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Biography of Joseph Little Bristow, Hon.

No Kansan in recent years has rendered such distinguished public service to the nation at large as former Senator Bristow, now chairman of the State Public Utilities Commission. Mr. Bristow had been a resident of Kansas since he was twelve years old. From his father, who was a Methodist minister of the old type, he inherited a courage of eonvictions, a determined animosity to all public and private dishonesty, and his own life on the Kansas prairies had developed in him a zeal for popular rights and liberties and a fearless statesmanship equally removed from radicalism and reaction. For six years he worked unceasingly in the United States Senate as a champion of progressive doctrines, some of which were typically Kansan in flavor and spirit, but all marked by a steadfast devotion to the national weal. Few men have done more to eradicate systematic graft from public service. He can be described as a progressive republican, but extreme partisanship is not a part of his character. In the Senate he showed himself a reasonable and reasoning advocate of protection. It can be said that he had favored or opposed no measure which he himself did not thoroughly understand. Hence he committed himself to deflnite propositions and specific measures, rather than a general policy. This perhaps explains the fact that he opposed the Payne-Aldrich tariff act of the republican administration, and also opposed the more recent tariff program of the democratic majority. While he approached and considered public economic questions from the standpoint of a Kansan, he always justified his support of opposition by something more than provincial and local...

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