With HON. GILBERT WHEELER PHILLIPS
& HENRY EDWARD PHILLIPS
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
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
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;
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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