Biography of Charles E. Phillips, M. D.

Charles E. Phillips, M. D. A resident of Kansas since infancy, Doctor Phillips is a highly trained physician and surgeon and since locating at Zenda twelve years ago had built up more than a local reputation in the field of surgery and enjoys a highly successful and profitable practice.

Doctor Phillips was born in Knox County, Missouri, August 15, 1877. His father is Mr. P. W. Phillips, now a resident of Pratt County, Kansas. In his experiences as well as his achievements he deserves mention as one of the remarkable men of Kansas. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1839, and at the age of three years was left an orphan. He grew up in Dearborn County in Southern Indiana, married there, and in 1861, at the age of twenty-two, enlisted in the Seventh Indiana Cavalry. He was all through the war, never missing a battle of his regiment, and part of his service was in the State of Kansas. He took part in the battle of Mine Creek at Mound City, Kansas, the last battle of the war which occurred in this state. That was during Price’s last raid. In this engagement Mr. Phillips was wounded, a bullet passing through his left eye, and that bullet had since been carried at the base and within the skull. It seems remarkable that he should live and retain an almost superabundant vitality for more than half a century, but the most remarkable part of that experience remains to be told. As a result of the wound he lost complete memory of the entire past, and in mental faculties may be said to have been put back to early childhood, since he had to learn to read and write all over again. Medical records furnish few parallels to this remarkable case.

Just before he enlisted in the army P. W. Phillips had graduated from Moore’s Hill Academy. After the war he removed to Knox County, Missouri, became a peddler and huckster and also worked in a mill, and then entered the boot and shoe business. He was a business man there until 1878, when he came to Pratt County, now Stafford County, Kansas. Here he was in the cattle business until 1888, and since then had been a farmer. He acquired large land holdings and operated on an extensive scale until 1904. In that year, so well remembered by Kansas farmers, he planted 3,200 acres of grain crops, and from the total planting threshed only 300 bushels. As a result he lost six quarter sections of land, and had to begin his career over again with only a half section. Few men of his years would have had the courage to make a new start, but since then he had more than recovered his losses and today owned eight sections, comprising 5,140 acres in Pratt and Gray counties. He also had land in Oklahoma. He is now living retired at Pratt. Politically he is a republican and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

P. W. Phillips married Sarah A. Wheeler, who was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, in 1845. They had a large family of children: M. W., in the drug business at Supply, Oklahoma; C. H., a hardware merchant and successful business man at Iuka, Kansas; P. W., Jr., who is a carpenter and builder and property owner at Palacios, Texas; Dr. Charles E.; Annie, wife of R. E. Craver, a lumberman at Byers, Kansas; Glenn, wife of George Halsel, a farmer in Oklahoma; Carrie, wife of Clarence Craver, a resident of Wichita; and John, a farmer at Springfield, Colorado.

Dr. Charles E. Phillips grew up on a farm in Pratt County, Kansas, attended the rural schools there, and early in life began to earn his own money and pay for his education. He graduated from Washburn College in its medical department in 1905 with the degree M. D., and had since spent three summers in Wichita specializing in surgery and stomach diseases. Doctor Phillips began practice at Zenda October 20, 1905. When he arrived in that town he had only $1.30 in cash capital, but despite this rather inauspicious beginning he was soon in a way to prosperity and had enjoyed a large medical and surgical practice almost from the start. Many complicated cases of surgery have been successfully performed by him and he is also well known for his skill in his specialty of treating stomach diseases. Doctor Phillips had his offices in the drug store on Main Street, and he owned that store until selling out in April, 1917. In 1909 he built a handsome modern residence, one of the best in the county, on Main Street. Doctor Phillips is a republican in politics, and at one time was clerk of Rochester Township in Kingman County. He served as master of Zenda Lodge No. 378, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, in 1912, and had also taken the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, being one of the first five members of Zenda Lodge to take the Consistory degrees. He is a member of Midian Temple of the Mystic Shrine and is affiliated with Zenda Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America. Professionally he is identified with Kingman County and the State Medical societies and the American Medical Association. Doctor Phillips is president of a breakfast food company and stockholder in several oil companies.

November 12, 1905, at Supply, Oklahoma, he married Miss Mary Craver, daughter of Frank and Eliza Jane (Elkan) Craver. Her parents live at Pratt, Kansas, where her father is a carpenter. Doctor and Mrs. Phillips have one child, Franklin P., born August 11, 1909.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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