PHILLIPS FAMILY

With HON. GILBERT WHEELER PHILLIPS

& HENRY EDWARD PHILLIPS

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P. 1331-1333

PHILLIPS.  The Phillips family, one of the oldest and most representative of the substantial families of Woodstock, Windham Co., Conn., has numbered among its members men who have borne an important part in the history of the country and have been, and are still influential in the several communities in which they reside.

Capt. William Phillips, grandfather of Henry E. Phillips, was born in 1728, and died May 20, 1798, at the age of seventy years, in Woodstock.  His wife, Phebe, died April 21, 1830, aged eighty-six years.  It is believed he served in the Revolutionary war, but he gained his rank of captain in the State militia.  His children were:  Jeremiah;  Wheeler;  William;  Alpha; and Edward.  Of these,

Jeremiah Phillips died in Woodstock, Sept. 17, 1846, aged sixty-seven years.  He married Zurviah Marcy, and always lived in Woodstock.  His children were:  (1) Schuyler, born April 26, 1809, married, first, Mary M. Pratt, who died Jan. 17, 1856, aged forty-five years.  His second wife, Anna A., died Dec. 6, 1896, aged eighty years, and he died Sept. 1, 1883.  (2) Phebe married George Bradford, of Woodstock.  (3) Mary married Alonzo Works, of Woodstock.

Wheeler Phillips, born Feb. 2, 1783, died Sept. 23, 1860, in Woodstock.  He married Annie Cranford, who was born in September, 1791, and died Sept. 8, 1820, in Union, Conn.  He was known as Squire Phillips, and conducted a general store for many years in West Woodstock.  His children by his first wife were:  (1) Charles C., who removed to New York, where he was engaged in business for many years, died Nov. 7, 1853, aged thirty-nine years.  (2) Whitman, who was engaged in the grain and feed business in New York for many years, died, leaving four children, Helen, Wheeler, Emily and Arthur.  The second wife of Wheeler Phillips was Eunice Corbin, daughter of Deacon Penuel, Sr., by whom he had one son, Gilbert Wheeler Phillips.

HON. GILBERT WHEELER PHILLIPS, whose death occurred Oct. 24, 1888, was for a third of a century one of the leading lawyers and prominent citizens of Putnam, Conn., where still reside some of his immediate family, notably a son.  He was born in Woodstock, Conn., July 22, 1828, attended the common schools of his native town, the academy, and then took a course of instruction in the academy at Dudley, Mass.  He studied law in the office of George S.F. Stoddard, at Woodstock, was admitted to the Bar in 1852, and at once commenced professional work, laboring therein with an enthusiasm that never abated so long as health and strength remained.  In the spring of 1855, he removed to Putnam, which place he ever afterward made his home.  His career was a most successful and honorable one, and his life in its many phases was such as to command always the respect and confidence of those with whom he was brought in contact.  "He was a busy man of affairs, and his times of relaxation were from the first, few and far between; in fact, with the exceptions of a vacation trip to Europe with his family, in 1881, and a brief excursion to California," says Mr. Charles E. Searls, of the Windham County Bar, who prepared the obituary notice of Mr. Phillips from which the personal part of this article is taken, "I do not recall any period during the years of my acquaintance with him when he was not hard at work, until the relentless disease whose victim he became, laid its heavy hand upon him."  Mr. Phillips was a good lawyer, a keen observer of men and things, generally correct in his judgement of character and motive, and admirable in the preparation and presentation of a case.  He was not an eloquent advocate, by no means an orator, but his arguments were logical and his delivery earnest and impressive.  He fully realized both weak and strong points in his case, and his conclusion as to the probable effect of certain evidence upon the minds of the jury, was often impressive in its accuracy.  He studied the case before he tried it, and understood it thoroughly when he entered the court room.  His clients were numerous and the strain of his work often severe.  For many years he was the attorney of the New York and New England Railroad Company, and conducted for them a large number of cases.  He was an honest lawyer, above all mean and unworthy expedients, and withal most courteous.  Mr. Phillips was prominent outside the sphere of his profession.  He was assistant clerk of the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1853; and in 1860, 1861 and 1872, he was member of that body.  In 1862, 1863 and 1879, he represented the Fourteenth District in the State Senate, acting as chairman of the Judiciary committee during the last two years of his service there and as president pro tem in 1879.  He was re-elected in 1880, but shortly after the opening of the session resigned on account of the pressure of legal business.  In local affairs, Mr. Phillips manifested the deepest interest; he was liberal and public spirited; ever ready to aid in the furtherance of any object promotive of the growth and the prosperity of the town.  He was one of the pioneers of the First National Bank of Putnam, and until the very last, its president.  He was also one of corporators and trustees of  the Putnam Savings Bank.  In all his relations of private life, his bearing was such as to win the respect of all with whom he had intercourse.  He was a most affectionate husband and father, devoted to his home and family, never so happy as under his own roof with those he loved about him.  He was a kind neighbor and a warm and constant friend.  For many years prior to his death, he was a consistent member of the Congregational Church in Putnam, and one of its most active and liberal supporters.  His pastor for many years, the Rev. C.S. Brooks, in his funeral address, thus refers to the religious side of his life and character:  "He saw into and sensed the divineness of life and of eternal things, and opened up the Godward side of his nature to them, and while he gave himself to a proper worldliness, he joined with it attention to and possession of that other worldliness which rounds our experience and makes us, as we ought to be, men of time and men of eternity."  The Bar of Connecticut knew Mr. Phillips well and deplored his untimely departure from among his many friends and acquaintances no less keenly than did those who recognized and appreciated the manly qualities exhibited by him in lines of thought and activity other than those peculiar to the forum.  On March 30, 1852, Mr. Phillips was married to Jane Stoddard, a daughter of Hon. Ebenezer Stoddard, at one time Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut, and to them were born children as follows:  Gilbert Wheeler, Jr., John Cleveland and Genevieve, the latter of whom is now deceased.

William Phillips, another son of Capt. William Phillips, died Feb. 21, 1860, aged eighty-four years, in Woodstock.  He married Nancy Baylis, of Southbridge, Mass., who died July 16, 1854, aged seventy-two years.  William Phillips was a farmer and owned a large tract of land in West Woodstock, which was afterwards sold to the town of Woodstock, and is now known as the "Town Farm."  His children were as follows:  Judson, born Feb. 17, 1810, died Dec. 11, 1894, unmarried;  Henry married Jane Webber;  Adeline married George Sumner;  Alpha married Prudence Hibbard, and Nancy B. married Edwin Dean, of West Woodstock.

Edward Phillips, another son of Capt. William Phillips, and father of Henry E. Phillips, was born Feb. 13, 1785, in Woodstock, Conn., and died Sept. 4, 1853, in his native town.  He married June 8, 1814, Lydia Lyon, born Dec. 16, 1790, in Woodstock, a daughter of Thomas and Thankful (Fisher) Lyon; she died Aug. 4, 1875.  Six children were born to them:  Asa, Calista, Waldo, Elizabeth, Thomas, and Henry Edward.

Asa Phillips, born Feb. 13, 1816, in Woodstock, Conn., was married Nov. 25, 1841, to Betsey Austin, born Aug. 31, 1819, in Woodstock, daughter of Nathan and Sally (Johnson) Austin, of Woodstock.  Nathan Austin came to Woodstock when he was three years of age, with his parents, and there he remained during his life.  Asa Phillips learned the shoe-maker's trade when a young man, which he followed until over fifty years of age, when he took up farming in Woodstock Valley, where he still resides.  His four children were:  (1) Elizabeth, born Jan. 4, 1843, in Woodstock, never married, and died April 23, 1902, in Brooklyn, N.Y., while on a visit to her sister.  (2) Albert, born Jan. 17, 1845, died March 1, 1845.  (3) Harriet, born July 1, 1846, in Woodstock, married, Jan. 8, 1868, Dr. A.S. Leonard, a prominent physician of Brooklyn, N.Y., son of ex-Congressman Moses G. Leonard, formerly of Woodstock, but later of Brooklyn, N.Y., and to them were born, Maude Elouise (born Nov. 28, 1868), Miriam (born May 31, 1873, died March 23, 1874), Effie Barmore (born May 10, 1874, married Jan. 27, 1897, Louis G. Leverick, of Brooklyn, N.Y., a grain and feed merchant of that city, and has one child, Leonard Phillips, born Oct. 27, 1897, in Brooklyn, N.Y.), Cassie E. (born July 8, 1877, died Jan. 30, 1880), and Clara Katherine (born July 19, 1881).  (4) Lydia Lyon, born Feb. 18, 1849, died March 12, 1853.

Calista Phillips, second child of Edward Phillips, was born Sept. 28, 1817, in Woodstock, and died July 9, 1893, in her native town.  She married Reed Tourtellotte, of Union, Conn., a shoe manufacturer in that city for a number of years, under the firm name of Corbin & Tourtellotte, and later associated with the late John O. Fox, Sr., in Putnam, Conn.  He finally purchased property on Woodstock Hill, where he lived until his death, Feb. 5, 1899.  He had one son, Edward, born in Montgomery, Ala., who has been express agent on the railroad between Boston and New York for several years, and married Lucy Johnson, by whom he has two sons, Edward and Reed, Jr.

Waldo Phillips, third child of Edward Phillips, born Aug. 11, 1819, in Woodstock, Conn., died there Sept. 18, 1899.  His first wife, Mary, died in New York City.  On Nov. 16, 1870, he married Mary W. (Perry) Paine, widow of Chester A. Paine, and daughter of Otis and Polly (Carpenter) Perry, of Woodstock.  No children were born of either marriage.  Waldo Phillips went to New York when a young man, and formed a partnership with Judge Oliver H. Perry, of Woodstock, they engaging in the grain, feed and produce business.  During the war of the Rebellion, they had a large business in government contracts, furnishing forage to the government troops.  They continued in the business several years, when Mr. Phillips purchased the business, and firm name of Phillips & Perry was changed to Waldo Phillips, in which concern he continued alone several years more.  In all of his dealings he was very successful, and late in life he returned to Woodstock Valley, where he spent his remaining days on a farm.  At his death he left a good estate, and during life was a very generous, kind hearted man.  Many instances of his charity might be mentioned.  He supported the Advent Church of Woodstock Valley, and affiliated with the Democratic party.  All who had the honor of his acquaintance, highly respected and loved this most estimable man.

Elizabeth Phillips, the fourth child of Edward Phillips, was born Nov. 3, 1822, in Woodstock, and died in Putnam, Conn.  She married John Otis Fox, Sr., of Putnam.

Thomas Lyon Phillips, fifth child of Edward Phillips, was born April 12, 1824, in Woodstock, and in early in life was a shoemaker, but later became a fireman on the railroad between Worcester and Providence, continuing at same for thirty-five years, after which he retired, and is now engaged in farming in Woodstock.  His first wife was Mary Wilkinson, of Woodstock, by whom he had one daughter, Mary, now the wife of David Aldrich, one of Woodstock's leading and most successful agriculturists.  His second wife was Minnie Cobb, of Worcester, who died July 9, 1874, aged thirty-three years, leaving one daughter, Ethel, who married Frank Lentz, of Reading, Mass.  His third wife was Miss Underwood, of Woodstock, and there was no issue of this union.

HENRY EDWARD PHILLIPS,  the sixth and youngest child of Edward Phillips, born Aug. 31, 1836, in Woodstock, married Laura Maria Davis, who died June 1, 1898, aged fifty-eight years.  She was the daughter of John and Mary Davis, of Woodstock.  Their children were:  Mary, unmarried, now resides in Woodstock Valley;  Alma, married Everett Colvin, of Danielson, and has three children;  Emma is now Mrs. Bloodgood, and lives in Glasgo, Conn.  Henry E. Phillips was in New York for several years, associated with his brother, Waldo, in the grain and feed business, but is now living retired in Woodstock.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel

 

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