851  J.T. Gilfry, “By writing Deed”   (Brother-in-law, mar. sister Delilah       Cherry Bristow.)

1852, Jan.  Last Entries before leaving Ill.

      Jackson O’Neil, “Vermifuge for child      0.20”.

      Wm. Metcalf treated.

1862.  Sells medicines to a few of his    patients before they leave for the gold   rush in Eastern Oregon. 

1850, Sept/Oct.

            JKB begins his practice in June 1850, seeing    only three patients the first month.

      Four months into his practice, JKB is seeing over three dozen families per month.  The dates he entered into his ledger suggest that he went about his travels every two or three days to visit patients “in pasing” or by horseback.  Typical charges were $1.00 per visit (“in pasing”) and $0.50 per medicine.  Few cases were  Obstetric visits, a major source of revenue for him in years to come.  None of the cases in Illinois involved family members.

      In the early months, he took off much of the third week of the month.  For Sept and Oct he had few days off from his practice.  As a consequence he sought the help of Dr. Massie and established a partnership.

1850, ca. Summer/Fall

      Oct 31.  Gillmore Callison is credited with $2.00 for carrying out a marriage ceremony.  [JKB’s marriage to his second wife Josephine Massie?]

1850, Dec. 22

      J.K.B. took on the as his assistant Joseph W. Massie (24 y.o.), his future Brother in Law.  (Was he a preceptor for Massie?)  See a decrease in patient laod from Nov/Dec–15-20 per month, to 10 per month in 1851 while he practiced in Illinois. 

      Due perhaps to his financial success, or the successfulness of his practice, by March of 1851, JKB had already decided to join his family in Oregon.  He began by bartering with some of his clients for the yolks to secure his oxen.  To clear his debts and his patients’ debts, he received a number of payments from his patients.  The remaining accounts were cleared by Dr. E.G. Browning paying for the debts, which were usually quite small amounting to less than 2.00 each.

1851  Oregon Gold Rush begins (L1850-1851)

            (The California Gold Rush began 1849)

      Dr. Bristow is re-married.  

      Brother Henry Gabbert Bristow (Aug 21, 1824-May 7, 1914, Eugene, Or.) taken ill, treated with “Syrup Cholery” (dates July 11, 1851-Sep. 5, 1851).  [Wife Sarah B. Cherry].

      Does he receive a letter from Wm. W. B. about the gold rush in California and Oregon?

      Began to clear financial records in Oct, Nov., December and again in Feb, March, and April.   Many accounts are cleared by Dr. E. G. Browning. (Listing?)

      There are the future prospects for Dr. Bristow of earning a living in a developing township on the west coast–Pleasant Hill.

      10 April–problems with mail delivery to Pleasant Hill [Ref: Oregon Spectator, v. 1, no. 3.]  Pleasant Hill will be listed as a post office as early as 1853.  [See Or Hx Soc. Quartlery Vol 27, p. 446-7.

      June 1851–S. Hopper “To one ox-yoke fix bows” 1.20, 1.00, 1.50.

      Patient Load is reduced over the next few months after Massie takes on part of the practice, i.e

–During the post-marital period, he saw less patients.

  •       –April, no patients
  •       –May, five patients
  •       –June, five patients
  •       –July, at least eleven patients
  •       –August, nine patients
  •       –Sept., seven to eight patients
  •       –Oct., one patient
  •       –Nov., no patient
  •       –Dec., no patient

1851/2 Wagon Trains, Oxen and Horse Teams readied.

Possible companions in teams:

  • Jno. Gilfrey, Sr. left Ill. July 185(1); Pioneer of 1852.
  • J.T. Gilfrey, left Ill; buried in P.H. Cem.
  • McWhittemore.  left Ill. 1851, June-Aug.  Buried in P.H. cem.
  • H. Bollou,.  Left Ill. 1851, buried in P.H. Cem.
  • Mrs. (Margaret) Matthews left Ill 185(1),; Pioneer of 1852; buried in P.H. Cem.
  • John Callison’s Diary notes Newingham Familys and John K. Bristow.

Gilfrey’s dates and route are approximately the same [gives April 1 as starting date.  Elsewhere April 6 is given). 

1852, April 6

  • An 1852 team also included Mrs. Hattie E. Bristow (Oreg. Pioneer Tran 1877, 77), arriving from Missouri.
  • John Joseph Callison (22 y.o.) begins his diary.
  • Team left with “wagons loaded & oxen in place.”  They travelled 14 miles on the first day. 
  • Trail sickness is mentioned.
  • John K. Bristow begins his journey for Oregon, by crossing the Plains.
  • H.G. Bristow left Blandinsville with several of his friends.  Headed to Carson City, Nev., arriving there July 3, headed to Sacramento arriving there on July 21.

1852, May-June

Tues, May 25–Camped near a slough with bad water.  Several oxen are stolen.

Thur, May 27–Crossed over the Platte to its north side. 

Mon, May 31–“…the company had to lay by on account of sickness.  Absolom Newingham very bad with Cholera. nearly half the company down with diarrhea, some very bad.  Very poor, water to drink and exceedingly warm weather.”

Tues, June 1–Absolom Newingham died.  Laid to rest at 2 p.m.  Another 4 miles journey until a good spring of water is reached.

Wed, June 2–“(June) 2nd.  Travelled 6 miles and stopped at eleven o’clock on account of Josephine Bristow’s being very sick, she still continues to grow worse died at half past four o’clock.  The rest of the company but very little better.”  Poorly quoted in the Callison Genealogy work.

Fri., June 4–travelled more quickly to make up for lost time and limited provisions.  Despite recurring bouts of diarrhea and … continued rapid pace avoiding encampments whenever possible. 

June 14th–Travelled 14 miles over a heavy road.  “…Dr. Bristow’s wagon turned over in the evening.  No damage done.”  As they uprighted the wagon, they decided to rest.  A fire was made by burning sage roots, considered “a very good substitute for wood.”

By June 15th, had reached the Black Hills.  By June 23rd, they reached Independence Rock with weary cattle, oxen and teams.  Wagons were in need of mending and repairs.  To further expedite their travels they parted with many of their valuable posessions throwing them into at a site situated just before a major climb.  Furniture. china, and clothing were all disposed of. 

John Callison JR stops writing his diary on this day.  He dies one month later from Cholera and is buried along the trail near LaGrande, Oregon.

1852, Sept. 27

Emigrants arrive in Oregon in 1852.

Elijah greeted them at John Day.

Wm W. would greet them a little closer to Lane County at…

      J.K. Bristow arrived in Oregon and later claimed land near his father’s

      Location:  Sec 2 19S 2W.

      Donation Land Certificate No. 1111

      Township 19S with Elijah.

      Wm. W. and others are in 18S.

                        Ref:  Oregon Donation Land Claims

                               Oregon Genealogical Society

1852, Oct 30

      Oregon Stateman (p.3, c.3) announces H.G. Bristow in Passenger List for the Steamer Columbia, to arrive in Portland.

      Henry G. Bristow left to follow in his family’s footsteps.  He moved to California in the search for gold but remained there for only a short time, coming up to Portland.  He would eventually return to Illinois.

[See newspaper column]


Oregon Donation Land Claims.

      –declaration of land claim on or before December 1, 1850–320 acres or 1/2 section per single man greater than 18 years old.  A man and his wife got 640 acres. This land had to be improved (generally, it had to be made fit for farming.)

      –for declarations made between December 1, 1850 and December 1, 1853, claimants were allotted 1/4 section or 160 acres, they had to be greater than 21 years of age. 

      –there was and amendment in Feb 1853.

      –in April 1855, donation privileges expired.  All land claims had to be settled.  Any lands to be claimed had to be established for farming.

      –To make claim, the follwoing were required:

            –proof of right to the claim.

            –proof of emigration to Oregon.

            –proof of citizenship.

            –had to be above 18 years of age on Dec. 1,                1850.

            –Had to reside on and cultivate part of the                land claim.

Note:  John Kennedy Bristow would settled his claim just in time, in April 1855.

1853, Spring

      H.G. Bristow headed to the mines in and around Jacksonville.  He then headed to Crescent City, Calif where he worked as a blacksmith. 

      In the Fall of 1853, Henry G. went up to Pleasant Hill.

      He left for Portland on Feb 6, 1854, then slowly mad his way back to Carlinsville, Ill. via boat and land. 

1854 Lane County Agricultural Census

Information given is:  Total no.; No. males; (Order of ages:) Over 21, under 21/over 4, under 4; No. acres/or Value]


John K. Bristow (and his son Elijah, 6-7 years old)

      whole #   # males   Ages

         2           2        —

      4 Cows & Oxen, 2 young cattle, 270.00 value

      1 Horse/mule, 60.00 value

      No Sheep and Hogs.

      Valuation  484.00

      Amt of Tax        00

      Poll              1

” # males ” accounts for John Kennedy Bristow and his sone Elijah.

Acreage for JKB not noted or 0.  Also 0 for W.W. Bristow (p.27), probably because he/they resided with E.L. Bristow [3,2,1,-,1,-; 320 acres] or E. Bristow [3,1,-,-,-,-; 950]. 

1855, 10 Apr.

John Kennedy Bristow [41 y.o.] settled his land claim.

Expiration of land donation privileges would have been April 1855.

1855, Falltime  [41 y.o.]

      JKB begins his large Account Book of his Pleasant Hill, Lane County patients.  Earliest record dated Nov. 5, 1855.  Makes mention of a notebook (not found) which covered earlier tranactions with several of the families he cared for; these three transactions are dated 1863.

      First patients:

  • W.B. Jones Nov.  5, 1855
  • John Literal      Nov. 18, 1855
  • W.R. Long (sp?)Dec.  5, 1855
  • Pierce            Dec.  2, 1855
  • E. L. Bristow  Jan. 13, 1856
  • Wm. McCall  Feb.     1856
  • W. Dodgson  Feb.     1856
  • James Mitchel  June 10, 1856
  • John Mitchel   Dec. 7,  1856
  • B. Fowler         May      1857

      Other Relatives/Patients:

  •             James Madison Hendricks family,
  •             Abel King Bristow family,
  •             Robert Callison family,
  •             J.T. Gilfrey family,
  •             Wm. W. Bristow family,
  •             Elijah Lafayette Bristow family,
  •        and Stephen Rigdon family.

1857, March 15

      Letter: Elijah Lafayette Bristow to Henry G. Bristow.  (First letter in letter book.)

      Father and mother feeling well, ‘John H.’ has problems with “rheumatics in his knee.”  Also notes that Jane had “an attack of the flux,” and “Jimy…a spell of lung fever (Pneumonia).”

1857, Mar 21 [43 y.o.]

Marriage Records. Lane County, Oregon.  1852-1869.  Oregon Pioneer Research Bureau, Eugene, 1968.


      J.K. Bristow

      Mary Crow

            Minister:  Gillmore Callison.

1857, May 4

      Letter:  Elijah Lafayette Bristow (Pleasant Hill) to Mrs. J. J. Rodgers.

      Of “Friend Jim (whom) you speak of being very sick…”; E.L.B. recommends the benefits of moving westward to help a “feeble state of health.”

1857, June 17

      Letter: Elijah Lafayette Bristow to Henry G. Bristow, from Pleasant Hill, Lane Co., O.T..

      Speaks of “John H….cursed with rheumatic in his knee”, an affliction he has had ever since childhood. 

[Therefore had Rheumatic Fever during his childhood?]

Mentions “Crow” referring to Miss Mary Crow.

Also wrote of Williard’s (brother William?) ill health.

1857, July 17

      Letter: Elijah Lafayette Bristow to Mr. Charles Hardesty, fr. Camas-dale, Lane Co., O.T..

      Wife of Elijah L. has a “severe cold” which has “settled on her lungs…bordering on consumption.”

1857, August – September

      Letter: Elijah Lafayette Bristow to….

      Jane’s health is poor…”Considerable sickness about here.”

      [Check Ledger and Account Book for increased number of patients.]

1857, December 21

      Letter: Elijah Lafayette Bristow to Henry G. Bristow.

      “‘John R’….Still suffers with the Rheumatis.”  Jane had a very bad spell in August.

1858, January–March

J.K. Bristow and Mary Crow (married March 21, 1857) had their first child.  It died within a week.

1858, March 14

      Letter:  (Elijah Lafayette Bristow,) Jane Bristow to Melvina Bra(d)shaw.

      News regarding births…”John Bristow a girl but it only lived about a week.”

[ca. 1858]

      Ten to fifteen years after the AMA and Eclectic Medical Society were established, professional journals in medicine and surgery capable of taking a stronghold of their fields were being published.

      For the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest these were Medical and Surgical Reporter, established 1858 with S.W. Butler, M.D. as editor, Pacific Medical Journal, and Pacific Medical and Surgical Journal which began around 1857.  Two otehr highkly important northwest medical journals, the Medical Sentinel (est. 1893, continued publication to present) and Pharmacal Digest (est. July 25, 1895, lasted until …) wouldn’t be published until nearly a decade after Dr. Bristow’s death.   

      One of the first medical journals published in Oregon was by an Eclectic medical practitioner.  Dr. Shelton was the editor of the Oregon Physio-Medical Journal, and initiated the formation of a society which met in Salem.  Dr. Shelton is with Dr. Bristow in December of 1877, assisting Bristow or providing a second opinion regarding his sister’s, Elizabeth’s, medical condition.  She would die a few weeks later at the age of 63.  At the time, a strong case of diphtheria (                ) was occuring in epidemic proportions.   

1860, Jan. 2   [JKB 46 y.o.]

      Letter:  Elijah Lafayette Bristow to Henry G. Bristow

      Notes the “pleasant winter” that just passed.

      John and Mary expect a child soon (between May 1858 and May 1859).  This second child would also die (see Dec 2, 1860).

1860, circa January–June

b.d. Susan Bristow.

Mother;  Mary Crow, Lane County, Ore.

1860 Census Reports

Lane County:  “John R. Bristow”, E.L. Bristow,  W.W. Bristow, Abbe A. Bristow, and Elijah Bristow.

Pleasant Hill Precinct.

A. Page:

No. 375                          Real       Personal   Birth                                 Estate        Property   Place

  • John R. Bristow  45 Physician 600       1000       Tenn
  • Mary A. (Crow)      37  Housewife                        Ind.
  • Elija J.            11                             Ill.
  • Susan J.            6/12                                 Ore.
  • William Crow        15                                   Ind.

B. Page ___:

No. ____

  • Wm. W. Bristow   34 Farmer
  • Eliz. C.            30 Housewife
  • John N.
  • Edith C.
  • Adeline

C. Page ___:

      No. ____

  • Elijah Bristow   72 Farmer                         Ky.
  • Susannah            68 Housewife
  • Sarah J.

D. Page 271:

No. ____

  • J. H. Matthew       33 Farmer
  • Margaret            24
  • ch.
  • ch.
  • ch.

Bristow, Abbe A. 5  (Female)

E. Page ___:

No. ____

Abel King Bristow 41 Farmer

  • Elmira               35 Housewife
  • Samuel E.            17
  • John H.              11
  • Alice H.             7
  • Isabel G.            5
  • Wm. Lafayette        2

 (Abel King Bristow Family noted with Callison Family)

No. ___

Gillmore Callison    Farmer?

  • Eliza          41 Housewife
  • Rufus G.             20 Farmer
  • George H.            18 Farmer
  • Robert M.            15
  • Amanda               12

Eugene City:

A. Page ____.

      No. ____

  • E. L. Bristow       28 Clerk, Law Office
  • H.P.                24 Housewife
  • J.R.                6  (son)
  • L.L.                4  (dau.)
  • W.F.                1  (son)
  • F. Hendrick         22 (female) Clerk.

1860, Dec. 2

      Letter: Elijah Lafayette Bristow to Henry G. Bristow.

      “You can judge what kind of winter weather we are having…John Ks babe died Some time Since.”

ca. 1861  [47 y.o.]

John Wesley Britton/Bristow born.

Wife: Mary Crow, Lane Co.

1861, Oct-Nov-Dec.

October 17.  J.K.B. treats E.L. Bristow’s wife Jane.

                  “To Course of medicine to Wife for a                  Cough and other medicine”

October 19, 21, 23, 25, 30.  Continued treating Jane.

November 2   ditto.

December 21  “Jane Went home.”

               “To Whole amount of treatment and                     medicine taken home  50.00”

January 8, 1862  “Settled by account in store  50.00”

1861, Nov. 25

      Letter:  Elijah Lafayette Bristow to Henry G. Bristow, Blandensville, Ill.

      “My wife’s Helth has been very poore for the past 10 months…She is staying at John-R’s…He thinks that he can cure her.”

1862, Jan 6-Apr 7

Court Action:

J.K. Bristow and JJ Blevans   vs. Walter S. Brock, Lane Co.

                  Ref: Oregon Statesman

1862, Spring

“John (R.)” treats Elijah Lafayette’s wife for her consumption which is “nearing consumption.”  “She is me(n)ding very slowly.”

1862, March 17

      Letter:  Elijah Lafayette Bristow to Mrs. Catherine Baskett.

      Writes:  “My Darling Janie is gone from me forever.”   He notes she died on Friday, March the 15th instant.  (In another of his letters [dated Mar. 18], he gives the deathdate as Friday, March the 14th.)

Also:  Letter, March 18, to Henry G. Bristow.


      With his steady business as a physician, Dr. Bristow established accounts with several storekeepers, produce-sellers, blacksmiths, and others. 

      Patients that were relatives of his have the longest accounts (largest number of transactions, over the longest periods of time).  These include: 

James Madison Hendricks (Feb. 1862-June 1864, Dec. 1864-June 1867, wife Elizabeth Elkins B.).  Provided JKB with Goldenseal, and seeds and grafts for his hay, fodder and grainfeed and fruit.

Wm. Wilshire Bristow (July 1862–June 1868; wives Elizabeth Coffey, m. Oct 7/17,1850, Martha McCall, m. Apr.27,1865, Mary Jane Wells, m.Sep.16,1869.)  [Jobs: Storekeeper and legal assistant.?]

  • Abel King Bristow (Mar 12, 1863–Nov. 13 1866; mar. Almira Kelly Gooch)
  • Robert Callison (Nov. 1863–July 1870; m. Mary Ann Bristow).  [Local teacher?  Storekeeper?]
  • Robert M. Callison (?) and Rufus G. Callison (1863).

Other patients with long account records include:?


      Following the death of his wife, Elijah Lafayette Bristow decides to head towards the gold mines.  His last letter before this trip was sent from Eugene City on Feb. 12, 1862.  On May 2, he left for the mines and on August 2, wrote a letter on his way to the gold mines via the Deschutes River.  On June 28, a letter was written in Salmon Mines.  By August, he was heading back, writing letters as he passed through “Bristows Corall” and Craig Mountain (August 22).  He finally made his way back to Eugene City on Jan. 31, 1864.  In the Spring of 1865, he was back in mining territory, writing from Placerville. 

1862, August

      Letter:  Elijah Lafayette Bristow, written in Black-Hawk Gulch  Salmon Mines, to John K. Bristow.

         Recommends to JKB that he stay away from the gold mines due to his poor health (badly afflicted rheumatic knees?)

ca. 1864

  •       b.d.  Robert Edgar Bristow, son of JFK and Mary Crow.
  •       JFK is 50 y.o.
  •       Mary Crow is ______
  •       Elijah is 15 y.o.
  •       Susan is 4-5 y.o.
  •       Two earlier children, expecting early 1858 and        mid 1859, died.


      The Medical Department at Willamette is being established.  The first graduation would be in 1867.

1865, August 12

Lister makes his first attempt to use carbolic acid as an anti-infective agent while treating a compound fracture.  The attempt is successful.


  • b.d. Philip Harrison Bristow, son of JKB and Mary Crow.    
  •       JKB–52 y.o.
  •       Mary Crow–_____
  •       Robert Edgar B.–2 y.o..
  •       Susan–died or 6-7 y.o.
  •       John Wesley–approx. 6 y.o.
  •       Elijah–18 y.o.

1866, Mar. 5

      Marion County Medical Society is established.   The first meeting is held at Dr. J. Boswell’s office in Salem. 

1866,  April 9

      Oregon Statesman announcement for Salem Medical Society.

1866, May 5.

“Cholera” paper is written. 

1866, May 5.

      Oregon Statesman announces the (first?) meeting of this medical profession at Salem, planned for the second Tuesday in every month.  WB Simpleton is the Secretary.

1866, (October)

      Oregon’s first medical journal is published.  Volume 1 of the Oregon Physio-Medical Journal, published by J.C. Shelton, M.D., (Editor), Graduate of the Physio-Medical College in Cincinnati, Ohio, then practicing as a Salem physician.


      Eclectic and “herb doctors” meet in Salem, probably at the call of Dr. Shelton, to establish a medical school and Physio-Medical/Eclectic Medical society.


      First Issue of the Medical and Surgical Reporter.

      Articles incl:

Horace Carpenter, Salem.  “Hydrate of Chloral.”

Daniel Payton, Salem.  Article on the treatment of    inflammatory diseases.

J. Lindsay Hill, Buena Vista, Or.  Muriac of Ammonia in     Suppurative Hepatitis.” 

      Vol. 1, no. 2, has C.H. Hall, Salem.  “Carbolic Acid as an Antiseptic.”


      Inoculation begun by Dr. Hanchett, Eugene. 

      Later epidemics would be in 1872, 1876, 1881.

      TYPHOID EPIDEMIC:  1906.

      Medical and Surgical Reporter suspended publication after — journals.



Attempt to establish the “Union Medical Society” (later to become the “Medical Society of the Third Judicial District.”)


The Medical Society of the Third Judicial District is established.  Meetings are held in Salem, mostly consisting of physicians from Marion, Linn, Polk and Yamhill Counties.

1870 Census

Pleasant Hill/Cloverdale

  • A. John Kennedy Bristow       55   Tenn.
  • Mary                          46    Tenn.
  • Elijah                        22    Ill.        farmworker
  • John W.                       11    Ore.
  • Robert (K)              5     Ore.
  • Philip H.                     3     Ore.
  • daughter Susan?  (Would have been 10 1/2 y.o.  died?)

B. Abel King Bristow          50    Farmer

  •       Almira                        45   
  •       Samuel R/K              26    housekeeper
  •       John H.                       20    farm worker
  •       Alice A                       17    farm worker
  •       Isabel G.                     13
  •       William                       11
  •       Delila                        9

C. Elijah Bristow             82    Farmer

  •       Susanna(h)              78
  •       Sarah                   53

D. Stephen Rigdon             41    Farm keeper

  •       Zelphia                       36    House keeper
  •       Paul L(afayette) Bristow  9

Yamhill County, Newburgh

  • George Bristow                33    Farmer
  • Narcissa                      29
  • Charlie                       8    schooling
  • Martha                        3
  • Eugene City

A. William W. Bristow         43    Merchant

  •       Mercy                   41   Keeps house  NY
  •       Iola                          16    (f)
  •       Edith C.                      12    (f)
  •       Addie C.                      9    (f)
  •       Darmin                        7    (m)
  •       Lizzie                        2    (f)

B. Elijah Lafayette Bristow   37    Retail Merchant

  •       Hattie E.                     22    wife
  •       James R.                      16    School
  •       Lillian L.              14    School
  •       Willie                        12
  •       Eugene                        3

C.  Willie Bristow

1871,  September 14

Presentations/Papers written:

“Muriate of Ammonia in Suppurative Hepatitus (sic)”, by J. Lindsay Hill, Buena Vista, Ore.

“Hydrate of Chloral”, by Horace Carpenter, Salem.

1871, Nov 4    [57 y.o.]

Eugene City Guard.

Article:    “Sudden Death

            Was it Suicide”

Ref: John Iserly who died Thursday night.  Drunk, he got in a squabble with some Germans and was later found dead.  Checked by R.A. Foley & Dr. Odell; The Coroner was (Dr.) Brown.  Included in the review committee for the case were (Drs.?) Bristow, Humphrey, Herbold, and Dorris.


Deathdate:  Elijah Bristow (1788-1872).

Buried Pleasant Hill Cemetery (on land he donated)

1874,  Sept 1, 2    [60 y.o.]

      Oregon State Medical Society established.  Met in Salem.

Dr. E.R. Fiske of Salem is temporary chair.

Dr. C.H. Hall is Secretary.

6 committees are appointed: 


      practice of medciine,

      medical literature,


      medical topography,

 and medical education.


      Oregon Medical Society still existed despite the lack       of a publication.

Oregon Medical Journal launched its publication.  Editor Dr. C.H. Hall, Salem.  (Editor:  Dr. C.H. Hall.)

Homeopathic Society organized in Portland.

An Act to regulate the Practice of Medicine and Surgery in the State of Oregon is written up.  Submitted by Dr. F.A. Bailey.  Would require non-graduates to bear a descriptive sign within required measurements.  Consideration was prevented or delayed, the act was not passed.

June 16, 1882, read by E.P. Fraser, referred to committee–failed.


1888, read before the committee, accepted, passed by 1889.  The State Board of Medical Examiners was established. 

1895 Amendment.  One each of homeopaths and eclectic practitioners were added to the board.  (With JKB and other early nineteenth century, self-trained physicians deceased or retired, this marked the beginning of the end of the Eclectic Medicine Era for Oregon and the beginning of the A.M.A.-(controlled) Era. 


      A very malignant form of diphtheria appeared in Lane County.  (Related to Elizabeth Elkins Bristow’s death?)

1877, Oct./Nov.

      Elizabeth Elkins (Bristow) Hendrick (wife of James Madison Hendricks) is taken ill.  She is attended to for three days in a row in November by John Kennedy Bristow, accomopanied by another Physio-Medical practitioner “Shelton” (probably J.C. Shelton, M.D.) for a second opinion.   Elizabeth would die two months later, on Jan. 11, 1879.


      Dr. J.H. Bundy introduced two northwest products–Oregon Grape and Cascara to a major pharmaceutical industry–Parke-Davis, Inc..  He introduced the Cascara as California Buckthorn, proclaiming its effectiveness as a laxative-tonic.  The Oregon Grape was considered a bitter tonic, and until that time the Eastern or European Barberyy relatives were used for treating the same ailments. 

      The diaries and receipt books of John Kennedy and other mid-nineteenth century physicians show that Botanical and Eclectic practitioners in the northwest were already well aware of the pharmacal potentials of northwestern flora, especially the highly popular Cascara Sagrada and Oregon Grape.  In years to come naother northwestern herb was added to every M.D.’s protocol namely Grindelia robusta.  Still others would be recognized by the end of the century by the Washington State Pharmac(eutic)al Association including Canada Snakeweed (Asarum canadense), Fireweed (Epilobium spp.), Uva-ursi (Arctostaphylos spp.), Dogwood (Cornus spp.), Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), Balm Gilead (Abies balsaminifera), Sweet bay (Laurus Nobilis), and the various Artemisia species.

      In a year when the accepted method of treating rheumatism was two ounces of oil extracted from a “good-sized rattler,” highly effective and often toxic inorganic chemicals were often favored over herbal remedies except by domestic, physio-medical and eclectic practitioners. 

1879, Summer

Enterocolitis and Dysentery Epidemic.

1879, Summer

Dr. C.H. Merrick of Canyonville mailed out a questionnaire to over three-hundred of his colleagues.  He asked such questions as ….  regarding the occurance of epidemics, endemics, and the seasonal variations of diseases.  He received only twenty five replies.  One of the best, and most complete replies was sent by Acting Assistant Surgeon M. Kober of Fort Klamath whose response led Merrick to conclude that “miasmata” was the chief factor for the cause for many of the illnesses and epidemics throughout Oregon. 

1880 Census

Lane County, Pleasant Hill

A. John Kennedy Bristow 66    Doctor            Tenn

  •       Mary A.                       56    wife              Tenn
  •       Elijah J.                     33    Blacksmith  Ill.
  •       John W.                       19                      Ore
  •       Robert E.                     17                      Ore
  •       Philip W.                     15                      Ore

B. Able K. Bristow            61    Farmer

  •       Almira                        56
  •       John H.                       29
  •       Wm. L.                        21
  •       Delilah A.              19
  •       Alice H. Cornelius            27
  •       Jesse M.                      1

Lane County, Eugene City Precinct

A. T.G.  Hendricks            41    Dry Goods Merchant

  •       Martha                        31
  •       D. Bristow              16    Dry Goods Clerk
  •             (son Wm. W. B.)

B. Scott Chrisman             33    Saddler

  •       Caroline                      33
  •       Wm. W. M.                     13    Drug Store Clerk
  •       J. W. Bristow                 18    Drug Store Clerk

C. Elijah Lafayette Bristow   47    Retail Merchant

  •       Hattie E.                     31
  •       Eugene                        13
  •       Mary C. Hill                  22    Teacher

Lane County, Coast Fork Precinct

A. Curvin, J.P.               35    Teacher

  •       Amelia                        25   
  •       dau
  •       Wm. Bristow             21
  •             (Elijah Lafayett’s son)

Yamhill County, East Chehalem

A. G. R. Bristo               43    Farmer

  •       Narcissa                      39
  •       Charles A.              18
  •       Martha R.                     13
  •       Mary E.                       7
  •       Anna M.                       5
  •       Ruphus 0.                     2

1881, Jan 8

Will:  Addie C. Bristow (dau. Wm. W. B.)

mentions Cresswell, Lane Co.

  • Uncle        John (K.) Bristow    [66 y.o.]
  • Niece Etta Preston
  • Stepmother Mary J.
  • Half-sis    Lizie Bristow
  • Brother     Darwin BRistow
  • Executor:  T.G. Hendricks


Visitations by Doctor Bristow:

Feb 1881    James Wallace  OB   10.00

Mar 29, 1881      Hays McCall OB    10.00

Apr-May           A.K. Bristow (d. May 30.)

Sep. 18           Frank Close       OB   

Nov. 13th         Ed Doring         Cr for child v.

[ca. 1855–1875]

Advertisement/Business card:

“Dr. J.K. Bristow

Agent for

Subscription Books, Sewing Machines, Pictures, Papers

      Descriptive Circulars         Agent for the

      of all Agents’ Good…        Agents Herald

      with best terms…                  Phildelphia, Penn.

         Novelties, New and Useful Inventions, Etc.

                        Pleasant Hill, Ore.


                        [Ref: Oregonian Sunday Journal.]

1882, June

      Last House Calls according to Ledger:

June 5, 1882      To Weston Shelley & wife for med.

June 12    Dr. “To visit to Child  3.00”

             Cr. “By goods at brigesstore

                                    Setled 3.00″

1884, July 5

Lane County, Or.

Will Book #1, p. 223.

Zimm Crabtree           dated    23 Mar 1883

                        received 5 July 1884

Ex:  Son-in-law,  Wm. P. Fisher

Witness;  John K. Bristow  [70 years old].

[Ref: Will Abstr. of Lane Co., Or.  Book 1, 1867-1904.  Mrs. Homer Clee, Mrs. Irving C. King, Mrs. George D. Eberstein]

ca. 1885

JK Bristow asked by R.L. Polk & Co. about graduation and medical schooling.  No answer received by Polk from Bristow  {71 y.o.}. 


Polk Directory.

incl.:  J.K. Bristow.  Pleasant Hill, population: 40.

1887, Jan 28

Deathdate:  Dr. John Kennedy Bristow.  [72y 11mo. 2d]

      “Dr. John King

            b. Overton Co.  Tenn.

            1814   1887″

      “Emeline Hatch (wife) died enroute on Plains”

      “Mary A. (wife)  1822-1901”


      Resolution passed that after 31 Dec will effect medical practitioners after 31 December; the reason: licensure.


To be a doctor/physician requires: 

  •       –“school or system of medicine in good standing”
  •       –license or diploma
  •       –$100 per month to “any itinerant vendor…”

                  [REF:  Doctor in Oregon,  p. 492.]

Post-J.K. Bristow

1889–attempt made to produce a law

1891–ammendment is made to the intial law.

1893–Medical Sentinel publication begins.  Oregon is       called “the dumping ground for physicians” in var.     editorials.

  •       Campaign begins for a new Medical Act.
  •       The Sentinel suggested an increase in the number of physicians on the medical board.  Suggested several meetings be held each year (2-4), with a written examination for every case requiring a diploma.

1894–The Board rejected 88 of its 204 graduates and others who attended unrecognised schools applying for a license.

1895Pharmacal Digest, established 1895, lasted only several years.  Locally published/printed.

  •      New law passed in Oregon.
  •       The governor should appoint five men from each part of the state, three shall be “Regulars”, one Ecdlectic, and one “Homeopathist”. 
  •       A fine of $50-100 will be levied for practice without a license.
  •       Dr. B.E. Miller, Portland, homeopathy
  •       Dr. G.W. McConnell, Newburg, eclectic.
  •       All those who are licensed must supply suitable evidence for having studied medicine and be willing to submit to an exam.


  •       Medical Bill is further strengthened by approaching the “Quacks”.
  •       Intro by Dr. S.E. Josephi, Dean of Univ. Or. Med. School and Senator of Mult. Co.
  •       The American Medical Association remains a legitimate organization although it is very disorganized.


1890 Census for Union Veterans of the Civil War includes the following Bristows:

  • Isaac V.M.        Lane Co.    Mapleton Pct.
  • Samuel E.               Lane Co.          Pleasant Hill
  • James H. [Dec.]   Clackamas Co.     Pleasant Hill
  • Martha [Widow]                ”              “
  • George B.               Josephine Co.     Murphy Pct.

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