Joseph L. Bristow, U.S. Senator

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Joseph Little Bristow

Birthdate: (82)
Birthplace: Hazel Green, Wolfe County, Kentucky, United States
Death: July 14, 1944 (82)
Fairfax, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Bristow and Savannah Bristow
Husband of Margaret Hester Bristow
Father of William Hendrix Bristow; Bertha May Bristow; Joseph Quayle Bristow; Frank Baker Bristow and Edwin McKinley Bristow
Brother of Sarah Anne Bristow
Half brother of John Benjamin Bristow; William McHendry Bristow; Bertha Flint Wickham and Harriet "Hattie" Ellen Scott

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About Joseph L. Bristow, U.S. Senator

Joseph Little Bristow (July 22, 1861 – July 14, 1944) was an American Republican politician from Kansas.

Born outside Hazel Green, Kentucky, he moved to Kansas when he was twelve. He graduated from Baker University when he was 25.

He edited several newspapers in Salina, Kansas before serving as a private secretary to Governor Edmund Morrill. He was President William McKinley's fourth assistant postmaster general.

Bristow was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1908 and served from 1909 to 1915. Bristow is perhaps best known for provoking a sarcastic comment from Vice President Thomas R. Marshall. One day while Bristow was delivering a speech in the Senate on "what this country needs", Marshall whispered loudly enough for most of the chamber to hear, "What this country really needs is a good five-cent cigar."

Bristow fought fiercely for direct election of Senators, which, until the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1912, were elected by (or appointed by processes established by) state legislatures.

Bristow is also known for giving Dwight D. Eisenhower his recommendation for entrance into the United States Military Academy.

Bristow was defeated in his 1914 re-election bid. He spent the rest of his days farming his Virginia estate, Ossian Hall. When he died in 1944, his body was returned to Kansas for burial next to his wife Margaret in Salina's Gypsum Hill Cemetery.



fourth Assistant Postmaster General, and United States Senator from Kansas. Author of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution

He was 12 years old, when his family moved to Kansas. Joseph grew up on a farm and had some experience in farming, in Elk County, before entering college.

He was educated partly in the public schools of Kentucky and partly in Kansas. All of his higher education was received at Baker University, in Baldwin, Kansas. He graduated with a B.A. degree, in 1886; an M. A. degree, in 1891; and an L.L.D., in 1909. Immediately after his first

graduation, he was elected Clerk of the District Court of Douglas County, an office he filled for four years.

In 1890, he bought the "Daily Republican," of Salina, Kansas, and continued to edit it for five years. In 1895, he sold the "Daily Republican" and bought the "Ottawa Herald," at Ottawa, Kansas, which he owned for more than ten years. In 1894, he was elected Secretary of th Republican State Committee and, during the following year, was appointed private secretary to Governor E.

N. Merrill. He was again elected Secretary of the state committee in 1896.

His first opportunity for national service came, in March of 1897, when President McKinley appointed him an assistant postmaster general. In 1903, he again bought the "Salina Daily Republican." In 1905, he retired from the post office department, when President Roosevelt appointed him special commissioner of the Panama Railroad. In 1908, Joseph L. Bristow was nominated at the Republican Primary for U. S. Senator and he was elected to this office, by the state legislature, in January 1909; and served as a U. S. Senator for six years.

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Joseph L. Bristow, U.S. Senator's Timeline

July 22, 1861
Hazel Green, Wolfe County, Kentucky, United States
October 19, 1880
Age 19
December 18, 1881
Age 20
March 5, 1884
Age 22
December 13, 1885
Age 24
February 18, 1888
Age 26
July 14, 1944
Age 82
Fairfax, Virginia, United States