JONATHAN S. BISHOP was born the third child and first son of John Bishop and Nancy (Segar) Bishop in Jefferson Township, Logan county, Ohio on October 20,1818. According to HISTORY OF TAMA COUNTY IOWA, CHAPTER XXV, CRYSTAL TOWNSHIP, "His youth was spent in school and assisting his father on the farm." Jonathan is probably the one "Number of free white males under age 10" listed in the household of John Bishop (Jefferson Township) on page 74 of the Logan County, Ohio 1820 Census Transcript. His father John is probably the John Bishop of Jefferson Township listed in the Logan County Ohio 1830 Census Index. Both parents had died by the time he was 19 years old. "When twenty years of age he began learning the wheelwrights trade. During 1839, he was in Springfield, Illinois, building carts, which were to be used in dragging stone to the site where the State capitol was to be erected." Jonathan Bishop is identified as one of the members contributing "their means and labors and influence to build up and sustain the church" (Methodist Episcopal Church in Zanesfield). John Bishop is listed as an early member.
On April 20, 1840 in Urbana Ohio Jonathan married Miss MARY C. MCGAHAN, a native of Erie county, Pennsylvania, born on July 7, 1813. This marriage produced four children, JOHN BROWN MAGRUDER BISHOP, GEORGE BISHOP, and two other children. John was born on 23 Jun 1845 Logan County Ohio. Soon after John's birth, they moved to Calvin Township, Cass County, Michigan, where Jonathan bought a farm and a saw mill. The 1850 census shows Jonathan, Mary, John, and 4 mo. Old George. Mary died there on March 25, 1851.
After Mary's death, the family moved to Constantine, in St. Joseph County, Michigan. In 1851 he married Mrs. POLLY RAY KETCHUM, wife the late LOREN KETCHUM. Polly was born on November 28, 1821 in Cattaraugus County, New York. Polly had four children from the Ketchum marriage: EDWIN KETCHUM (abt 1838), NANCY J. KETCHUM KNIGHT (24 Apr 1842 Michigan), NELSON KETCHUM (abt 1845 Michigan) and LOREN KETCHUM (abt 1847). Polly bore Jonathan three children: CHARLES ALBERT BISHOP, HARRIET EMMA BISHOP BABCOCK and LAURA A. BISHOP. Charles was born in Constantine. In 1853, the family moved to White Pigeon, Michigan, where Harriet was born.
On April 24, 1855 the family departed White Pigeon "with three yoke of oxen and one yoke of cows." On the way they visited Grandfather Ketchum (George P.?) in Trivoli, Peoria County, Illinois or in Iroquois County, Illinois and other relatives in Washington County, Iowa. The Ketchum sons elected to remain with Grandfather Ketchum, while Nancy continued with the family to Iowa. Polly's brother, ROBERT SCOTT RAY was already living in Tama County when they arrived there on June 10, 1855. They settled on the east half of the northeast quarter of section 31 of Crystal township, Tama County, Iowa. The family lived in the wagons until fall. During the summer Jonathan broke some of his land and erected a frame house from lumber obtained from Muscatine. During the March 1857 term, the County Court (John C. Vermilya, County Judge; D. D. Applegate, Clerk of Courts; G. G. Staley, Treasurer and Recorder) issued a warrant to J. S. Bishop to organize Crystal Township. At Various times Jonathan served as Township Justice and/or Clerk. The first school was taught in the Bishop school house by Miss Nettie M. Cyrenus. Religious meetings were first held at the house of J. S. Bishop by an intinerant Methodist preacher. The Crystal township cemetery land was donated by C. L. Davis. The first burial was a little daughter of J. S. and P. Bishop. According to the Tama County 1860 Mortality Schedule, Laura was born in July 1860 but died when only 8 days old.
In August 15, 1862 Jonathan enlisted as an Eighth corporal in Company F, 28th Iowa Volunteers. He mustered September 15, 1862 and was promoted to Seventh Corporal March 19, 1863. Jonathan served as his Company's color guard representative and was flag bearer at the battle of Champion Hills, where he was slightly wounded in the arm. The flag staff was shattered over his head and the flag badly damaged. He participated in the battle of Port Gibson and the siege of Vicksburg, and was with the regiment in its march to New Orleans. In August of 1863 he was detached from his regiment and joined the 11th Louisiana (Union) as a Sergeant. Shortly after, he was taken sick with typhoid fever and died in the regiment camp at Transylvania Landing, Louisiana on September 8th, 1863. He is described in civil war records as "5ft 8 inches, grey eyes, brown hair." He was interned in Grave 10162, Section P, Vicksburg National Cemetery, Vicksburg, Mississippi USA (recorded as I.S.BISHOP). A marker was also placed in Crystal Cemetery, Tama County, Iowa. Polly Bishop died at their home August 18th, twenty days before her husbands death. She was buried in Crystal Cemetery, Tama County, Iowa.