William James Phillips, M. D. The community of Beaumont, Kansas, esteems Dr. William J. Phillips as its pioneer physician and surgeon and as a man whose capable efforts have been directed through a long period of years largely to the service of his fellow men. Doctor Phillips had gained his best recognition in a comparatively limited community, and had been well satisfied to do his work there and to merit the esteem and respect of those closest to him. Many men more widely known have not accomplished so much in that work which is so vitally necessary to human welfare.
Doctor Phillips comes of ancestors who were originally people of Wales, came to America in Colonial times, and in one generation after another the family extended itself across the country, first to Ohio, later to Iowa and in the person of Doctor Phillips to Kansas, Doctor Phillips was born in Washington County, Iowa, October 2, 1856. He also had some Irish blood, since his paternal grandmother came from Ireland when she was nine years of age. His father, George Phillips, was born in Ohio, February 10, 1814, and died at Daytonville, Iowa, February 6, 1873. His death occurred at the age of fifty-eight years, eleven months, twenty-six days. He grew up on an Ohio farm, lived in that state until about twenty-one years of age, and about 1835 went to Illinois, first to Sangamon County and afterward to Schuyler County. From there he moved to Iowa and was one of the early pionesrs in Washington County. He followed farming in early life, afterward was a merchant, and at the time of his death owned a general store, a hotel and considerable land. He and two other men were instrumental in building and in contributing to the building of the first church at the community of Dayton, afterward known as Daytonville, Iowá/ He was one of the ablest supporters of the Methodist Church there, and served both as steward and trustee. In politics he was a very active republican. George Phillips was three times married. He married his first wife in Ohio. She was Elizabeth Dean, a native of that state. She died in Illinois and was the mother of ten children: A danghter that died in infancy; McWilliams, a retired farmer at Rushville, Hlinois; Sarah, who died at Palo, Iowa, the wife of B. MeCorele, a farmer; Rebecca, who died at Washington, Kansas, the wife of Isaac Longwell, who is a miller by trade and still lives in Kansas; Mary, who died unmarried February 14, 1917, at Iowa City, Iowa; George, who enlisted in the Union army and was killed at Nashville, Tennessee, in December, 1864; Albert, who died in Arkansas, having served as postmaster at Lavaca in that state; Benjamin, a traveling salesman who died at Omaha, Nebraska; Elizabeth, who died at Marne, Iowa, wife of O. A. Stillings, a farmer, also deceased; Rosetta, who died in Iowa City, wife of Dr. S. S. Lytle, deceased. George Phillips married for his second wife Susanna Dean, a half-sister of his first wife. She was born in Illinois in 1830, and died at Daytonville, Iowa, October 9, 1856, just a week after the birth of her son, Dr. William J. Phillips. She had two children, the older being W. S., a retired merchant living at Iowa City, Iowa. For his third wife George Phillips married Judith R. Downing. She was born in Kentucky and died at Wellman, Iowa. Her only child, Thomas A. L., died when seventeen months old.
Doctor Phillips spent most of his early life and gained his education at Iowa City, the’ first state capital of Iowa and the home of its university. He attended the public schools, also an academy, and took his medical course in the State University, where he was graduated M. D. in 1885. When only eighteen years of age, in 1874, Doctor Phillips had paid his first visit to Kansas and had come out here largely on account of his health. He recuperated and spent fifteen months in farm work at Washington, Kansas.
After securing his medical degree Doctor Phillips returned to Kansas and for ten years was engaged in practice at Lacrosse. Since then he had made his home at Beaumont, and is the only physician in practice. His services have been in great demand over a large community, and with his many years of experience he is counted one of the most competent physicians and surgeons in that part of the state. Doctor Phillips is emergency surgeon for the Frisco Railroad at Beaumont, is examiner for three large life insurance companies, and for five years was a member of the United States Pension Board Examiners at Lacrosse as local examiner. He also owned a drug store at Beanmont.
Doctor Phillips might also be designated as a farmer, since he owned a farm and residence adjoining the town on the west. His farm comprises 130 acres and is well improved and managed on a par with the best farms in Butler County. Doctor Phillips is now serving as town clerk of Beaumont and had held other township offices. He is a republican in politics, and a member of Beaumont Lodge No; 465, Ancient Order United Workmen.
Soon after coming to Kansas in 1885 Doctor Phillips was married at Lacrosse to Miss Maggie Z. Redman. She is a daughter of A. J. and Mary (Wright) Redman. Her mother is still living at Lacrosse. Her father, deceased, was for six years sheriff of Rush County and for ten years held the office of probate judge and other county offices. In businees he was a farmer. Doctor and Mrs. Phillips take great pride in their children, and eleven sons and danghters have been born into their home. Clarence M. is a farmer 3 ½ miles southwest of Beaumont. Hubert W. is employed as a brakeman with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and lives at Biggar in Saskatchewan, Canada; Edith Fern is the wife of A. L. Milliken, who is station agent for the Friseo Railway at Altamont, Kansas; George A. drives an auto stage at Brawley, California; Pauline, the fifth child, died when three years of age; helen M. is the wife of J. H. Nichols, an express measenger living at Wichita; Beulah M. is a teacher in Butler County and still makes her home with her parents; Paul W. is attending a school of automobile instruction at Wichita. The three younger children are Alwilda, Wendell and Ruth, all of them attending the public schools of Beaumont.