Bristow, Joseph

Bristow, Joseph (Little)

(1861–1944) U.S. senator; born near Hazel Green, Ky. Settling in Kansas (1879), he acquired several newspapers there and rose in the Republican Party, becoming assistant postmaster general (1897–1905); his investigation of corruption in the postal system exposed several Republican legislators and forced his resignation. Aligning himself increasingly with the more progressive wing of the Republicans, he served a term in the U.S. Senate (Rep., Kans.; 1909–15) where his most notable achievement was to help write what became the 17th Amendment, providing for the direct election of senators.