Lewis H. Phillips, whose home is within the corporation limits of Melvin, has for many years been identified actively and successfully with the agricultural interests of Ford county. He was born in Hope township, LaSalle county, Illinois, July 17, 1853. His parents were Abraham and Sarah (Dixon) Phillips. The father was born in Manchester, England, April 6, 1829, and in 1842 came to the United States with his father and five brothers, settling in Magnolia, Putnam county, Illinois. He had lost his mother when but two years of age. The grandfather bore the name of Philip Phillips and after reaching the new world he remained at Magnolia for a brief period and then located upon a farm, which he continued to cultivate and improve throughout his remaining days. His children, all now deceased, were George, Edward, Thomas, William, John and Abraham, the last named being the father of our subject.
After coming to this country, Abraham Phillips spent one winter in Magnolia and then went with his father to Hope township, LaSalle county, about three miles from Magnolia, where he lived throughout his remaining days. He became the owner of four hundred acres of land and developed an excellent farm, which enabled him to provide a good living for his family. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church from 1862 until his death, which occurred July 27, 1905. His wife was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 1, 1835, and came to Illinois with her parents, the family home being established in Putnam county. She is now a resident of Los Angeles, California, where she spends the winter, and also maintains her home upon the old farm in LaSalle county.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Phillips were born twelve children: Lewis H., of this review; Mrs. Laura Moore, of California; Elmer, of Tonica, Illinois; Mary and George, twins, the former now a resident of California, while the latter was drowned at the age of thirteen years; Mrs. Salina Coan, of Texas; John, living on the old homestead in LaSalle county; Frank, who also resides upon a part of the old homestead; Adelbert, a farmer of Lostant, Illinois; Orville, of California; and Lela and Elizabeth, twins. The former died at the age of eighteen years and the latter is now Mrs. Hildebrand, of Tonica, Illinois.
Lewis H. Phillips was reared upon the old homestead where his birth occurred, continuing there with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-seven years, when in the spring of 1880 he came to Ford county. Here he has since lived on the south half of section 2, Peach Orchard township. This farm was purchased by his father, a tract of raw prairie, for which he paid eight dollars and a half per acre and which was owned by him until his death. It is now a part of the estate. He and his brother John came and purchased the entire section at that time. Lewis H. Phillips broke a part of this farm, set out the trees and erected all of the buildings. He has also made all of the modern improvements upon the place and has here carried on general agricultural pursuits for twenty-seven years, devoting his time and energies to both grain and stock-farming. The fields are rich and productive and annually produce good crops as a reward for the care and labor he bestows upon them. He also handles stock of good grades and both branches of his business are proving remunerative.
On the 25th of November, 1879, Mr. Phillips was united in marriage to Miss Ellen J. Burt, who was born in Cuba, Alleghany county. New York, July 1, 1854, a daughter of Charles Henry and Mary Margaret (Wood) Burt. The father's birth occurred in Monroe county. New York, June 5, 1822, while the mother was born in Smithfield, Jefferson county, Ohio, January 18, 1832. Their marriage was celebrated in Clarksville, Alleghany county, New York, August 23, 1853. About 1856 they removed to Harrisville, Wisconsin, and in 1863 made their way to Magnolia, Illinois. Their family numbered six children: Mrs. Phillips; Mrs. Emily Broaddus, deceased; Lyman, who is living in Trego county, Kansas; Margaret, who died in childhood; Charles, a resident of Durango, Colorado; and William, who died in infancy. The father died in Trego county, Kansas, in 1901 and the mother spent her last days in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, passing away in 1902. Mrs. Philips accompanied her parents on their removal to Wisconsin and afterward to Illinois, living at home up to the time of her marriage. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Phillips have been born three children: Mary Jessamine, Laura Novella and Carroll Burt. The family are well known in their part of the county, the parents having a large circle of warm friends who esteem them for their genuine personal worth and good traits of heart and mind. Mr. Phillips is a stalwart republican and has held several village offices, to which he has been called by the vote of his fellow townsmen. While his life work has been that of a farmer, his home is within the corporation limits of the village. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias fraternity and to the Modern Woodmen camp and is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. His entire life has been passed in this part of Illinois and since the spring of 1880 he has lived on the farm which is yet his home, now covering a period of twenty-eight years. The evidence of his labor is seen in the well developed property which is one of the attractive features of the landscape, being in many respects a model farm property.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 538-542.

Templates in Time