Among the distinguished physicians of Buchanan county the name of Dr. Bishop stands in the list of the foremost. He is now one of the oldest practitioners in the Platte Purchase. He began practice in Platte county in the spring of 1846, and has since been occupied in the active pursuit of his profession -- for nineteen years in Platte county, and for eleven years in St. Joseph. His birth occurred in the town of Somerset, Pulaski county, Kentucky. His ancestors came to Kentucky from Virginia and Maryland, and were of English descent. While the thirteen colonies were yet subject to Great Britain members of the Bishop family resided in New Hampshire, took an active part in the Revolutionary war, and after American independence was achieved settled in Virginia. His grandfather emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky about the year 1800, and settled in Nelson county of that State. His father, Jacob Bishop, was born in Virginia, and was a small boy when he came to Kentucky. He married Elizabeth Elliott, whose father was from Maryland. Dr. Bishop's uncle, Dr. Galen Elliott, was one of the pioneer physicians of Somerset, Kentucky. In 1843 his father emigrated to Missouri, settled in Platte county, and died there in the year 1851.
From his earliest recollections Dr. Bishop had resolved on medicine as his profession -- a predilection probably formed from association with his uncle, Dr. Elliot. As soon as he had opportunity he began his medical studies, and first established himself in practice at New Market, Platte county, Missouri. The natural bent of his mind peculiarly adapted him to his profession, and his natural nerve and genius for surgical operations soon gained him a wide reputation as an accomplished and successful physician. He practised medicine in Platte county for nineteen years, during which period his time was closely occupied by the demands of a large general practice devoted to all branches of the profession. On account of threatened lung disease induced by exposure incident to a rough country practice, and also with the object of securing a more central and metropolitan location which his numerous patients from a distance might reach with greater ease and convenience, he determined to remove to St. Joseph.
He located in this city in the spring of the close of the war -- that of 1865, and at once established himself in an office practice, making his specialties surgery and chronic diseases. Permanent success is always regulated by well known laws dependent on natural causes, and no one can hope to secure any lasting reputation without a solid foundation of sterling worth and merit. Dr. Bishop's success has been merited by his attainments as a physician, and his splendid facilities for the practice of his profession. He has founded an institution which adds reputation to the city. His buildings on Third street are extensive, beautiful in architectural design, and arranged with every modern convenience. On another page of this work will be found an illustration of Dr. Bishop's Academy of Medicine, showing an interior view of the library. His thousands of surgical operations, some among them the most difficult known to the surgical science, have been more successful than it would be considered possible, and none but the most incurable cases of disease refuse to yield to his scientific and potent treatment.
He has been a thorough student of medicine from his youth, and his leisure time has been closely devoted to the prosecution of medical research. Originally an allopathic physician he has thoroughly acquainted himself with the principles of different schools and systems, and has not hesitated to adopt what he considered reasonable and good regardless of the school in which it was found, or the writers by whom it has been advocated. His views have none of that narrowness and rejudice that characterize the zealous advocates of particular dogmas who believe that the summum bonum is comprehended in their doctrine, and that all is false beside. In his large and extensive library (by the way one of the finest medical libraries in the Western country) the best works of the leading writers of all schools are found. Ancient and modern authors stand side by side, and long rows of shelves are crowded with the best authorities in medical science of every age and country. His practice, therefore, is confined to no special system, but he believes that some good and some foundation of truth exists in all systems, of which every intelligent and progressive physician should avail himself in his practice. His buildings have been erected with a special reference to the needs of his practice. In connection with his office he has an infirmary where patients from a distance may be treated with as much comfort as at their own homes. All classes of surgical operations are performed. His reputation is not confined to St. Joseph and its immediate vicinity, but extends over a wide scope of country, and he has numerous patients from Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, as well as a large and constantly increasing practice in Missouri. His reputation is linked with that of St. Joseph and his loss would be keenly felt in the community. He is, however, in the prime of life, full of intellectual vigor and activity, and will doubtles add still greater laurels to the reputation of St. Joseph as a city of able physicians, and with unsurpassed facilities for performing any operations or effecting any cases known to medical or surgical skill.
Source: An Illustrated Historical Atlas Map, Holt County, MO., p. 35