Bristol is a city located in western Day County, South Dakota, United States. It lies in Section 25 of Bristol Township, on the main line of what is now the BNSF Railway alongside U.S. Route 12. Similar to many towns of the area and to the Midwest in general, Bristol came into being as a result of railroad expansion. The railroad, which first came through the area in the 1870s, identified the site which would become Bristol as Station #70. C.P. Prior, a district railroad surveyor and townsite agent, was given credit for naming Bristol in 1881. He named the town after Bristol, England. Population of Bristol in (1890) 199; (1910) 444; (1940) 675; (1970) 470; (1980) 441. The population was 377 at the 2000 census.