Phillips, George W.

Submitted by mercercounty on Thu, 08/12/2010 - 03:16

GEORGE W. PHILLIPS.--The old-time country gentleman of large heart, broad acres, practical ability, keen interest in all that affects the welfare of his home people, and sustained activity in public affairs when his splendid life-work has enabled him to place the heavier burdens upon younger shoulders—the courteous and prosperous agriculturist, who by the faithful, labors of years has earned relief from the high pressure of the present days is personified in George W. Phillips, the widely honored and retired farmer of Pymatuning township, this county. He was born July 4, 1834, in Union county, Pennsylvania, a son of Samuel and Susan (Winly) Phillips. The father, who was born in 1805, came to Hickory township when the son George W. was but two years of age, and there engaged in farming until his death in 1893. In the earlier part of his voting period Samuel Phillips was a Whig, but later joined the ranks of the Democracy. As a churchman he was an adherent to the Evangelical faith. His wife (the mother of George W.) died in 1889 at the age of seventy-five years.

George W. Phillips had the advantage of the district schools until he was eighteen years of age and then attended the Clarksville high school. He then commenced farming with his brother, the two purchasing the old Barnhart farm of four hundred acres in Pymatuning township, and there establishing themselves as raisers of livestock and dealers in cattle. Fifteen years later Mr. Phillips purchased his brother’s interest and continued the same business up to 1873. During their partnership the two brothers transacted an extensive business, shipping as high as three thousand head of cattle annually. In the earlier years much of the stock had to be driven over the mountains to Chester county, in 1873 Mr. Phillips leased his fine stock farm and removed to Clarksville, where he has since been living in virtual business retirement, although still dealing in cattle on a limited scale.

In his political opinions Mr. Phillips is a Democrat and has been prominent in the public affairs of his town, having served as its mayor, and as a member of the school board (three terms). He is a real pillar in Presbyterianism, having been a member of the Clarksville church for forty years.

In 1866 Mr. Phillips married Rachel W. Koonce, born in 1837, daughter of Charles Koonce, a prominent farmer of Pymatuning township. Mrs. Phillips was born on the present family homestead, and is the mother of the following: Mary Caroline, who died in infancy; Dr. William Wilson, a physician residing in New Mexico and the father of two children; and Susan, wife of Harry Acher, salesman of Sharon, and the mother of one child.

Besides George W.. the following were born to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Phillips: Elizabeth, widow of S. Hoagland: Isaac, a farmer of Mercer county; John, engaged in the coal and iron business at Sharon; Jacob, a Colorado miner; Susan, wife of R. Eberhart, deceased; Anna Marie, wife of S. Shayer, deceased, who had been a farmer in Kansas; Samuel, a farmer residing near Greenville; Bilinda, wife of A. Durham, deceased; Caroline, who married Rev. Mr. Bates, a Methodist minister of Buffalo, New York; Seth, employed at Youngstown, Ohio; and Wilson, a farmer living near Greenville.

Twentieth Century History of Mercer County, 1909, pages 757-758.

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