Biography of John Kellogg Bishop



Berrien County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Among the pioneers of Bainbridge in the days of 1844 the members of the family of Asa Bishop are entitled to conspicuous mention. In that family were Asa Bishop, the father, Polly Bishop, the mother, and eleven children. Of those children there are living in Bainbridge Mrs. Orsemus Spink and Mrs. John Lewis, sisters of John Kellogg Bishop. Of his busy and useful life the following article will furnish a brief sketch.

John K. Bishop was born in Henderson, Jefferson Co., N. Y., on the 24th of July, 1827. He passed his early life at home in the usual manner of farmers Sons in those days, enjoying during brief periods the benefits of a rustic education, but being engaged the greater part of his time in the labors of the farm. He was but seventeen years old when, as already mentioned, be accompanied his parents to the West, and became one of the youthful pioneers of Bainbridge. There the elder Bishop located himself upon a farm in section 7, and there, as his father’s assistant, John renewed with vigorous ambition the sturdy agricultural experience of his New York home. For four years he served his father; marched with unflagging zeal to the music of the pioneer’s axe towards the goal of independence. Having then almost reached the age of manhood he determined to assume all of manhood’s duties, and on the 2d of February, 1848, he was married to Miss Sarah Romelia, daughter of Jabez Knapp (a Bainbridge pioneer in 1838). He received from his father the deed of a farm on section 7, erected a small framed house upon it, and speedily assumed the position of a citizen, a householder, and the head of a family. In 1862 he replaced the humble home of his previous married life with the handsome residence in which he now resides.

Early in life Mr. Bishop (then, as now, a Democrat) was called to participate in public affairs; and since his twenty first year, when he was elected township clerk, he has filled numerous local public trusts, in the discharge of which, as well as in the field of private citizenship, he has gained much deserved popular esteem, the cause of public education in particular having ever found in him a staunch supporter. He has served for years as justice of the peace, and still occupies that position. He was one of the first members of the Christian Church at Millburg, organized in 1856; was a deacon from that time until 1876, and is now an elder and a leading spirit of the same organization. Mr. Bishop is also the Master of Benton Harbor Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, and a member of Benton Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, with which he has been associated since 1868, and in which he has filled every office within the gift of his brethren.

Mrs. Bishop, who was married on her sixteenth birthday, was the daughter of Jabez and Olive Knapp, who moved from Jefferson Co., N. Y., and settled in Bainbridge in 1838, when Sarah Rolemia (afterwards Mrs. Bishop) was but six years old. Mr. Knapp was a ship-carpenter, and although the owner of a farm in Bainbridge, worked at his trade in St. Joseph for several years after his settlement in the former township. He subsequently moved to Watervliet, but is now a resident of the State of California. With her husband Mrs. Bishop aided to organize the Christian Church at Millburg, in 1856, of which she has ever since been one of the most faithful and useful members. She is also a member of Benton Harbor Grange, and is highly esteemed by a large circle of friends and acquaintances in Bainbridge and the adjoining towns. Of the twelve children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bishop ten are living, namely: James G. Bishop, who lives in Benton; Perry S., a resident of the State of Iowa; Frank H. and Adelbert D., now at Deadwood, Dakota Territory; Mrs. Juan Hess, of Benton; and Clinton, Fred, John K., Jr., Bird, and Lou, who reside with their parents.

History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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