Frank Phillips, the well known assessor of Wall township and the owner of a fine farm of ninety acres on section 18, was born at Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 17, 1837, and the first twenty-two years of his life were passed under the parental roof. His parents were Patrick and Mary (Dorsey) Phillips, natives of Ireland, in which country they were reared and married. Immediately afterward, however, about 1827, they came to the United States and lived for a time in New York, the father working on the Erie Canal. He afterward removed to Michigan, where his remaining days were passed, his time and energies being devoted to the development and improvement of his farm. His wife died when about fifty years of age, while he passed away in 1875, at the age of seventy-five years. Frank Phillips was the fourth in order of birth in a family of twelve children, of whom three are now living. His brother, older than himself, is John Phillips, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and his sister, who is his junior, is Mrs. Maggie Connety, of Detroit, Michigan.
Reared upon the home farm near Ann Arbor, Michigan, Frank Phillips had little opportunity for attending school as his time was occupied with the labors of field and meadow. However, he learned the value of unremitting diligence and developed a spirit of self-reliance which has since been a strong element in his latter success. In 1859 he left home and went to northern Kansas and southern Nebraska and engaged in work there. Returning to Illinois, he settled at Galva, Henry county, where he worked for ten years by the month as a farm hand. In 1869 he arrived in Dix township, Ford county, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres, but, being unable to make the payments upon the place, he had to sell out. In 1875 he purchased his present farm, comprising ninety acres of land on section 18, Wall township. He has made all of the improvements on this place, which was largely unbroken land when it came into his possession. In fact much of the land was covered with water but he has drained it and the work of reclamation which he has carried forward has transformed it into a valuable property. He has brought his fields under a high state of cultivation and year by year has carried on the work of the farm until it has become a very desirable property, from which he annually gathers rich crops that bring to him a good financial return.
In 1861 Mr. Phillips was married to Miss Vashtia French, a native of Summit county, Ohio, born November 1, 1843. At the age of nine years she became a resident of Henry county, Illinois, accompanying her parents, William A. and Amanda (Thorpe) French, who were likewise natives of the Buckeye state. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips have two sons and a daughter living: Alby, of Indiana; Ida, the wife of John Worthington, of Melvin; and John, at home. They also lost two children — Frank, who died in April, 1886, at the age of twenty-two years; and Maggie, who died in 1873, when about seventeen months old.
Mr. Phillips gives his political support to the republican party and is somewhat prominent in its local ranks. Nine years ago he was elected assessor of Wall township and held the office for two terms. He was then out for one term, after which he was again elected and has since continued in this position, the duties of which he discharges in prompt and capable manner. He belongs to that class of self-made men who are the architects and builders of their own fortunes. Starting out in life empty-handed, he has worked his way steadily upward, realizing that untiring labor is the basis of all success. Today, at the age of seventy-one years, he is in possession of a good farm property and pleasant home and his well spent life merits the confidence and respect of his fellowmen.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 828-832.

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