Lee County Biography

Arthur Phillips
Nelson Twp.


Arthur Phillips, a well known stockbreeder and farmer, who conducts an extensive business in his line on section 17, Nelson Township, has here a valuable and well arranged stock farm, beautifully located on the banks of the Rock River. Mr.Phillips was born in Warren County, Ohio, February 18, 1822, coming of the sturdy pioneer stock of that state, of which his father John Phillips, was also a native. He in turn was a son of Virginia parents who had settled in Ohio in an early day, and died in Warren County. He was reared in that county near the town of Franklin, and when young learned the trade of a carpenter, which he followed some years. He then abandoned that calling in favor of farming, which he pursued in his native county until his life was rounded out by his death at the age of seventy years. He was a man of remarkable physique, being very stout, hardy and rugged, and in personal character he was above reproach. He married Miss Elizabeth Howard, who was also a daughter of pioneer parents, who died in the Buckeye State when very old. She was born and reared in Warren County, and her death occurred there about ten years before that of her husband.

Our subject is one of seven children, five sons and two daughters, he being the fourth in order of birth, and one son and one daughter are now dead. Arthur is the only one living in Illinois. His brothers, John T., and George, are residents of Ft. Wayne, Ind., and his brother Lewis, is a farmer in Marshall County, Iowa. A sister, Mrs. Mary Grimes, lives at Dayton, Ohio.

Mr. Phillips, although not one of the earliest settlers of this county, may well he denominated one of its pioneers, as he has been such an active factor in redeeming the land from the widerness. He came to this county in 1852, and first located in China Township, where he improved a small farm. In 1865. he sold that place at a good price and purchased his present homestead in Nelson township. This comprises two hundred and eighty acres of rich alluvium, well watered by the beautiful stream that flows by, and admirably adapted to stock-raising purposes. The buildings are of a good style of architecture, and every convenience is to be found on the Place for the numerous cattle, horses and swine raised here. Mr. Phillips making a specialty of Short-Horns. besides having cattle of other grades. All of the improvements in the way of buildings, etc., have been put upon the place by him since it came into his possession.

The marriage of Mr. Phillips with Miss Louisa Wingert, took place at Winchester, Ohio. Mrs. Phillips was born in Pennsylvania, and was young when her parents, Henry and Anna (Bentz) Wingert., removed to Ohio, and settled near Winchester, whence in 1852 they came to this county with their daughter. Mrs. Phillips, of this notice, and located at Franklin Grove, China Township, and is now nearly eighty-seven years old. He has been a hard-working man and a good citizen, and none know him but to respect him. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, of whom all are living but Anna, who died at the age of fourteen years. The surviving children are Mary, wife of Harry Williams, a farmer of Woosung in Ogle County; Laura, wife of George Mooers, of Belle Plaine, Iowa, who is engaged as a railway conductor; Wilbur, who now resides at home, having married Miss Zula Williams, of Walnut, Bureau County, Ill.; Henry, the youngest son, still remains with his parents.

Mr. Phillips is highly regarded as one of our most upright, fair-dealing and conscientious citizens although no church claims him as a member. He has an evenly balanced mind, is independent in his opinions, especially so in regard to politics, being a strong Democrat, and his successful managemeat of all affairs has placed him among the substantial and well to do farmers of his township.

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