John Phillips

From Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society
Revision as of 17:30, 20 January 2011 by Jrudiak (Talk | contribs) (/* Note that no first name of his daughter is included in this New York Times article. Since this was in a New York newspaper, one can assume that Mr. Phillips was a very important industrialist in Pittsburgh and nationally and because of that John)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search


John Phillips was the uncle of one of our most famous citizens, [John M. Phillips]. As this is written not much is known about John Phillips except what is below. John Phillips' mansion existed on what is now Hornaday Road and was demolished around 1905 to make way for the developement of Phillip Manor. Phillips Manor Plan was designed by John M. Phillips.

John Phillps.jpg

John Phillips Hornaday Homestead-1.jpg

Although these pages are about John M. Phillips, the nephew of John Phillips, it give a historical record as to the relationship between both and to their common ancestors.

John M. Phillips page one of three.jpg

John M. Phillips page two of three.jpg

John M. Phillips page three of three.jpg

Phillips Section of Southside Cemetery in Carrick

Headstone Cemetary Lot Marker Phillips.jpg

Headstone of John Phillips. Headstone located in the Phillips Section of Southside Cemetery in Carrick

Headstone John Phillips.jpg

The obituary for John Phillips


Well Known Pioneer Iron Manufacturer Passes Peacefully Away at His Home in Carrick.

John Phillips

In the death of John Phillips, Pittsburg lost one of her pioneer iron manufacturers, a man who was long identified with the industrial interests of the city. Mr. Phillips died early Tuesday morning at his home in Carrick, aged 84, his death being due to general debility brought on by old age. The fine house, which he built 20 years ago, is on a tract of land which formed part of the farm on which his father settled a century ago and across the street, the old Brownsville road, is the blacksmith shop in which his father carried on the manufacture of hand-wrought nails and bolts from iron which was packed over the mountains from the east.

Mr. Phillips’ maternal grandparents came from the north of Ireland, early in the eighteenth century, and settled on Peters creek, in this county. His father, James Phillips, came from the north of Ireland in 1795. He bought the place on Brownsville road, then a much-traveled thoroughfare, and practiced his trade. Mr. Phillips was born on January 30, 1822. He served an apprenticeship to his father, but later learned brick making and with his brother, James, formed a co-partnership in the building and contracting business, erecting some of the then most important buildings in Pittsburg and vicinity. Mr. Phillips married Miss Eliza Rossiter of Pittsburg.

About the year 1860 Mr. Phillips joined the late William J. Lewis and they established a bolt manufacturing factory in Liberty Street, near the site of Union station. Mr. Lewis had invented a machine for making bolts, and Mr. Phillips instantly recognized its practical utility and the value of the patents.

In 1863 the late Henry W. Oliver became a partner and the firm was then Lewis, Oliver & Phillips. The works were moved to South Tenth Street, and the business was styled Oliver Brothers & Phillips, which later gave way to the Oliver Iron & Steel Company, of which Mr. Phillips was vice president. The mine supply department of this enterprise was bought by Mr. Phillips and his nephew, John M. Phillips, was established separately in a plant on South Twenty-Third Street, and when Mr. Phillips retired from all active business, in 1900, it was incorporated as the Phillips Mine & Mill Supply Company.

Mr. Phillips began to ail about six years ago, and for the last four years was confined to his house and the grounds around it. He did not take to his bed, however, until he became unconscious on Saturday. His mental faculties were bright to the last.

Mr. Phillips was a man of striking appearance, more then six feet tall. He was hearty in manner and during his long residence and business life on the South side became known to thousands. He was extremely popular with the workmen and boys at the bolt factory. It amused him to talk with the boys and from them, because of his fatherly way with them, he got the appellation “Dad,” by which he was spoken of and addressed by them.

Mr. Phillips was fond of outdoor life. Many years ago he had a wagon built for hunting trips throughout the country. It was fitted for cooking and for sleeping purposes, and in it, with a friend or two, he used to drive over the surrounding country with dogs and guns, being absent two and three weeks at a time. His eyes were always good and he never used glasses except for reading in later life. One of his friends relates that when Mr. Phillips was 70 years old his shooting was true and at that age he brought down two quail which were flushed at his feet and flew in opposite directions.

Tenderness of heart was a characteristic of Mr. Phillips. When he was still in active business there were many pensioners on his bounty, old South Siders, some of whom he had known in boyhood, others who had worked for him.

Mr. Phillips was warm in his friendship. After the old firm of Lewis, Oliver & Phillips went out of existence the three partners still kept up the old friendship. When Henry W. Oliver died Mr. Phillips wept. Mr. Oliver was many years younger than his old partner who, with tears streaming down his face, said: “I wish Harry were still alive and I had been taken instead.”

Mr. Phillips was a member of the old Concord Presbyterian church of Carrick. He leaves behind his widow and five daughters, Mrs. Chessrown, wife of Dr. A. V. Chessrown; Mrs. West, wife of Dr. Matthew West of Homestaed; Mrs. Victor Ehrhart of Jamestown; Mrs. Albert Fisher of Carrick: Miss Aline Phillips, who lives at home, and a number of grandchildren.

SOURCE: Hill Top Record, 1 February 1907, page 6, col.1

Headstone of John Phillips' wife, Eliza Rossiter. Headstone located in the Phillips Section of Southside Cemetery in Carrick

Headstone wife of John Phillips Eliza Rossiter.jpg

1900 John Phillips census.jpg

John Phillips and Eliza Rossiter Phillips had 8 children and according to the 1900 census page 6 of them were still alive in 1900.

Living in the Phillips Manor in 1900 was

John Phillips

Eliza (wife)

Aline (daughter)

Mary V. Wenke (daughter, widowed and childless living back home)

May F. Gorgas (a 20 year old house servant from New York)

It is interesting to take the census page and all census pages from that batch and compare them to the map of the Hornaday Road development. The names of the census page match up to the map.

Five of the John and Eliza Phillips’ children are as follows:

Mary P. Wenke born 1853 died 1905

Olive E. West born 1855 died 1931

Lillian S. Fisher born in Nov 1857 (died 1937 in Los Angeles)

Aline Phillips born 1861 died 1932

Ethel Belle born 1863 died 1935

Lillian married Albert Fisher on Sept 22, 1883. They had four children

               Aline Margaret Boleky born Dec 1884 died 1955
               Catherine G. Smith born May 1886
               John Phillips Fisher born June 1890 died Nov 1954
               Frank McFarland Fisher born July 1892

Headstone Aline Phillips.jpg

== John Phillips' daughter

Headstone Polly R. Phillips.jpg

This is Olive and her husband. Olive married Matthew H. West, MD and they moved to Homestead Borough and lived at 214 E. Fifteenth Avenue. The site is now a church. It appears that Olive married Matthew in 1899 when he was 53 and she was 44. This explains why they never had children. Matthew died a few years later and Olive moved back home to Carrick.

Olive Phillips.jpg

== Title: Directory of Homestead, East Homestead 1896. Collection: Historic Pittsburgh Full-Text Collection ==

Headstone Olive E. West.jpg Headstone Matthew H. West.jpg

Could this be John Phillips' daughter, Mary?

Headstone Mary P. Wenke.jpg

Here is a report of one of his daughter's (Lillian) elopement with Albert Fisher who she remained married to until their deaths in 1937.

Note that no first name of his daughter is included in this New York Times article. Since this was in a New York newspaper, one can assume that Mr. Phillips was a very important industrialist in Pittsburgh and nationally and because of that John Phillips and Lillian were spared embarrasment.

Phillips Elopement.JPG

1900 census of Albert Fisher.jpg

In 1900 Census, Lillian and Albert Fisher were living in Baldwin Township which could have been in Carrick. Albert was born October, 1857 in Pittsburgh Lillian was born November, 1857 Children: Aline, December 1884, Catherine, May, 1886, John P. June, 1890, Frank, July, 1892.

In the 1900 Census, a daughter, Sara Jane Phillips, is shown as married to Archibald Chessman and having two children, John Phillips and Florence E. They lived on millionaires row, as Fifth Avenue was known then, at 5443 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., now the site of a condo. The entry is in the second block down.

Sara Jane Phillips Chessman census.jpg