Biography of Truman S. Phillips
Adams County, NE Biographies





Truman S. Phillips was an efficient and up to date farmer and his well directed labors yielded him a gratifying financial return. He was also recognized as a public spirited citizen and in his early manhood gave indisputable proof of his patriotism by enlisting for service in the Union army in the Civil war. A native of the state of New York, his birth occurred on the 3d of June, 1838, and his parents were Asa and Sarah Ann Phillips. They removed to the vicinity of St. Catharines, Canada, when our subject was but a child and there the mother passed away in 1843. The father continued to reside there until 1858, when he returned to the United States. His last days were spent in California, where his demise occurred in 1894.

Truman S. Phillips received a public school education and during his boyhood and youth also became familiar with the best methods of agricultural work. In 1858 he removed to Grundy county, Illinois, and engaged in farming rented land there until September, 1862. when he joined Company D, One Hundred and Twenty seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He remained at the front with his command until 1865, and took part in over one hundred battles and marched over three thousand miles. His regiment was one of four mentioned in general orders for marching and good discipline. The greater part of Mr. Phillips' service was in the south and he participated in the Tallahatchie campaign and the Vicksburg Expedition under General Sherman, in the battle of Chickasaw Bayou and the battle of Arkansas Post, in which his regiment was the first to break through the enemy's lines and plant their colors, in the Grand Gulf campaign, the battle of Champion's Hill, in a number of engagements around Vicksburg, in the battles of Jackson and Chattanooga, in the Atlanta and the Savannah campaigns and the battles of Fayetteville and Bentonville. On the 3d of August, 1864, Mr. Phillips was wounded in the leg by a minie ball and his widow still has the bullet in her possession. She also has a sword which he captured from a rebel and many other relics of his military experience. After participating in the Grand Review and receiving his honorable discharge from the army Mr. Phillips went to Gardner, Illinois, where he engaged in farming and blacksmithing until 1897. In that year he came to Iienesaw township, Adams county, and purchased two hundred and forty acres, on which he made his home until his demise on the 9th of July, 1903. He was a man of great energy and spared no pains in bringing his farm to a high state of development and in keeping everything about the place in the best possible condition. He did general farming and received a gratifying income from his land.

On the 13th of October, 1868, occurred the marriage of Mr. Phillips and Miss Jane E. Harpham, of Gardner, Illinois, who was born in Spaulding, England, on the 13th of December, 1850. Her parents, Samuel and Sarah Harpham, were both natives of England and her father served for seven years in the English army. In 1850 he removed with his family to the United States and located in Michigan, where he resided for nineteen years, after which he took up his residence in the vicinity of Gardner, Illinois. In 1861 he went to the defense of his adopted country, enlisting in Company B, Fifty third Illinois Infantry. He took part in the engagements at Savannah, Shiloh, Corinth, Jackson and Vicksburg and in the Yoena Expedition. Following the expiration of their first term of enlistment his entire regiment reenlisted and fought in the Atlanta campaign and in the Carolina campaign in the pursuit of General Hood. They took part in the Grand Review at Washington and were mustered out on the 22d of July, 1865, at Chicago. Mr. Harpham made a record of which he had every right to be proud, never faltering in the performance of any duty no matter how arduous or dangerous. He not only took part in many engagements but also made an unusual number of long marches, covering in all seven thousand twenty three miles. After the period of hostilities he returned to the pursuits of civil life and for some time farmed in the vicinity of Gardner, Illinois, where he later conducted a butcher shop. He passed away in 1901 and his wife died in 1895.

Mr. and Mrs. Phillips became the parents of eight children: Edward L., a resident of Forest City, Iowa; Anna, the wife of S. Allison, of Lincoln, Nebraska; Asa, who is living in Kenesaw; Norman, deceased; Betsy, the wife of C. Erickson, who resides near Prosser; Cornelia, deceased; Ella, who married M. Rogers, of Los Angeles, California; and Daniel, at home.

Mr. Phillips was a stalwart adherent of the republican party which upheld the Union in the darkest days of its history. His religious faith was that of the Presbyterian church and he held membership in the Grand Army of the Republic while living in Illinois. His life was a busy and useful one and in carrying on his agricultural operations he contributed to the development of his locality as well as gained financial independence for himself. His personality was such that he gained the warm regard of those with whom he was brought in close contact and his friends still honor his memory.

From:
Past and Present of
Adams County, Nebraska
Supervisong Editor: Judge William R. Burton
Assistant Editor: David J. Lewis
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago, 1916


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