Bristow, Oklahoma began in 1898, when the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway built a track between Sapulpa and Oklahoma City. The town was named for Joseph L. Bristow, a U.S. senator from Kansas. A post office was established April 25, 1898.
Bristow was designated as the county seat for Creek County at statehood. However, the county held a special election on August 20, 1908, to decide whether the seat would remain in Bristow or move to Sapulpa, which claimed to be more centrally located. Bristow had a larger population and claimed to have better railroad connections. Sapulpa won the election, but Bristow claimed voting irregularities. The election was voided and a new vote was held November 20, 1912. Again, Sapulpa won the election and the title of county seat.