Partial History of Bristol a.k.a. North Yorkville
Bristol, Illinois (North Yorkville)
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
Bristol is located in sections 20, 21, 28, 29, 32, and 33, Bristol Township. It is also known locally as "Old Bristol" or "North Yorkville."
James McClellan, known as Deacon McClellan, entered and received title to nearly all the land in and around what became Bristol. Bristol village was located on the north side of the Fox River in Bristol Township. The original plat of the village of Bristol probably was filed in LaSalle County. No record of the original plat was found in Kendall County. The earliest plat of Bristol found in Kendall County was an addition by John B. Ball and James McClellan filed May 29, 1843. McClellan's additions to the town of Bristol were filed October 5, 1847, and December 5, 1849.
Bristol was named for Lyman Bristol, an early pioneer and land promoter. He was an ambitious, energetic worker and probably overly optimistic regarding the village's prospects. Bristol had a contract for a deed from Deacon McClellan for a part of the village and some of the surrounding farmland.
An examination of land transactions during the period indicates Bristol purchased a good deal of other land as well. His purchases were mostly financed with borrowed funds and the guarantee of others. Deacon McClellan was one of his major financial backers. Bristol's debt burden was too heavy and the demand for lots in Bristol insufficient for him to make his debt payments. Bristol failed to comply with the terms of his contract and the land reverted to the sellers and other assignees. McClellan's land reverted to him. It was McClellan and not Lyman Bristol who donated the beautiful park, now known as the Village Square, to the people of Bristol. He was also instrumental in establishing the Baptist Church, which stood for years on the west side of the Village Square.
Mrs. Sylvia B. Johnson, who arrived in Kendall County in 1834, was the first white woman to live on the Bristol side of the river. She described the area where the village of Bristol now stands as nothing but an oak forest.
The village of Bristol joined the village of Yorkville in 1957 to become the City of Yorkville.