WALTER L. BRISTOL. In all communities are found men who rise equal if not superior to their surroundings, and instead of being entirely the creatures of circumstance, by their native energy and perseverance, so mold and direct their business interests as, to a great extent, to govern circumstances and make them subserve their immediate interests. The city of Cairo is not without its portion of such men. Taking front rank in this class is the subject of these lines, Walter L. Bristol. He was born in Erie County, Penn., on the 6th of May, 1839, and is the son of Lester Bristol and Adelaide Pettibone. The father was of German parentage, and was married in Pennsylvania, and about 1844 removed to Wisconsin, where the mother died in 1849. The father lived to the age of seventy-seven years, and died in Iowa about 1870. They had a family of five children — Walter L., of Cairo, Ill.; Edward Bristol, of Dakota; Adeline, deceased wife of A. Stonebraker; George Bristol, of Wisconsin; and Lucius Bristol, of Iowa. Mr. W. L. Bristol was reared on the farm, and chiefly by strangers. In 1859, having grown to manhood, he went to Chicago, and until 1863 was employed in the dry goods house of Potter Palmer, of that city. Having saved a little money, he came to Cairo in 1863, and soon after associated with L. W. Stilwell in the grocery trade, the partnership existing until April, 1875, when Mr. Stilwell retired from the firm, which was known as Bristol & Stilwell. Since the latter date, Mr. Bristol has conducted the business alone, and with marked success. In 1881, he erected a neat two-story brick business house at No. 32 on Eighth street, where he keeps a select stock of groceries, provisions and queensware. In addition to his city business, he has- a grain and fruit farm of 243 acres in Pulaski County. He was married in Bristol, Wis., on the 25th of December, 1866, to Miss Louisa S. Watkins, daughter of George and Maria (Chamberlain) Watkins — the former born in England in 1811, and the latter was born in 1814 in Connecticut. These parents, in 1844 (then having three children), removed from the State of New York, to Kenosha County, Wis., where the father engaged in farming until his death, which occurred in 1851. His wife and, four of a family of nine children still survive him. Mrs. Bristol was born in the State of New York in 1844. Their family consists of Walter W., born October 2, 1867; Willis E., born October 23, 1868; Louis T., born September 1, 1872; and John B. Bristol, born May 15, 1877. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and both husband and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Cairo.
Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 9-10.
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