Mother: Littrell, Lois Vianne (Bristow) - F 1849/06/09
Date of birth: 1873/10/01
Date of death: 1954/05/12
Spouse: Bruton, Ellen (Bristow) - F 1872/08/13 - 1892/02/10 to ----/--/-- -
S. W. Bristow's Family By Duane Bristow, his great-grandson Dr. Samuel W. Bristow practiced medicine in Clinton and Wayne counties of Kentucky during the first half of the twentieth century. Dr. Sam, as he was called, worked in an area with no hospitals or clinics, no nursing homes, and no pharmacies. Much of the time he worked in his patient's homes. He learned to practice medicine without X- Rays or medical labs. During his career he delivered over 2,000 babies including one set of triplets. According to my father who was born in 1920 and was a teenager during the Great Depression, Grandpa lived at Zula in Wayne County until the mid 1930s when he moved to Albany in Clinton County. He rode a gray horse to make house calls and had a kerosene lantern which he hung on the saddle horn because he often had to go on house calls late at night. After he moved to Albany he got an old black model T Ford and learned to drive that, although Dad said he never looked at the road when driving, but wanted to look at the farms and countryside along the way. He probably got in that habit riding the old horse. My grandmother, his daughter-in-law, tells me that he would often pass her father's house in the early 1900s asleep on his horse after staying up nights with a patient. The horse knew the way home so Dr.Sam didn't have to pay attention to driving. According to my dad, in the wintertime, Grandma Ellen, Dr. Sam's wife, would sometimes have to come out of the house with a hammer to break Dr. Sam's boots loose from the stirrups where they had frozen after he had crossed a stream on his return home. (I have the old kerosene lantern he carried on his horse. It still works but gives very little light.) And I remember Dr. S.W. Bristow, the surviving twin born to Jesse Leven and Lois Bristow in the Fall of 1873 in Beech Bottom in Clinton County where he grew up. He had a brother, Prentice, four years younger than himself and a sister, Gertie, eight years younger. In the winter of his eighteenth year, against his parents' wishes, Sam married Mary Ellen Bruton from Cumberland County. Because of disagreement over his marriage his parents refused to help Sam in his desire to attend medical school at the University of Tennessee. With the loyal support of his wife he got a job in a stave mill and worked his way through medical school graduating in 1901 at age 28. During this time Dr. Sam, as he came to be called, had two sons born in the first and third years of his marriage. Until they were 60 or 70 years old Sam and Ellen Bristow lived in constant poverty and often fear of starvation and left a legacy of frugality which was to influence their descendents for at least three generations. Although one of the first in his area to have electricity, a telephone, and, during the second world war, a car, Dr. Sam died in 1954 in his home in Albany, Kentucky never having had a bathroom. He taught school for a while and set himself up in medical practice in Hegira in Cumberland County, Kentucky. Later he moved his practice to Gap Creek, Zula, and Powersburg in Wayne County and around 1935 to a house on Washington Street in Albany, Kentucky. His mother died in 1905 and Dr. Sam did not get along with his step mother. His two sons married in 1917 and 1918 and by 1928 each had two children. His father died in 1924 when Dr. Sam was 51. In 1930 Dr. Sam's younger brother who was a doctor in Texas wrote inviting Sam and Ellen to let the boys take care of things while they visited him in Texas. They took him up on the offer and went to Texas returning in time for the funeral of their eldest son who had died of a bowel obstruction at the age of 38. Although, he often was paid for medical services in produce and livestock, charging $4.00 for a house visit and $10.00 for delivering a baby, Dr. Sam was able to get enough money ahead by the second world war to acquire several tracts of land in Clinton and Wayne Counties. On October 10, 1953 Clinton, Wayne, and Cumberland Counties honored Dr. Sam by proclaiming Dr. Bristow Day with a day long program on the courthouse square in Albany. A large crowd attended including several hundred of over 2000 babies Dr. Bristow had delivered. In May 1954 Dr. Bristow died quietly in his sleep leaving his wife, one son, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Four years later Ellen died of cancer and his farm on Washington Street was named the Bristow subdivision with Bristow Street bisecting it. He and Ellen were buried at Gap Creek cemetery in Wayne County Kentucky. I have his ledger from the fall of 1933 through the spring of 1934. It is an old dry and brittle accounting journal about 4 X 7 inches. It is handwritten in pencil. Although mostly clear and legible, it is difficult to read in some places. For any who are interested I reproduce parts of that journal here. There are also some entries from his journal of 1949. Of particular interest to some will be such items as the charge for delivering a baby, which usually involved a house call and sometimes staying overnight with the family. He charged $10.00 for that in the 1930s. The charge for setting a broken arm was $2.00. The charge for pulling a tooth was 50 cents. Note: I may have some of the names spelled wrong due to difficulty in reading the journal. Also it is sometimes difficult to tell if an entry was charged or was paid because in the beginning of the book, grandpa put charges in one column and payments in another but later he began putting everything in the same column and making a checkmark when the patient later paid the charge. The reader should also recognize that grandpa not only ran a physician's business but also a farm and sometimes took payment in days work on the farm or in farm produce. September 1933 Note: - at this time he was at Zula in Wayne County KY Sept. 1 Charley Dalton - med - charged - 10 cts. Hardy Cross - pd. by cash - 1.00 Wyet Alkins - pd. by cash - 1.00 Gear Daniel - charged - 3.50 on Aug. 31 & 3.50 on Sept. 1 Lewis Patton - med - pd. - 10 cts. Mrs. Patton - med by Lewis - pd. - 25 cts. Sept. 2 Hardy Cross - med - charged - 60 cts. Mrs. Patton - med - charged - 15 cts. W. H. Massengale - order self - charged - 1.50 Brown Bass - charged - 1.50 Lute Troxel - charged - .75 Sept. 4 Lute Troxel - charged - 10 cts. Joe Hart - charged - 4.00 Ret Clark - pd by cash - 5.00 Tina Bates - Pd. - 10.00 Sept. 5 Phillip Dalton - med by Walter H. - 10 cts. Harrison Lee - med - 50 cts. Sept. 6 Let Dabney - paid - 3.00 - med - 25 cts. Sept. 7 Bill Atkinson - 25 cts. Joe Hart - med - 60 cts. Sept. 8 Let Dabney - 1.50 - med - 60 cts. Parker Marcum - 3.50 W. H. Massengale - pd. Brown Bass - 2.25 Sept. 9 Walter Denney - med - 50 cts. Arthur Perdue - 1.10 - cash Gerte - .75 Sept. 10 Letie Dabney - med & visit - 1.40 George Bridgeman - med - 10 cts. Sept. 11 Letie Dabney - med - 15 cts. Sherman Marcum - med for Mamie - 15 cts. Brown Bass - med - 20 cts. A. A. York - med by Willy - 60 cts. Let Dabney - paid - 1.50 Sept. 13 Let Dabney - visit & med - 1.65 Sept. 14 Sherman Powers - med - 55 cts. John Hurt - med - 1.40 Tom Burris - med - 15 cts. Marvin Hicks - med - 10 cts. Let Dabney - med - 25 cts. Marvin Hicks - paid by 1 day's work - 75 cts. Sept. 15 W. H. Massengale - paid by 1/3 day's work - 25 cts. Marvin Hicks - paid by 1 day's work - 75 cts. Sept. 16 Roe Marcum - med - 50 cts. Herb Perdue - med for wife - 75 cts. Let Dabney - med - 60 cts. W. H. Massengale - paid by 1 day's work - 75 cts. W. H. Massengale - paid by cash - 1.00 Sept. 17 Joe Hart - extract teeth - wife - 50 cts. Sheard Pierce - med - 1.00 Rob Massengale - med - 75 cts. Lute Troxell - med - 25 cts. W. H. Massengale - med - Mamie - 25 cts. Sept. 18 John Throshed - med - paid - 1.00 Johnnie Morgan - med - 60 cts. Tom Massengale - pd. by cash - 4.00 Sept. 19 Boss Hicks - pd. by cash - 4.00 Lorane Perdue - med - 55 cts. Let Dabney - pd. by cash - 1.50 Sept. 20 Othey King - med - 65 cts. Let Dabney - visit - 1.50 med by Walter - 45 cts. Jess Chaffin - O.B. Girl - Bal. - 8.00 Sept. 21 Tina Massengale - pd. by cash - 4.00 Sept. 23 Johnnie Burris - med - 10 cts. Conn Rains - med - 10 cts. Tom Massengale - 4.00 Sept. 24 Jack Massengale - med - 15 cts. Dewey Carr - med - 10 cts. Geo. A. Massengale - O. B. Girl - 10.00 Grdy Guffey - 20 cts. T---- Guffey - 15 cts. Andy Guffey - 30 cts. Sept. 25 Jack Massengale - 25 cts. Stank Shelton - O. B. Girl - 10.00 Tom Massengale - visit - 4.00 Sept. 26 Tom Massengale - med - 25 cts. Sept. 27 Luther Troxwell - med - 15 cts. Sept. 28 Sheard Pierce - med - 10 cts. Tom Massengale - pd. by cash - 4.00 Purit - c. v. - 2.00 Reneau Dalton - med - 30 cts. Sept. 29 Willie Denney - O. B. Boy - 10.00 Jarvis C. Perdue - med - 75 cts. Mrs. Webb - paid - 1.50 Sept. 30 George Bridgeman - med - 25 cts. H. C. Davis - cash - 1.00 - .05 W. M. Bertram - see wife - 6.00 January 1949 Note: - at this time he was in Albany, KY Jan. 1 Bass Brown - 4.00 Tildy Shelton - med - 1.25 Jan. 2 Bass Brown - 4.00 Jan. 3 Lute Daniel - 4.00 Jan. 5 Bruce Bowlin - O. B. - 20.00 cr. work ????? - 8.00 team - 4.00 work toilet - 3.00 Jan. 7 Bass Brown - 4.00 Jan. 10 Lute Daniel - cash - 5.00 Howard Babs - chk. - 6.85 Charley J. Brown - med - 2.50 John L. Means - Albany - vis see girl - 3.00 Jan. 13 Bass Brown - med - 1.00 Charley Brown - office - 2.00 Jan. 19 Preacher Witham - nite - 4.00 pd. Jan. 20 Preacher Witham - 3.00 pd. Jan. 21 Jones Benet - med - 1.00 Levi Harmon - med - 1.00 Jan. 24 Roy Brown - med baby - 1.50 Jan. 26 Marshel Flowers - med - 1.00 - Frogue, Ky. Add York - pd. - 7.00 Jan. 27 Add York - pd. - 7.00 Jan. 28 Add York - 7.00 Jan. 29 Brad Perdue - by cash - 2.00
Duane Bristow (email@example.com)
Please send comments.
Last revised 2015/08/12.