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Buchanan County MOGenWeb Project

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Biographies of Buchanan County Residents:

Dr. Galen Bishop, M. D.

Transcribed by Joyce Underwood

From: History of Buchanan County, Missouri, Published 1881, St. Joseph Steam Printing Company, Printers, Binders, Etc., St. Joseph, Missouri.



Dr. Galen E. Bishop.  Among the distinguished physicians of Buchanan County, Dr. Bishop stands prominent.  He has been engaged in the active pursuit of his profession for nineteen years in Platte County, and for fifteen years in St. Joseph, Missouri.  His birth occurred in Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky.  His ancestors were of English descent, and, in colonial times, were residents of New Hampshire.  Members of the Bishop family fought in the Revolutionary War, and in 1783 settled in Virginia.  Galen's father, who was born in Virginia, removed from Kentucky to Missouri in 1843, settling in Platte County, where he died in 1851.  While comparatively young, Dr. Bishop had re-solved on medicine as his profession.  As soon as an opportunity offered, he began his medical studies, pursued them with diligence, and first established himself in practice at New Market, Platte County, Missouri, in the spring of 1846.  He followed his chosen calling in that county for nineteen years, when, on account of threatened lung disease, induced by exposure incident to a rough country practice, and also with a view of securing a more central location, he determined to move to St. Joseph.  Accordingly, he located in this city in the spring of 1865, and established himself in an office and general practice, making his specialties surgery and chronic diseases.  To accommodate his increasing practice, he built his infirmary on Third Street, which is beautiful in architectural design.  He has one of the finest libraries in the western country, and on his long rows of shelves, ancient and modern authors stand side by side, and there can be found the best works of the leading writers of all schools.  Dr. Bishop was originally an allopathic physician, but has thoroughly acquainted himself with the principles of the different leading schools and systems.  Naturally liberal in his tendencies, his practice is not hampered by the restrictive dogmas of any particular system.  But he believes that some good and some foundation of truth exists in all systems, of which every physician should avail himself in his practice.

Other information about Dr. Galen Bishop:

One research of Galen Bishop's family history writes ~~  "there is a error in it [the above biography] -- the Bishop's were never in New Hampshire. Galen's parents were Jacob Bishop and Elizabeth "Betsey" Elliott. She was the daughter of Benjamin Elliott and his wife -- I only have the initial M for the mother's name.

The Elliotts could have been in New Hampshire but I only have a record of them being in Nelson County, Kentucky, as they are not my direct line. Jacob Bishop was born 31 May 1790 in Washington Co., Virginia the son of Solomon Bishop and Catherine Eler or Iler. She was the daughter of Jacob Eler or Iler. Jacob married 26 Oct 1814 Elizabeth Elliott in Nelson County, Kentucky and moved from Nelson County to Pulaski County where he was a Blacksmith for many years and then moved to Missouri where he died 30 Jul 1851 Green Township, Platte Co., Missouri and is buried in the New Market Cemetery.

Jacob's father Solomon Bishop is a brother to my direct ancestor Elisha Bishop. They both served in the Rev. War. Each made affidavits for the other one in their papers. All of the Solomon's siblings as well as himself were born in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Elisha Bishop's Revolutionary War papers does give his date and place of Birth as well as his father's name of Thomas. They are they children of Thomas Bishop and Sarah Boulton.

Thomas Bishop's full name is Thomas John Bishop and he is the son of Thomas Bishop and Elizabeth Barber. Thomas was the eldest son and worked with his father. According to newspapers of the time, they were living on Elk Ridge in Anne Arundel County. His father died without a will but his mother didn't. She cut out all of the children and left everything to another son's children. Thomas then packed up his family and moved to Berekely County Virginia where he started over again and where he died--his oldest son Joshua stayed in Maryland until after the death of his wife and then he too went to Virginia -- eventually most of the family moved to Kentucky.

George and Elias stayed in Virginia. Solomon settled in Nelson County, Kentucky -- the others eventually settled in the Henry County area. The immigrant Bishop was Joshua Bishop who came to Maryland around 1669 or earlier and settled in the area which is now Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The above information comes from the Rev War papers of Elisha, Solomon Bishop and Leonard Ellis, as well as written family records, tax records, census records, old newspapers, marriage records, etc.

I just finished helping a distant cousin join the DAR through Elisha Bishop. I do understand how errors and mistakes can happen -- when Quisenberry did his abstracts of Rev. War Soldiers for Kentucky -- he put VA instead of PA for David Adams and that sent a lot of people off in the wrong direction and then Leonard Ellis's wife said he was born in Maryland and that sent everyone off in the wrong direction as he was born in Virginia. He is the Uncle to Elisha Bishop's wife and both state Virginia not Maryland. Therefore, I do double check everything and I'm very fortunate that my Grandfather kept a set of family records and wrote everything down and I've been able to verify what he gave me. ~~~ Virginia"