Albert B Osborne.

Makers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) online

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ceased to be a student and a reader. His first wife, whom he
married in 1872, was Mary B. Wannamaker, and they had no
children.

After practicing medicine in St. Matthews till 1881, Doctor
Bates located in Columbia, South Carolina, where he made a
specialty of mental and nervous diseases, and so well was his
ability recognized, that he was elected President of the Kichland
County Medical Society.

On account of failing health, never having been a strong man,
he returned in 1886 to his old home. In 1887, he was made Presi-
dent of the Bank of St. Matthews. For three terms, he was State
Treasurer of South Carolina, holding this office from November,
1890, to February, 1897. At this time, his position was a most
difficult one, as the financial condition in South Carolina was
critical. For twenty years he has been a trustee of the South
Carolina College, and has served three times as intendant of St.
Matthews.

Doctor Bates' second wife, Lilian Rigby Dally, of New York,
is daughter of John Richard Dally, Captain of Engineers, United
States Coast Guard, and Hattie Sophia Sullivan, of Canada. By
this union he had two sons, John William, born in 1914, who died
the same year, and William Wesley, born May 28, 1916, who is a
fine, promising boy.

Doctor Bates is a Democrat and was a member of the County
Executive Committee in 1876, and township chairman. He has
always worked for the general improvement of his town, both
from a business and a moral standpoint.

In appearance Doctor Bates is an aristocratic gentleman of
the old Southern school. Quiet and dignified in bearing, his
native gentleness and kindly manner elicit the confidence and
respect of all with whom he comes in contact.



WILLIAM PRESTON BISHOP

THE Bishop i'ainily is an ancient and honorable one.
Mention is made as early as the year (J4T of one Benedict
1,( -st-opius, a Saxon and a man of uoble race, who in his
youth was a soldier and was granted sixty hides of land
for military services by Oswy, King of Northumberland. Two
monasteries, one in honor of St. Peter and one dedicated to St.
Paul were founded by him. An ancient manuscript is in exist-
ence which states that Walter Bisshopp, who came from Gascony
with King Henry II, was descended from Sibille (Sybilla), sister
of this Benedict Bescopius. Walter married the daughter an 1
heiress of Sir John Pocklington, who was descended from a race
existing before the Norman Conquest, and by this alliance he
acquired the lordship of Pocklington. His grandson, Theo, is
said to have been Abbott of Beverly, and there is also mentioned
one John, who was Prior of Braxley.

Thomas, about fourteenth in descent from Walter, served in
Parliament for Gatton; was Sheriff of County Surrey in 1585
and again in 1602. He was created a baronet in July 1620. His
son, Sir Edward, was knighted by Charles I at Hampton Court,
December 18, 1625. For his loyalty to his king. Sir Edward
suffered imprisonment and was heavily fined. He married Lady
Mary Tufton, daughter of Nicholas, Earl of Thanet. The present
representative of this branch of the Bisshoff family in England is
Sir Cecil Augustus Bisshopp of Parham Park, County Sussex,
Ninth Baronet.

Colonel William Preston Bishop, with whom this sketch has
principally to deal, was born near Spartanburg, South Carolina,
August 25, 1828. He was the son of Barney and Sarah (Evans)
Bishop. His father was a planter whose residence was situated
on the shores of Lawson's Fork, and who was a man highly es-
teemed and respected in his community. Coloney Bishop also,
as was natural, was a farmer, and was considered one of the
leaders in the progressive and successful agricultural develop-
ment of his County.

c/

However much doubt there may be of the descent of the
Bishops from Sybilla, it must be admitted at least that the mili-
tary spirit of old Benedict seems to have been transmitted, for
among their number are found many who have fought bravely
and well in defense of their country. "Captain Buck," as Colonel
Bishop was familiarly called, was descended from a Revolution-

[232]



WILLIAM PRESTON BISHOP 235

ary soldier and had two brothers who fought in the Mexican War.
In 1847 these brothers, Simpson and Jack, enlisted and served
with Colonel Pierce Butler's command, the Palmetto Sharp
Shooters, in Mexico. When, the war over, Simpson was returning
home ill of wounds and disease contracted in the service, he died
in Mobile, Alabama, and was buried in that city.

*/

Before the outbreak of the Civil War, that fearful four years'

/

struggle which broke so many hearts and ruined so many homes,
Colonel Bishop received his commission of Captain of the Lawson
Fork Vouuteers, "Red Legs." He was later elected Major of the
Upper Battalion, Thirty-sixth Regiment S. C. M. After South
Carolina passed the ordinance of secession he was raised to the
rank of Colonel of his regiment. This was before the real fighting
began. Under orders from the Governor he assembled his com-
mand on December 24, 1861, on Bomar's Old Field, which was
their usual place of rendezvous, and called earnestly for volun-
teers to defend the State. Four companies were formed at this
time and Colonel Bishop was given command of one of these with
the title of Captain. They were mustered into the service in Jan-
uary, 1862. In the following year, after his company "had been
transferred to Virginia and had been into Maryland and back
to Virginia," he resigned and went home, but later returned to the
front in Virginia. At the siege of Petersburg he was wounded
twice ; the first wound was slight, but the other was of so severe
a nature that there was grave danger of its proving fatal, a large
minie ball having completely penetrated his right arm and body.
After treatment for some time in the Richmond hospital, how T -
ever, he was able to be taken home. He was returning to the front
after his recovery when he received the news of Lee's surrender.

When a young man Colonel Bishop joined the Baptist
Church and was later made a deacon. He was a conscientious
Christian, an honored and respected member of his community,
and an affectionate father to his large family of children. His
wife, Miss Polly Brannon, born February 5, 1830, daughter of
William and Judith (Seay) Brannon, and also of Revolutionary
descent, was a most charming woman. She was a granddaughter
of Reuben Seay, who fought in the War for Independence. He
was shot at the Siege of Yorktown, the wound resulting in his
loss of sight.

The children of Colonel and Mrs. Bishop are: Sarah A.,
Xancy A., Lou R., Cassia A., Dudley H., James A., Emma, Judith,
Thomas, Peter S., Rosa. Mary, Hattie and Barney. One child
died in infancy.

f

Colonel Bishop's grandfather was William Bishop, who with
his brother Edward, tried to effect a settlement near Lincolnton,
North Carolina, but being discouraged by the hostile attitude of
the Indians, they moved farther south and finally settled on oppo-



236 WILLIAM PRESTON BISHOP

site sides of Standing Stone Creek, a short distance west of Spar-
tanburg. The part where Edward settled was later known as the
Mabry Place, near New Pisgah Church. Both brothers lived
and died in their homes by the Creek ; both raised large families
and both fonght as Revolutionary soldiers. Among the children
of William was Barney, father of Colonel Bishop. The father
and mother of William and Edward, whose names have unfortu-
nately been lost sight of, came from Ireland with the early set-
tlers. The Bishops are numbered among the modern Irish
Gentrv who went into Ireland with the Croniwellian Settlement,

mt

or about that time. It is from this branch, no doubt, that Colonel
Bishop's great-grandfather came. There were other children of
these Irish emigrants, but the details are not on record. History
tells of a Mcholas Bishop who was taken prisoner with a number
of others when Tarleton raided South Carolina. This man was
eighty years old and deaf, and his only crime was that he had
eight or nine sons fighting for freedom in the American Army.
How, in spite of his misery, must the old man's heart have swelled
with pride of these sons, and how truly might their mother have
said : "Here are my jewels."

In the records of the "Old Stone Church," Oconee Countv.

*/ /

South Carolina, in a list of dead in the cemeterv is the entrv.

,< t/ 7

"Nicholas Bishop and wife." It seems probable that Mcholas
the prisoner and this Mcholas were the same person, and that he
was the father not only of William and Edward who fought in
the Revolution, but of others.

In the first census of the United States for Spartanburg
County, South Carolina, which was taken in 1790, there appears
the following: "William Bishop 2 free white males of 16 years
and upward including heads of families. 5 free white males
under 16 years. 5 free white females including heads of families."
It would seem that this William was the grandfather of Colonel
Bishop. There is also mention of other Bishops, some of whom
were doubtless brothers of William and Edward. Landrum's
History of Upper South Carolina gives an account of the murder
by Indians of a Mr. Bishop. His wife escaped, but the children
were captured, later, however, being rescued. These probably
belonged to the same family.

Surnames were not anciently used, each having its origin in
some occupation, location, disposition or characteristic of the
individual who first bore it, or even from something merely asso-
ciated with that person's life, and sometimes the logical fitness of
the "nickname" was rather obscure. There existed in England
a custom of electing a boy bishop on St. Nicholas' Day. This play
was very popular and the sobriquet would naturally cling to the
boy who had been singled out from the others and chosen bishop.
Some authorities think that the patronymic "Bishop" originated




FL .WILLIAM P. BISHOP



WILLIAM PRESTON BISHOP 239

in this way. Another origin might have been in the custom of
giving this title to a person of sedate or ecclesiastical appearance.

However this may be, the name has been and still is repre-
sented in the various professions in different sections of the
United States as well as in Europe. There were many of the name
prominent in the early settlements, many were grantees of land
in the different colonies whose standing was high in their com-
munities, and many fought as officers and privates in the Revolu-
tion. In England, too, the name leads in the various ranks and
occupations, and it is found no less than eight times in the admis-
sions to Gray's Inn between the years 1584 and 1724, showing
that those w T ho bore it, have been men of education seeking to
enter the ranks of the legal professions.

Sir Henry Rowley Bishop, an eminent English musician and
composer of operas, was born in London, November 18, 1786, and
died in that city, April 30, 1855. Among his many works are:
"The Miller and his Men," "The Slave," "Maid Marion," and
"Clari." This last contains the beautiful melody so familiar to
us all which accompanies John Howard Payne's "Home, Sweet
Home."

In Salem, Massachusetts, Edward Bishop and Sarah his wife
were imprisoned for witchcraft in 1692. They managed to make
their escape, but their property was seized; it was, however, re-
deemed bv their son Samuel.

t>

In a sketch of the History of Attleborough, by John Daggett,
occurs the following :

"Among the families who came to this town early was that
of Bishop, several members of it coming from Salem, Massachu-
setts, in 1703. Members of this family were prominent in town
affairs during the Revolution, and a number were in active serv-
ice. At least six were volunteers from the town. On the Bishop
farm many guns were forged which acted their part in the War
for Independence."

Timothy Bishop, son of Daniel and Louisa (Hotchkiss)
Bishop, of New Haven, Connecticut, was born in 1775 and died at
the age of ninety-seven, being at that time Major of the Second
Foot Guards. He was the oldest graduate of Yale and the last
graduate of the eighteenth century. There were seven Bishops
graduated from Yale in 1833.

Hon. James Bishop, New Haven, Connecticut, was Secretary
of the Colony in 1651, and Deputy Governor from 1683 until his
death in 1691.

Among writers of note the name of C. E. Bishop, M.A., Ph.D.,
stands out conspicuously. A Greek scholar, he is the author of
important philological monographs on Greek verbals.

Prominent also, is the name of Joseph Bucklin Bishop, an
American journalist, author and public official. He was born at



240 WILLIAM PRESTON BISHOP

Seabrook, Massachusetts, and after his graduation he started
newspaper editorial work on the New York Tribune. Later he
wrote for the New York Evening Post, and in 1900 was Chief of
the editorial staff of the New York Globe. In 1915 he was ap-
pointed Secretary of the Isthmian Canal Commission, having
charge of construction and publicity plans, and edited "The Canal
Record," a weekly paper. His writings are extensive.

Another author of note is William Henry Bishop, American
novelist. He was graduated from Yale in 1867. Some of his
works are: "The House of a Merchant Prince," "The Golden Jus-
tice," "The Brownstone Boy and Other Queer People." He was
appointed United States Consul at Genoa in 1903 and Consul at
Palermo in 1905.

An American physician who has attained distinction is
Doctor Seth Scott Bishop. He was graduated in 1876 from
Northwestern University and was afterwards Professor of Otol-
ogy at the Chicago Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital.
He was also Professor of diseases of the nose, throat and ear at
the Illinois Medical College. He published several medical books.

Many pages could be filled with the names of prominent men
who have been members of this illustrious family, but space does
not permit. The Bishops in America have a right to a feeling of
pride in the name, and no doubt this old and honorable family will
continue to give its sons freely and generously for the defense of
the country and for the general good and improvement of the
people.



GEORGE BASKERVILLE BRIDGEFORTH

GEORGE BASKERVILLE BRIDGFORTH, born in Essex
County, Virginia, November 15, 1823, was the son of
Thomas Bridgforth, a planter. He owned a plantation
and cultivated tobacco like many other successful gen-
tlemen whose homes were located in Virginia, the mother of all
other States, in that it was the first to be settled by the English
Avhen colonization of America began.

The name of Bridgforth is found first in 1004 when it was
borne in the form of Byrhtfirth, by a monk. It next appears as
Brigford in 1635. The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland
shows that two men by the names of John and Thomas Brigford
of Stonehaven, in the County of Kirkardine, were brought before
the court charged with malicious damage to property. Another
mention of these same two men tells that they were Scotch
yeomen "right brave and merry."

In the register of the Great Seal of Scotland, April 4, 1662,
is a Charter dated at Whitehall, granting to George, Marquis of
Huntlie, son of George, Marquis of Huntlie, for some "eminent
services" certain lands, among them Bridgfoord in Banffshire,
Scotland. Another Charter written at Edinburgh, Scotland,
March 3, 1662, granted lands to George O'Gilrie of Barras, Knight
Baronet, among them a piece of land adjacent to Bridgfuird in
Kincardineshire. Two years later in 1665 another Charter
granted lands to "Robert Douglas, only lawful son of Robert
Douglas, Senior, of Brigfurd and his heirs male by Margaret
Gray," etc. Later on in the Charter, the grant is referred to as
"barony of Brigfoord, sheriffdom of Kincardine."

At present the name is still represented in Scotland and is
also to be found in England in the form of Bridgford. It is the
surname of the late Lieutenant-Colonel the Honorable Robert
Bridgford of the second volunteer Battalion, Manchester Regi-
ment, also Companion of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath,
Justice of the Peace for the Counties of Hereford and Lancaster
and Deputy-Lieutenant for the County of Hereford. He was born
in 1836 and was the son of J. R. Bridgford of Manchester.

The yeoman family of Brigdgforth or Bridgforth continued
to flourish in Scotland, and in the earlier part of the eighteenth
century the name begins to appear in the records of Virginia.
As early as 1719 record is found of one James Bridgforth who
received a grant of four hundred acres in King and Queen

[243]



GEORGE BASKERVILLE BRIDGEFORTH

County, Virginia. Later, in 1725, this same James Bridgforth of
St. Stephen's Parish, King and Queen County sold to Garvin
Corbin of Stratton Major Parish, King and Queen County, for
forty pounds currency, four hundred acres of land in Saint George
Parish, Spotsylvania County, formerly in Stratton Major Parish,
King and Queen County. This land had been granted by patent
to said Bridgforth, February 20, 1719. Also on August 1725
James Bridgforth gave to Colonel Garvin Corbin a Bill of Sale
of Cattle on the plantation transferred in the foregoing deed.
The whole was recorded September 7, 1725. There is some con-
fusion as to Counties, but it must be remembered that the Vir-
ginia legislature created Spotsylvania County in 1720, out of
parts of Essex, King William and King and Queen Counties.

In 1786 the marriage of William Bridgford and Lucy Long
took place, and was recorded in the Caroline County marriage
bonds on October 12. This William Bridgford was probably the
grandson of James Bridgeforth to whom the plantation was
granted.

No record can be found of any of the family having served in
the Revolutionary War, but those representing the name may
have been either too old or too young to render military help to
their country at that time.

In 1790, however, four years after the marriage of William
Bridgford there came to America three brothers, Thomas, Robert
and Benjamin Bridgforth. They came from the County of Kin-
cardine and settled in Virginia somewhere in Essex County. The
record of the first census taken in 1790 shows Benjamin Bridg-
forth residing in Amelia and being the head of a family of seven,,
as well as owning four dwellings and seven other buildings. In
the same census mention is also made of Thomas Bridgford, who
was head of a family consisting of three whites and two blacks.
This family resided in Lancaster County, Virginia. Xo mention

/ y / c?

is made of Robert and it is probable that he went to the great
northwest, as one bearing the name of Bridgford enlisted in a
Wisconsin regiment during the Civil War, though no trace can be
obtained of his family.

Many of the parish registers and public documents were
burned during the Civil War and after 1790 no further record
of the family of Bridgforth can be found until 1828, when the will
of John Bridgforth, grandfather of the subject of this sketch,
was made. This will w T as made in Brunswick County, Virginia,
and Benjamin J. R. Bridgforth qualified as Administrator of his
estate. One of his sons, Thomas, was a Virginia planter and the
father of George Baskerville Bridgforth.

Through marriage the family has become connected with many
prominent families of Virginia, among them the Baskervilles.
This family originally spelled the name Bakerville or Baskervylle



GEORGE BASKERVILLE BRIDGEFORTH 245

and is of good old Scotch ancestry and well represented in Vir-
ginia. One George Baskerville served on the county committee
for Mecklenburg County, Virginia, in 1775. Another John B.
Baskerville of Pulaski County was County clerk for three years
from 1864 to 1867 and W. Baskerville of Mecklenburg County
was County clerk from 1795 to 1814. A pencil note on the old
register says : "He gave general satisfaction and kept the records
neatly and legibly." As early as 1676 John Baskervyle, in behalf
of York County, sent a petition to William Berkeley to admit
William Booth, Edward Mosse and Eobert Cobb into a commis-
sion. Norwell Baskerville is mentioned as security on a marriage
bond in Amelia County, Virginia, in 1735.

Thomas Bridgforth married Lucy Kivers Collier, who w r as
descended from an ancient family. The name Collier originated
in Scotland from the occupation of dealing in coal. "Colliers bor-
row that appelative from an ancestor, having, when pursued by
enemies, concealed himself in a coal-pit." This name has been in
the British Peerage for many years. The Collyer's of Hackford
Hall of Norfolk, England, are known to have a very illustrious
ancestry. The name frequently appears in America, both in New
England and in other States. The earliest mention of it is in
New England when, on November 3, 1637, Constant Southworth
married Elizabeth, daughter of William Collier. His son Thomas
married Elizabeth, the daughter of John and Frances Clark Rey-
ner and founded the Southworth family in America. William
Collier had come over with the "Merchant Adventurers," as they
were called, a little later than the Mayflower. His name is sub-
scribed to an agreement made in Plymouth Colony, November 25,
1626. He seems to have stood high in Colonial affairs, for it is
noted that he served on a committee with Captain Miles Standish,
for the purpose of devising a means of defending the colony
against the treacherous and frequent attacks of Indians. Later
on, William Collier was licensed to sell liquor in the colony of
Plymouth. This shows him to have been respected and esteemed,
for in those days no one but a thoroughly upright and conscien-
tious man was entrusted with such a license. John Collier and
Charles Collier are mentioned in 1739 as being vestrymen in the
Parish of King and Queen and King William Counties, Virginia,
established in 1664 and 1665.

The Virginia family from which Lucy Rives Collier descended
came early to this country. Mention is made of John Collier in
1745. His name was used in connection with some tobacco that
had been drowned in Gray's Creek warehouse. Thomas Collier
was also mentioned in the same act. Later, in 1752, John Collier
was again mentioned in a Virginia act as receiving, with other
Virginians, payment for several hundred pounds of choice leaf
tobacco which had been destroyed by dampness in a warehouse.



2i6 GEORGE DASKKUVIM.E BRIDGEFOKTH

Mention is also made in another record, of Hubert Collier, great-
grandfather of .Tolin. He brought suit against one Remnant and
others on October _r, Kiir>. Another branch of the family, also
living in Virginia, spelled the name Collyer. They resided in
Worcester fount v and record is found of the marriage of Henry
Fairfax of St. Nicholas and Rachel Collyer of Saint Martins, May
5, 1607.

Mr. Bridgforth married, November 26, 1850, Sallie Ann Seay
of Luneuburg County, Virginia, and died October 20, 1869. She
came of good old Scotch stock, her father being descended from
the ancient Scotch family of Seys, or Sais, as the name was first
s] '<]].]. Later it was changed to Saies, Seyes and finally became
Seay. The founder of the family of that name was Howell Sais
of Boverton, first known in the time of Edward III. The coat of
arms of one of the earliest members of the Sais is described
as follows: "Sable a chevron between three fluer-de-lys argent."
The family was very numerous and the Seys of Gaer are descended
from them. Roger Seys, mentioned as vicar of Llangevelach, is
the ancestor of a long line of stalwart warriors, statesmen and
politicians. The family possesses a connected genealogy to 1767.

It is said that the Seys of Boverton originated from Eneas
Seys who was given as a hostage to William the Conqueror for
the good conduct of Glamorganshire in Scotland. Some of the
members of this family were among the early settlers of Virginia
and, like their ancestors in Scotland, proved themselves honest
and industrious.

The Bridgforth family is spread all through Virginia and
one branch, descended from Benjamin, lives in Mississippi.

George Baskerville Bridgforth received his education in the
public schools of Wilkinson County, Mississippi, after which, in
1846, he returned to his father's plantation "Woodlawn" in Vir-
ginia. Having finished his education he began to assist his father
in the management of his estate. Later on he engaged in the iron
foundry business as well as in the lumber trade, being president
and general manager of the iron foundry, near Blacks and
Whites, Nottaway County, Virginia. In politics, a Democrat,
Mr. Bridgforth served as magistrate and justice of the peace for
a number of years. He also bore his part in the Civil War, that
great fraticidal struggle that convulsed the Union for four long



Online LibraryAlbert B OsborneMakers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) → online text (page 18 of 48)