Pages 675-676, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




Through more than a third of a century David Phillips has resided in Southeastern Kansas. When a young man he came to Woodson County, and as the county has grown, developed and improved he has given his aid and co-operation to the movements which have advanced the general welfare and promoted the public prosperity and progress. He has been identified with its farming and industrial interests and in public office has manifested his loyalty to the public good by the faithful manner in which he has discharged the duties devolving upon him. Such in general has been his life work, but it is a pleasure to enter into a more detailed account of his career, knowing that it will be received with interest by his many friends and acquaintances throughout this portion of the state.

Mr. Phillips was born in Sussex County, New Jersey, March 2, 1846. His grandfather, James Phillips, was probably born in the same state and was of English lineage. By occupation he was a farmer, and he died about 1865, at a very advanced age. His son, Charles L. Phillips, the father of our subject, was born in Sussex County, New Jersey, in 1807, and there spent his entire life, dying in 1875. He married Anne Gillespie, who was of Scotch lineage, and died in 1900, at the age of eighty-three years. Her mother was a member of the Dunnings family, prominent in Revolutionary times. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips became the parents of eleven childen,[sic] namely: Miranda, deceased, wife of John M. Danolds; George W., who served as a soldier in the Civil war and is now postmaster at Branchville, New Jersey; David; Elmira and Henry, who are living in Sussex County, New Jersey; Andrew, of Morristown, that state; Louise, wife of Julius Clark, of Leonia, New Jersey; Jessie, who died in that state; Belle, wife of William Dewitt, of Sussex County; Carrie, wife of E. Hopkins, of Newark, New Jersey, and Charles, of South Branch, New Jersey.

David Phillips was reared to farm life and pursued his education in the schools of the neighborhood and in the Beemer high schools, after


which he continued his studies in Claverick, New York, on the Hudson river, and at New Milford, Pennsylvania. He was twenty-one years of age when in 1867 he left his home in the East in order to try his fortune beyond the Mississippi, and in April of that year he arrived in Woodson County, locating in Owl Creek township with his cousin, James W. Phillips. He afterward purchased land on the creek and there carried on agricultural pursuits until his removal to Neosho Falls to assume the duties of sheriff of Woodson County to which office he was elected in 1869. Previous to this time he had taught two terms of school, one in Neosho Falls, being the last teacher to conduct the school alone. He was installed as sheriff and capably discharged the duties of the office for one term, after which he served as under sheriff for Wm. Cozine while the county seat was located at Defiance. Upon leaving the sheriff's office he became a teacher and merchant in Defiance, and in 1887 he engaged in the dairy business, which he has since followed. In 1893 he removed from his farm on the old town site of Defiance and took up his abode at Yates Center.

On the 3d of April, 1878, Mr. Phillips was married to Emma Austin, who came to Woodson County in 1877 from Cortland, N. Y. She was born there in 1846, and is a daughter of Alvah Austin. The only surviving child of Mr. and Mrs. Phillips is a son, Wendell, who was born December 5, 1875. The family are Episcopalians in their religious faith, and in his political belief Mr. Phillips is a Republican. He was formerly a recognized leader in the ranks of his party in Owl Creek township, served there as trustee, and has always kept well informed on the issues of the day, political and otherwise. He is now accounted one of the highly respected residents of Yates Center, a man whom to know is to respect.

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