From "The City of Kenosha and Kenosha County Wisconsin" by Frank H. Lyman, 1916, p. 322:
The settlement of the Town of Bristol dates back to 1835, when
William R. Higgins made the first land claim. The first farm
opened in the town was by Rollin Tuttle, who in the spring of 1836
commenced working his land claim by plowing the prairie and
planting. At the time Mr. Tuttle moved on his claim there were
but few families in the region. During the first four months after
Mr. Tuttle took up his abode on his land Mrs. Tuttle saw no female
neighbor or stranger. William Etheridge, Joel Walker, George
Nixon, S. Upson and perhaps some others moved into town in 1836.
In 1837 a large number of families arrived, among which were those
of Levi Grant, A. R. Wilbur, C. G. Cotting, Charles Jennings.
William Tuttle, son of Mr. and Mrs. Rollin Tuttle, was the first
white child born in the township. The first death which occurred
the town was that of a daughter of Elisha Phillips, aged about
seven years, and she was buried on July 28, 1837. Rev. Abner
Barlow preached the funeral sermon on the words, "But I say unto
you brethren the time is short." This was the first sermon preached
in the town. On October 5, 1837 Reverend Barlow preached at the
house of A. B. Jackson, to about fifty persons. This was the first
regular Sabbath service in Bristol, and at that time appointment
was made for regular preaching every two weeks. Arrangements
were also made for holding prayer meetings alternately at the
houses of A. B. Jackson, L. Grant and S. S. Fowler.
On March 7, 1838, Rev. O. F. Curtis from Southport preached at
the house of A. B. Jackson and formed a Methodist society or class.
This was the first religious organization in the township. The next
preacher in Bristol was Rev. Salmon Stebbins. The same year
Reverend Cadwell, a Congregationalist, preached at the house of
S. S. Fowler, who erected a school building as a private enterprise,
which he expected would eventuallv grow into an academical institution.
The school in the course of a few years became of considerable
importance and attracted students from neighboring towns. The
failure of Mr. Fowler's health, however, arrested the progress of the
In July, 1837, Rev. Jason Lothrop surveyed the road running
from Southport to Geneva. This was the first road running West
from Southport to be surveyed. S. S. Fowler and A. B. Jackson
were the chain bearers from the lake to the O'Plain River, at which
point General Bullen and party from Salem assisted in running the line
west to Geneva.
In December, 1837, a meeting was held at the house of A. B. Jackson, at which
a petition was drawn up for a mail route from Southport to Geneva. At this
meeting a vote was taken to name the town and a majority voted to call the
town Bristol. A postoffice bearing the name of the town was soon afterward
established and commenced business in 1839. A. B. Jackson was appointed postmaster
and held the office for some years; subsequently Rollin Tuttle was appointed
and kept the office at the house of Mr. Jackson.
In December, 1839, at a meeting at the house of S. S. Fowler the Bristol Lyceum
was organized. Salmon Upson was president; H. A. Newbury, vice president; and
A. B. Jackson, secretary. This lyceum was continued during the winter seasons
for several years and furnished the means of instructive entertainment for
The first town meeting was held at the house of A. R. Wilbur. The first meeting
house erected in the town was the church edifice known as Wesley Chapel on
Walkers Prairie. The first district school house. was at Nixon's Corners, long
known as the, "red school house." S. S. Fowler built the first frame house and
the first frame barn. Mr. Fowler and Mr. Cotting built a saw mill the same year.
Mr. Fowler planted the first nursery; set out the first peach and apple orchard;
he brought the seeds from Northford, Connecticut. Mrs. S. S. Fowler was the
first female teacher in the town; A. B. Jackson built the first tavern and also
opened the first store for general merchandise.
The first town meeting after the town organization was held at the school house
near Kingmans. P. Judson was chosen moderator; L. Grant, secretary; John Benedict,
Ira Pierce and S. E. Tarbell, supervisors, the former chairman. Levi Grant
was town clerk; C. Williams, treasurer; Joel Walker, S. Upson, assessors;
Rollin Tuttle, collector; Rollin Tuttle, C. Dayton and M. D. Burt, constables;
F. J. Jackson, sealer of weights and measures; W. R. Higgins, William Knight,
M. Tourtlott, fence viewers; Sereno Fowler, P. Judson and Ira Pierce, school
commissioners. The second annual town meeting was held at the house of Northrup
Jackson on April 4, 1843. At that meeting it was voted to raise $30 to purchase
three lots in different parts of the town for burial purposes north, west and
south. The meeting also decided to raise a tax of one mill on the dollar for
the support of common schools.