William Ross Phillips

WILLIAM ROSS PHILLIPS. During a residence in Shawnee County of more than forty-five years, William Ross Phillips has proved himself one of the ablest and most resourceful farmers in the Kaw Valley. Hard work and a sober industrious life have had their rewards in this case. There is an interesting evidence of his prosperity in the shape of tax receipts. His first tax receipt in Kansas was for five dollars. In 1915 he paid in taxes on his lands $236. His farm comprises fifty acres in the home place, and 160 acres in Menoken Township, of rich bottom lands in the Kaw Valley, and its superficial appearance and improvements furnish ample evidence of the success he has won in this field. Mr. Phillins has always been a thorough believer in the principle of feeding the crop and not hauling it to market.

He was born in 1846 in Guernsey County, Ohio. His father William Ross Phillips Sr. was born in Wales in 1793, came to this country when a young man, and from Guernsey County Ohio, moved to Pickaway County in 1851. He afterwards came to Kansas, and died at the advanced age of eighty-four, in 1877 at his home at .1025 Jackson Street, Topeka. He was laid to rest in Topeka Cemetery. In 1827 the senior Mr. Phillips married Priscilla White. Her father Walter White, who lived to be ninety-nine, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. William R. Phillips Sr. and wife had eight children, five sons and three daughters, John M., Evan, Mary Jane, Walter White, David William, Catherine, Sarah, and William Ross, Jr. The father of these children while not a specially religious man was a man of the highest moral character and a splendid citizen in all the relations of a long and busy life.

Reared in Guernsey and Pickaway Counties, Ohio, William R. Phillips Jr. was about twenty-four when he came to Kansas in 1870. He has lived in Shawnee County since October of that year, spending one year in Topeka and two years in Wabaunsee County. For thirty-four years Mr. Phillips occupied his quarter section farm near Menoken, and his present home is on Rural Route No. 5 out of North Topeka. Mr. Phillips married for his first wife Isabel Tomson. After her death he married Lenora Ramsey of Kentucky.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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