YOUR SILENT NEIGHBORS, Anson W. Bristol, Farmer, Public Servant
by David K. Leff
Town Poet Laureate and Deputy Town Historian
Born on a Canton Center farm, Anson W. Bristol (1840-1920) attended local schools. He lived at home and worked the land until 1862 when he enlisted in the army during the Civil War. He served in the 22nd regiment of Connecticut volunteers, a unit that was active between September 1862 and July 1863. The twenty-second did not engage in battle, but instead was involved in picket duty, reconnaissance, and construction among other activities.
After his father’s death in 1861, Bristol took over the family farm and engaged in dairying and growing tobacco and other crops. In 1886 he purchased the 110-acre Oliver H. Bidwell farm bounded by Albany Turnpike and the west side of Cherry Brook, where he continued as a farmer growing a variety of crops. He was a stockholder and member of the Canton Creamery Association, and an officer in the Cawasa Grange.
Active in town affairs, Bristol was Canton’s representative to the legislature in 1884. He also served as an election moderator, and in other civic positions.
Bristol was a member of the Edward R. Lee post of the Grand Army of the Republic in New Hartford. He was actively involved in the Canton Center Congregational Church where he served as chorister, and in other capacities.
Married to Sarah Williams of Collinsville, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in November of 1910. A party was held at their home, with a large gathering of family and friends. Several of those present had been at the wedding 50 years earlier. The couple had twelve children. Bristol was survived by his wife, three daughters, and four sons.
The funeral was held at the Bristol home. Reverend Charles H. Stevens, former pastor of the Canton Center Congregational Church officiated, assisted by Reverend E. L. Richards, then the pastor of the church.
Anson W. Bristol is buried in Canton Center Cemetery, Canton Center.
“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past. Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.