Family Stories

George W. Phillips and Josephine Kendall – Morgan County

George W. Phillips was the son of George W. Phillips and Mary Cassity, born August 20, 1843, in Morgan County, Kentucky.  Both parents were born in Virginia. 

George enlisted July 15, 1861, as a private in the Civil War, on the side of the Confederacy, in Company A, 2nd Battalion, Kentucky Mounted Rifles.  He was discharged September 14, 1864, his length of service, two years, one month and 21 days.

After the war George married Josephine Kendall, 1865, in Morgan County.  James Fugate, Minister of the Gospel wrote, ‘I hereby certify that on the 7th day of February 1865, Mr. George W. Phillips of Morgan County and wife Josephine A. Kendall, was married by James Fugate, a minister of the Baptist church.  Witnesses Nanners Walsh and P. F. Dyre.’

Josephine Kendall was the daughter of William Harrison Kendall and Susanna Ritchie.

In the 1870 census of Morgan County George, 25, a farmer, lived with wife Josephine, 24, son William, 4, and daughter Sara, 2.  Ten years later George is listed as a blacksmith, which he continues for the next 40+ years.  Sarah is not listed in the 1880 census, and I could find nothing about her in later records; she must have died before that date.  Three children have been born to George and Josephine – Loula, 10, John, 8, and Jennie, 4. 

The 1890 census was destroyed by fire – a twenty-year span is a long time in the life of a family.  By 1900 George is 55, married 35 years; Josephine, 54, gave birth to 6 children and has six children living.  A daughter Dora C., 19, was born in 1881.  I thought six children were the total in the family.  However, living in Laurel County in 1900 was son John Phillips, a salesman for a grocer, and son Mac Phillips, 16, a coal miner, boarding with the David Kellet family.  How do I know that Mac Phillips was also a son of George and Josephine?  King McMurray Phillips is listed in some of the online trees on Ancestry, as a child of this couple, listed as living in San Antonio, Texas.  He is in the 1920 census as 37, a salesman, born in Kentucky, as well as both parents; wife Mattie, 35, daughters Thelma, 12; Bertie, 12 – twins; Josephine, 9; Maxina, 4, and Mattie, 1 3/12.  In 1910 the couple and their twins live with Mattie’s parents, William N. and Pauline J. Cook.  This alone does not verify that this King M. Phillips is the same person, although naming a daughter Josephine does seem to imply this is correct. 

Then I found the registration card for King McMurray Phillips for WWI.  It gives his address as 3406 South Flores Street, San Antonio, Texas.  The nearest relative listed on the card is G. W. Phillips, West Liberty, Kentucky.  I believe that piece of information seals the deal.  Back to the 6 children listed on the 1900 census – would she have been forgotten 25 years after her death? 

Josephine Kendall Phillips died January 14, 1909.  I found no obituary.

Josephine, daughter of William H. and Susan Kendall, born August 14, 1846, married to George W. Phillips, February 7, 1865, went to rest January 14, 1909.  Mother.

In the 1910 census George Phillips is 65, listed as widower.  He was still a blacksmith and owned his own shop.  Daughter Lula Thompson, 41, a widow, lived with her father, as well as Jennie Phillips, 35, single, Dora Phillips, 32, divorced, a stenographer for a lawyer, as well as Lula’s daughters Blanch Thompson, 17, and Mable Thompson, 15.  By 1920 George, a 78-year-old, had no occupation.  Daughter Jennie, 39, lived with him.  In 1930 the two were 86 and 50.

A tragedy struck the family in 1924 when son King M. Phillips took his own life.

The Waco Times Herald, Waco, McLennan County, Texas

Sunday, April 6, 1924

Find Man Dead With Pistol By His Side

San Antonio, April 5 – King M. Phillips, 39, traveling salesman, was found dead at his home at 10:30 Friday night.  A small caliber automatic from which a bullet is said to have been fired into the brain, police stated, was found lying beside the body.  The body was lying in a pool of blood.  Beside the body was a note bearing the caption: “My last request.”  It was addressed “To my wife,” and gave directions for disposal of his remains.

George W. Phillips died January 27, 1934, and was buried beside his wife in Salyer Cemetery.

The Lexington Leader, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Monday, January 29, 1934

G. W. Phillips Dies

West Liberty, Ky., Jan. 29 – George W. Phillips, 90, trustee of the jury fund in Morgan County for many years, and a Confederate veteran, died at his residence here Saturday night.  He is survived by two sons, John L. Phillips, Pineville, past grandmaster of Kentucky Masons, and W. P. Phillips, Morgan County, and two daughters, Mrs. W. L. Hammond [Lula], Pineville, and Miss Jenny Phillips, West Liberty.  His wife died 25 years ago.

Private George W. Phillips, CO A, 2 KY Mounted Rifles, CSA, August 20, 1844 – January 27, 1934.

Children of George W. Phillips and Joseph Kendall:

  1. William Thomas Phillips, June 4, 1866 – January 15, 1941, married Minnie Frances Henry, May 9, 1893, children Rebecca, John Henry, William Daniel, Josephine Frances and Bertie L.
  2. Sarah Phillips, born about 1868, in 1870 census only, unknown death.
  3. Loula Phillips, born February 1869, unknown death, married a Mr. Thompson, children Mabel and Blanche, living with father as a widow in 1910.
  4. John Lionel Phillips, October 9, 1873 – June 8, 1943, died in Bell County, buried in Pineville Cemetery, married Ida Mary Moss, children Sara and Ida Jean
  5. Jennie Phillips, born after 1876, died after 1931.
  6. Dora C. Phillips, October 1881 – September 24, 1956, died Bell County.
  7. King McMurray Phillips, December 1, 1884 – April 4, 1924, San Antonio, Texas, married Martha Emma Cooke, children Thelma, Bertie, Josephine, Louise, Maxine, Mattie.  Suicide with gun.

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