CAPT. HIRAM MCDOWELL PHILLIPS, hero of the Mexican and of the late war, and a resident of the thriving city of Le Roy, is a native of the Buckeye State, born in Piketon, Pike Co., Ohio, Feb. 1, 1822. His father, Thomas Phillips, and his grandfather, also Thomas by name, were natives of Pennsylvania, and engaged there in agricultural pursuits. Thomas Phillips, Jr., removed to Kentucky at an early day and settled in Harrison County, where his life terminated. Thomas, Jr., accompanied his father's family, and after a few years went northward into Ohio and located in Scioto County. He was there married to Miss Mary McDowell, a native of his own State. They settled in Pike County, and lived for a few years, then removed to Scioto and from there, in 1828, to Indiana. They spent one winter in Wayne County, and afterward lived in Tippecanoe County a few years, then selling out located in Montgomery County. The father of our subject departed this life Feb. 17, 1851, at the home of our subject near Danville, Ill. The mother died in 1845. The parental household included ten children, eight of whom grew to mature years; our subject was the youngest.

Young Phillips was reared to farm pursuits, and pursued his studies in both public and private schools. He was a bright boy, fond of his books, and at fourteen years of age commenced teaching, which he followed for many years in Montgomery and Boone Counties, Ind. In 1848 he came to Vermilion County, this State, and taught there and in Champaign County until 1857. He then came to McLean County, and locating at Le Roy engaged as a mechanic. He enlisted in the army in May, 1846, becoming a member of Company G, 1st Regiment Illinois Volunteers, and going with his comrades to Mexico served one year, or until the expiration of his term of enlistment. He participated in the battle of Buena Vista under Gen. Taylor. During the late war, Oct. 11, 1861, he raised a company of volunteers, of which he was appointed Captain, and with his comrades assigned to the 39th Regiment Illinois Volunteers, which was known as Yates Phalanx. He served three years and four months, and during that time participated in thirty battles, among them being that of Winchester. At Drury's Bluff he was wounded and captured, and confined three months and eight days in Libby Prison. He was then paroled and proceeded to Annapolis, Md., where he was discharged in December, 1864, on account of disability, and it also being the expiration of his term of service.

Mr. Phillips was married, Dec. 17, 1848, to Miss Christiana W. Martin, who was born in Harrison County, Ky., and the daughter of Edward W. and Sarah A. (Phillips) Martin. Her father was a native of Kentucky, and her grandfather, John Martin, a farmer in Harrison County, that State, spent his last days there. Mrs. Sarah A. (Phillips) Martin was born in Ohio. She came with her husband to Illinois in 1836, and they located in Vermilion County, near Danville, whence they removed to Champaign County, where the mother died. Edward W. Martin departed this life at the home of his daughter in Le Roy. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips have become the parents of three children: Thomas E., now living in Jefferson County, Mo.; George W., at home, and Sarah A., the wife of I. N. Clarke, of Le Roy.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 578. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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