Thomas Beale and Anne Gooch
Husband Thomas Beale
Born: Abt 1650 Died: Abt 1700 Buried:Marriage: Abt 1670
Wife Anne Gooch
Born: Abt 1652 Died: Abt 1700 Buried:
Father: William Gooch Mother: Unknown *UNKNOWN
General Notes: Husband - Thomas Beale
Ancestor of Confederate General R.L.T. Beale; research in progress.
Walter John Pharr and Martha A. Beard
Husband Walter John Pharr
Born: 1844 - Big Creek, Ft. Bend, TX Died: After 1883 - TX Buried:
Father: Samuel Pharr Mother: Lucy Ellen Pentecost
Marriage: 26 Nov 1968 - Ft. Bend, TX, John H. Hand JP
Wife Martha A. Beard
Born: Died: Buried:
Edward "Needy" Pharr and Rachel Beard
Husband Edward "Needy" Pharr
Born: Died: Buried:Marriage:
Wife Rachel Beard
Born: Died: Buried:
1 M Jonathon Pharr
Born: 1779 - Lunenburg, Bedford Co., VA Died: Buried:Spouse: Ester Thomas
John Kimbrough and Nancy Beardon
Husband John Kimbrough
Born: 11 Apr 1771 - Caswell County, NC Died: 10 Feb 1852 - Rutherford County, TN Buried:
Father: William Kimbrough Mother: Elizabeth Gooch
Marriage: 13 Mar 1812 - Rutherford County, TN
Other Spouse: Beth Ann Morton - Abt 1800 - TN
Other Spouse: Martha Walden - 15 Sep 1815 - Rutherford County, TN
Other Spouse: Tabitha Burnett - 28 Dec 1841 - Rutherford County, TN
Wife Nancy Beardon
Born: Abt 1775 - TN Died: Abt 1815 - Rutherford County, TN Buried:
1 F Lucinda Kimbrough
Born: 4 Nov 1814 - Rutherford County, TN Died: Abt 1855 - TN Buried:Spouse: Isaac N. Kimbrough Marr: 8 Nov 1832 - TN
General Notes: Husband - John Kimbrough
Purchased land in Rutherford County and Davidson County, Tennessee.
Owned a total of 1, 004 acres of land by 1819.
There was a railroad running through part of the land he owned in
Davidson County, with a stop called "Kimbro Station".
Ernest Beatty and Bertha Phillips
Husband Ernest Beatty
Born: Abt 1898 - TX 26 Died: 1953 - TX Buried:Marriage: Abt 1922 - TX
Wife Bertha Phillips
Born: Abt 1901 - Indian Terr. Died: 1988 - Big Spring, TX Buried: - White Point Cem., Comanche County, TX
Father: John Wesley Phillips Mother: Willie Katherine Callahan
1 F Othella Beatty
Born: Abt 1923 - TX 27 Died: Buried:
2 M Jesse Lee Beatty
Born: 13 Dec 1925 - TX Died: 26 Jun 1926 - TX Buried: - White Point Cem., Comanche County, TX
3 F Ernestine Beatty
Born: Abt 1926 - TX 28 Died: Buried:
4 F Skeeter Beatty
Born: Abt 1928 - TX 29 Died: Buried:
General Notes: Husband - Ernest Beatty
Thank you so much. That is, indeed, my grandmother. Such a sweet,
good lady she was. She passed away January 20, 1970 in Comanche. She
lived in a little house on North Pearl street. That is the only place
I can remember her living except the house between Comanche and
DeLeon. This is another subject but, do you remember ever hearing a
story about your Aunt Bertha's husband, when he worked on the Santa Fe
railroad. The "motor car" that they were riding on was hit by a
train. For some reason they did not get the word that the train was
coming, and did not see it in time to set off of the track. Someone
saw it in time to yell and they all jumped. Ernest's head hit the
cross tie or something and hurt him pretty bad. He was hurt worse
than any of them, but they all managed to jump clear of the train.
Ernest never did really get over that for the rest of his life.
Anyway, my Dad was also on the motor car that day. We were all really
close during that time. We lived in railroad housing, next door to
each other, just a few feet from the railroad tracks. What a life.
Thanks again for the picture. Billye
Walter Lee Phillips and Ethel Beatty
Husband Walter Lee Phillips
AKA: Lee Phillips Born: 3 Aug 1896 - Wapanucka, Johnston Co., Indian Terr. 30,31,32 Died: 21 Jan 1971 - Abilene, Taylor Co., TX 33,34 Cause of Death: Heart disease Buried: - White Point Cem., Comanche County, TX
Father: John Wesley Phillips Mother: Willie Katherine Callahan
Marriage: 1916 - TX 4
Other Spouse: Mava Opal Gooch - Abt 1932 - Brownwood, Brown Co., TX 35
Wife Ethel Beatty
AKA: Johnnie Ethel Beatty, Neta Beatty, Ethel Beaty, Johnnie Ethel Beaty Born: 18 Jan 1901 - Comanche Co., TX Died: 28 May 1985 - TX Buried:
Father: John Patrick Beatty Mother: Mary Thomas Wilhelm
Other Spouse: George S. Allen - 1928 - TX
1 F Mary Jewel (Judy) Phillips
Born: 23 Jan 1919 - TX Died: Buried:Spouse: Benjamin Benn Marr: 1935 - TX
2 F Juanita Phillips
AKA: Ethel Juanita Phillips Born: 1 Aug 1921 - Zephyr, Brown Co., TX Died: Abt 1988 - TX Buried:Spouse: Tommy *UNKNOWN Marr: Abt 1940 - TXSpouse: Samuel Campobello Marr: 1950
3 F Johnnie Bee Phillips
Born: 9 Dec 1923 - TX Died: Buried:Spouse: John Lawrence Marr: Abt 1944
4 F Maxine Phillips
AKA: Birdie Maxine Phillips Born: 17 Jan 1925 - TX Died: Buried:Spouse: Samuel Putnam Marr: Abt 1946
General Notes: Husband - Walter Lee Phillips
Walter Lee Phillips was born in Wapanucka, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, August 3, 1896; listed as "Wesley Lee Phillips". Source: LDS IGI RECORDS, OKLAHOMA.
Link to the Walter Lee Phillips memorial page on Find A Grave:
Our Father, Walter Lee Phillips
Walter Lee Phillips was born on the Chickasaw Nation in the Indian Territory, August 3, 1896. His father was John Wesley Phillips. His mother's maiden name was Willie Katherine Callahan. Other researchers have submitted information to the LDS recording that Dad was born in the village of Wapanuka, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory on August 3, 1896. Some of those records list his name as "Wesley Lee Phillips" and I have not found a reason for that. Wapanuka is in present day Johnston County, Oklahoma.
I have found no formal records verifying his place of birth but it is well documented in records kept by family members. I have been in contact with several other family researchers and they verify that the Callahan family lived in Wapanuka during that time period. Dad later talked about it as being "on the reservation" in Oklahoma when he was a boy. Oklahoma did not become a state until 1907.
I had thought there is Indian blood in our Phillips family line, but I have not yet proven that connection. I had always thought the Indian blood was on the Phillips side, but that may not be the case. I have found out that John Wesley Phillips was born in Benton County, Arkansas in 1868. He was one of the youngest of eight children. John Wesley's father's name was Calvin Phillips, and by the records I have seen Calvin Phillips was likely born between 1820 and 1830 in North Carolina or South Carolina. Calvin Phillips is listed in census records as a farmer and blacksmith. His wife's maiden name was Rachel Reddick, and it is believed that she was born between 1820 and 1830, probably in Illinois. There are no Indian connections I can find on that side of the family. There are many Phillips's listed in the Dawson Rolls, especially from the Cherokee lines. It is documented that many Cherokee families were already using the English name of Phillips when they made the move from the southeastern states to the Indian Territory in the 1830's. I do not have enough information to tie our Phillips family to any of the Cherokee Phillips's. Some family records show Calvin Phillips serving with the Confederate Army during the Civil War. I have not found any records to substantiate that. The Calvin Phillips family shows up in census records in Benton County, Arkansas (1850, 1860, 1870) and Cooke County, Texas (1880).
Family folklore has it that one of our early Phillips ancestors came from Wales in the 1700's, settling in Pennsylvania. This is the classic "three brothers tale". He had three sons. One of the sons founded a Methodist Church in Pennsylvania in the days of John Wesley. Over the years the descendants migrated to North Carolina and/or South Carolina. I find that to be believable. But I have run into a block in trying to trace the family line back past Calvin Phillips. The Phillips surname was common and it is almost impossible to establish ties with certainty. I have found several Phillips families living in northwestern South Carolina in the late 1700's and early 1800's. The most likely scenario I can find in researching records is that Calvin was a son of Gabriel and Abbey (Rainmaker) Phillips who lived near Spartanburg, South Carolina. In any case, there is no evidence to suggest that our Phillips ancestors were ever part of the Southern Aristocracy. It seems they owned small farms, and worked at occupations common in those times (blacksmiths, millers, tanners, etc.). The Cherokees inhabited the mountainous regions of western South Carolina in earlier times. It could be that Abbey Rainmaker was a Cherokee, and Calvin could have been half Indian.
As for the Reddick line, it is believed that Rachel Reddick was a daughter of Shadrach Reddick. Shadrach Reddick was a frontiersman, soldier-Indian fighter, and pioneer. He had early roots in South Carolina. He participated in several wars against the Seminoles, Creeks, and Shawnees. He was one of those men who moved westward as the country expanded. It is known that he lived in Illinois during the period when Rachel Reddick would have been born. He traveled on the old Oregon Trail to settle in Oregon in the early 1850's. He died in Oregon around 1860.
By the records I can find, Willie Katherine Callahan was born in Texas in 1871. Her father's name was James Sanford Callahan, and he was born in Texas in 1844. He was a son of early Texas Ranger Captain James Hughes Callahan. Captain Callahan is best known for leading "Callahan's Expedition" into Mexico in 1855, in pursuit of a band of Lipan Apache Indians and Mexican bandits that had raided settlers in the Texas Hill Country. Both of James Sanford Callahan's parents died in 1856. His father was killed in a gunfight and his mother died about five months later, probably from shock and grief over the loss of her husband. Their children, Wesley (about 13), James Sanford (11), Josiah Ashbury (about 9), Armiseda Catherine (about 7), and Mehala Caroline (about 6) were turned over to a court appointed guardian. Other family members believe James Sanford later went by the name "Sam Callahan". Her mother's maiden name was Sally Neill or Nail, and she was born in Texas in 1848. They were married in Caldwell County, Texas in 1866. It has not been proven, but there is a good possibility that she was descended from Col. James Clinton Neill of the Texian Army. Col. Neill was in command of the Alamo until shortly before it fell. He temporarily turned the command over to Lt. Col. William Travis due to a serious sickness in his family. If there is Indian blood in our Phillips family line, it probably comes in through marriage of Samuel Clinton Neill to Lourahama (Ruy) Berry. It is believed that Samuel Clinton and Lourahama (Berry) Neill were the parents of Sally Neill. Samuel Clinton Neill was a son of Col. James Clinton Neill.
Callahan County, Texas was named in honor of Captain James Hughes Callahan. In the early 1930's, the remains of James Hughes Callahan, his wife, Sarah, and their son, William Milford (1852-1855), were unearthed from their original burial site near Blanco, Texas, and reburied in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas.
The James Sanford Callahan family is listed on the 1880 census records, living in Stephens County, Texas. It is believed they moved to the Chickasaw Nation and settled near the village of Wapanuka before 1890.
Our Grandfather apparently did not care much for doing manual labor. Dad remembered his father sitting on the wagon, while all the kids and their mother did the farm work and picked the cotton. When the wagon was full of cotton, their father would take it to town, to the cotton gin. He would collect the money for their labors. It was not so much that he was lazy, but he saw himself as the "manager" or "oversee'er" of the family. He let his wife and children do most of the hard work, while he "took care of business matters", handled the money and "managed things".
Dad seemed to have a happy childhood. The kids were "stair-stepped" in ages and they seemed to get along well. His mother was a bundle of energy. Most of the children's training and discipline came from her. His father was reserved, good-natured and "laid-back". He was tolerant and patient with the children, but he did not get involved much with their training and discipline.
Dad was apparently closest to his older brother, Otho, when they were children growing up. Their lifestyle was simple and primitive, by the standards of our time. They all worked hard, doing the farm work, and all the other necessary chores. They never had much money to spend. They would each be given a little money at the end of the harvest year, if any money was left over, after paying all the bills and buying the necessities for their farm. Dad said he spent the money he was given on new shoes and sometimes clothes, if there was enough for that.
When Dad was a young boy, the family made several trips from the Indian Territory to Texas, usually to the central Texas area around Comanche. I believe they had family connections there in the 1890's, but I do not know what the connections were. Apparently they also made some trips from the Indian Territory to Northwestern Arkansas, where some of John Wesley's relatives probably still lived. Those trips were made in a covered wagon under very harsh conditions. It seems that our Grandmother did some fussing about moving around so much back in those days. She wanted the family to settle down and stay in one place. In the early 1900's, John Wesley Phillips bought a parcel of land in Comanche County, Texas, and they finally settled down there. Uncle Otho told me that none of the kids had ever been to school before they moved to Comanche County. Their mother had taught them to read, write, and do simple arithmetic. Otho was a couple of years older than Dad was. When they got to Comanche, there was a school and their mother made them go, at least for a while. Uncle Otho talked about the first time he and Dad went to school. He said the old school teacher gave them a test, by making them write a few sentences, read a few passages from a book, and "do some ciphering". He said the schoolteacher placed Dad in the third grade, and he was placed in the fifth grade, because "he was smartest". (Actually, it was probably based on how old they were). Apparently, they only went to school for that one year. Work was more important back in those days, and there was much work to be done in that Texas cotton patch.
Dad grew up working hard, and he didn't know anything else. The work ethic was instilled in him at an early age. His work would be very important to him for the rest of his life.
When he was a young man, Dad was out hunting one day with a twelve-gauge shotgun. He was crossing a barbed wire fence and he stood the shotgun up on its butt as he straddled the fence to cross over. He must have had his left hand resting on the end of the barrel. It seems that the trigger got tangled up in the fence wire somehow. The shotgun went off, and it blew off two of Dad's fingers, and a part of a third. It also did some bad damage to the palm of his left hand, which was badly scarred for the rest of his life.
Dad married a pretty young woman when he was about twenty. Her name was Ethel Beatty, and she was the daughter of a Methodist Minister in the little town of Zephyr, Texas. He had four children by his marriage to Ethel, all girls. Their names are: Mary Jewel (Judy), Juanita, Johnnie Bee, and Maxine. Judy married a soldier named Benjamin Benn in the late 1930's. She is the only one of the girls I ever met. They came by to visit us briefly when I was a little boy, in the 1950's. In 1996, I contacted her, and I visited Judy and her husband, Benjamin to interview them. Judy was then in her late seventies and Benjamin was in his early eighties. Judy was suffering from an Alzheimer's like malady, and she was on medication that affected her memory. Still, I learned a great deal from talking with Judy and Benjamin.
When Judy was a little girl, in the early 1920's, she said the family lived in Del Rio, Texas, on the Mexican border. Dad operated a trucking company there with a partner who was named Jack. It is probable that some of the girls were born in Del Rio, although I have not verified that by records.
Dad and Ethel separated in about 1927, and divorced a short while later. Ethel was given custody of the two youngest girls, Johnnie Bee and Maxine. Dad was given custody of the two oldest girls, Judy and Juanita. The Great Depression started shortly after they were divorced. During those hard times, Dad had to leave Judy and Juanita in the care of his mother and father, while he went off to seek work wherever it could be found. In about 1930, Ethel married an Army Officer stationed in San Antonio. In about 1931, Dad and Ethel agreed that is was not right for the family to be separated, and it would be best for the girls if Dad gave up custody of Judy and Juanita. It was not right for the girls to be separated, and Ethel and her new husband were in a much better position to take care of the girls financially. Dad signed custody of the two girls over to Ethel and her new husband. All of the girls continued to visit Dad while they were growing up, usually spending several weeks with him during the summer months.
Judy had fond memories of her days as a young girl, living with her Grandmother and Grandfather Phillips. She adored them both. To quote her, she said, "I thought they hung the moon".
Dad never talked much about his daughters by that first marriage. They all grew up and married well. It was like a chapter in his life that Dad had closed, and he rarely mentioned his first marriage or any of the girls, even when he was an old man.
Dad met our mother in about 1933. To tell it like it is Dad was quite a rounder and was peddling around as a "boot-legger" in those days of prohibition and hard times. He had quite a reputation back in those days, and went by the name "Blackie" Phillips. Dad got that nickname because of his black hair and dark complexion. He used to get bootleg whiskey for Jess Gooch, our Grandfather on our mother's side. Dad was thirteen years older than Mom, but it seemed like "love at first sight" when they met by chance. Jess Gooch was usually very critical of the men his only daughter dated, even when she was then a young widow in her twenties. But he thought "Lee Phillips was a fine man" and he encouraged their courtship. It was a whirlwind romance. Dad and Mom were married within a few months after they met.
When they married, Mother had a young daughter, Loretta June, who was seven years old. Times were hard back then. It was still the Depression Times. During the first few years, Dad worked mostly on sheep and cattle ranches in Comanche County and Brown County, Texas. It was a pretty good way of life for those days, and they were more fortunate than many of the people in that region. They were provided with a small house to live in, basic foodstuff and provisions, and the bare essentials of life. In return, Dad worked from sun up to sun down, taking care of the livestock and doing the farm work, for very little cash money. I think Mom did the cooking for the other ranch hands, at least for part of the time. They lived miles away from any town. They would make a trip into town on a Saturday evening about once a month.
Wesley was born June 18, 1937 in Comanche County, Texas. They were worried about it taking so long for them to have children. Apparently, they had been trying since they were married. It took over four years for Wesley to arrive on the scene. Stan came along June 12, 1939, when he was born in Brown County, Texas. They were still living on ranches then: Dad, Mom, June, Wes, and Stan. Both Wesley and Stanley were born at home, with the assistance of a "Mid-Wife".
"June" moved out to live of the family home as a young girl, twelve or thirteen years old. There were problems between Dad and June as she entered puberty. She was living with families in the town of Comanche, Texas, doing housework and other odd jobs. She would spend some time at home after that, but she was basically on her own from the age of twelve or thirteen. June was very close to a family named Gore in Comanche, Texas. The Gore's operated a cafe' in Comanche, and June worked as a waitress there when she was a girl of fifteen or sixteen. June met her future husband, James Quentin Guthrie, in Comanche. "Quentin" Guthrie was born and raised in Comanche. He was captain of the "Comanche Indians" high school football team when they met. World. Quentin joined the Army Air Corps in 1939, before the United States was involved. He served as flight engineer on the B-17 bombers, and spent the war years in the states of Ohio and Georgia, training B-17 crewmen for combat service in Europe. June married Quentin in 1943. By then Quentin was a staff sergeant. June went to live in Valdosta, Georgia for a time, while Quentin was stationed there at Moody Field. June returned to Texas in late 1943 or 1944, after she was pregnant with their first child. During much of her pregnancy, she lived with Mom and Dad in Fisher County, Texas. Their daughter, Marilyn June Guthrie, was born in the Callan Hospital in Rotan, Fisher County, Texas, on August 8, 1944.
In the middle forties ('43 or '44), Dad took a job on a highway construction crew that was putting down a new highway through west Texas. He met some people in Fisher County, Texas and for whatever reasons; he decided to move the family there. The move to Fisher County, Texas happened in 1943 or early 1944. It didn't seem to improve the family's lifestyle that much. They started out doing the same thing they had been doing, living in ramshackle little houses out in the middle of nowhere, taking care of someone else's livestock and crops.
I was born in Rotan, Texas on May 13, 1946. I was the first of the children to be born in a hospital, the Callan Hospital in Rotan, Fisher County, Texas. Mother had two miscarriages in between Stan and me. The two children she lost were both boys. Mother had picked out names for both of them, Jesse Weldon and Weldon Eugene. She miscarried with both of them around the six to seven month period of her pregnancy. Mother was superstitious. When she was pregnant with me, she would not give any thought to what she was going to name me, as she thought it was "bad luck" to pick a name too early. Thus, I was given the name "Dalton Ray", for no good reason, except it had nothing at all in common with the names of the two babies she lost.
After I was born, we lived in the town of Rotan for a few years. But, mostly, we lived out in the country. Our lifestyle was crude, but we children were happy. Wesley and Stanley always had horses. As a boy, I remember Dad was always working. When he wasn't working on farms or ranches, he was working at the cotton gins. In those days the cotton gins were "on the line" almost around the clock from late October or early November, after the first good frost, until late December, when the cotton crops were all brought in and processed. There was much work involved in keeping the cotton gins running. Dad was a common laborer - a jack-of-all-trades and master of none - and he did all the jobs that needed to be done to keep the gins operating. During the harvest season, Dad seldom came home at night during the week back then. The cotton gins ran around the clock. Dad would work until he was totally exhausted, then lay down on a cotton bale at the gin, to sleep for a few hours. Then he would get up and start working again. That's the way he was. He would usually come home late on Saturday night, and spend Sunday with us. That is not to say that we weren't provided for as children. I always remember having plenty to eat, even though it was usually just basic food, slab bacon, beans, potatoes and corn bread. On Sunday mornings, Dad would usually get up early and cook a big breakfast for the family
I know now that Dad and Mom were not really happy together by that time. I can't remember much about it back that early, but in the memories I do have, I always remember Dad as being very serious, and not having much to say to us. When he was home, Mother was usually fussing at him about something.
In 1951 Dad had been in touch by letters with his brother, Marvin, who had settled in Rogers, Benton County, Arkansas as a young man. Marvin was several years younger than Dad and he was quite a "wheeler and dealer". He was in the grocery store business up there and had other little business enterprises going on the sidelines, some of them a little on the shady side. Marvin kept telling Dad that we should move up to Arkansas, and he could get Dad "all set up". I don't remember all of the details, but it seems like Dad made a bus trip up there to visit Marvin and look around. Dad made that trip by himself. He came home convinced that "Arkansas was where our future is". So we packed up and moved up to Arkansas. I don't remember much about it. I know it was pretty up there, but I didn't like living there. We were living in a nice house, out in the country. Dad leased the house, which was a mansion when compared to some of the old houses we lived in back in Texas. We took care of several dairy cows and hogs for the man that owned the house. We were in fact living better than we had ever lived before, as Marvin had promised. Dad was "wheeling and dealing" with Uncle Marvin. They got involved in the poultry business, raising thousands of baby chicks, with Dad, Wes and Stan doing most of the work and Marvin arranging most of the financing. It seemed like a quick way to make money. Well, all those chicks got some kind of disease and had to be destroyed. It was a big hassle for everyone concerned. Dad and Uncle Marvin were hard pressed. They had apparently put the chicks up as collateral to get a loan to finance the operation. They ended up owing several people large sums of money over that venture. Anyway, they got it all sorted out somehow, after it failed. After spending about a year in Arkansas, we packed up and moved back to Fisher County, Texas, no better off than when we left there.
Mom and Dad were really unhappy with each other by then. I can remember Dad being even more serious and distant with me than he was before. I can remember them getting into some pretty bad arguments. It was not a happy time for any of us. There was always a feeling of tension and gloom in the house when Mom and Dad were together. I can remember that feeling, at a very young age.
No one could ever say that Dad was not a hard worker. He worked hard all of his life, doing anything that he could do to make the money necessary to provide for his family. He prided himself in working hard and he always gave 110 percent at any job he was doing. I think he was often taken advantage of, in that way, and he was never paid enough for his labors and efforts. One of Dad's biggest shortcomings is that he was not assertive enough in marketing his skills and labor. He was handy with his hands, and he was skilled as a millwright, doing all of the things that needed to be done to keep the machinery in the cotton gins operating. He was handy as a brick-mason, and built or repaired several of the incinerator towers ("burr burners") at the cotton gins. But Dad never marketed himself as a skilled laborer. He was often duped into working as a "jack-of-all-trades" for little pay. The family never really had anything, except the basic essentials of life, despite all of Dad's hard work.
In about 1954, Mom and Dad decided to "call it quits". By then Dad was pretty close to having a nervous breakdown and he may have even had one. I remember Mom and Dad had one of their arguments and Dad disappeared. He was found several miles away the next day, walking down a railroad track and he didn't seem to know where he was. Anyway, he had to go away to State Hospital for treatment for several months, and he never came back home after that. When he got out of that hospital he went to Abilene, Texas, about sixty miles from where we were living. He went to work in restaurants, as a dishwasher to start with, and then as a cook. Dad wasn't afraid of work, and he wasn't ashamed to do any kind of work. He rented a room with an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Guthridge, on Cedar Street in Abilene. Back in those days, there were rooming houses all over that part of Abilene for single men to live in.
I can remember visits with Dad back then. He was like a different person - talkative and happy-go-lucky all the time. Of course, he wasn't making much money back then. He couldn't do much for me, and he couldn't spend much money on me when I came to visit. But, I always enjoyed those visits with him. When I was younger, I would usually go to work with him. I would sit back in the kitchen at the restaurant while Dad worked. The waitresses and other workers were always very nice to me. There were always characters around that rooming house - an oil field roughneck named Buck, an old retired railroad conductor, an old man who used to be a big shot with FDR and thought he was still the President, and Mr. and Mrs. Guthridge. We would all gather out in the yard or on the front porch in the evenings, for conversation. They were all unique and very interesting to listen to. I loved to listen to their stories. I remember going down the street to the Greyhound bus station cafeteria. At meal times, the bus station was a beehive of activity in those days. Greyhound had Abilene scheduled as one of their primary meal stops on the east to west cross country runs for breakfast, lunch and supper. The bus station was a good place to "people watch". There was always a special feeling of excitement at the bus station, watching all of those buses pulling in, with all those people milling about. As a special treat, when we went to the bus station I would almost always get a cherry coke, usually "on the house". Dad knew everyone there - the drivers, the waitresses, the bus boy, the dishwasher, the ticket writers, the baggage handlers and the station manager. There were also all the local characters that came in there often; an old black preacher, two optometrist's (father and son) who had an office around the corner, police officers, the man who ran a laundry down the street (Salty), and many others. When we were there, those people would always gather around our table. They all had stories to tell. I loved to listen to their stories. Dad treated them all the same, regardless of their station in life. Dad was always good for a story or two. Dad seemed to like everybody and everyone liked him.
After a couple of years, Mr. Guthridge passed away. He was a dapper little man with snow-white hair and a big white mustache. He was always dressed up in a coat and tie, but he rarely went anywhere. When he first got sick, it all started with the "hiccups". He started hiccupping, and couldn't stop. I don't know what was wrong with him, but he died after being in the hospital a few weeks. Mrs. Guthridge stayed there in the house by herself after he died, and Dad continued to rent a room from her. He used to work at night most of the time. Mrs. Guthridge was lonely, and she started to get senile. She started to have problems remembering things, and she would have spells where she totally lost touch with reality. We didn't know anything about Alzheimer's disease back then, but that is probably what she had. Dad would tell me to watch out for her. He would ask me to spend time with her in the evenings, to keep her company. At first, I didn't like the idea of going out to see her. As a boy of twelve or thirteen, I wasn't that excited about keeping a little old lady company. But I did it anyway because Dad asked me to do it. It became a ritual with us. It was always a big time for Mrs. Guthridge, and I admit that I started enjoying those evening visits with her. She was born in England and she still had a heavy English accent. She was a little lady with reddish-gray hair that she always kept up in a tight bun. She would get all dressed up for our little evening meetings, and she would usually make hot tea for us to drink. The big part of it is that we usually played Chinese checkers. That old lady loved the game and she was hard to beat! She would tell me stories about when she first came to Texas and talk about her husband like he was still there with her. It was interesting listening to all of her stories. As time went on, she became more senile. Dad would come home in the middle of the night and he would sometimes find her wandering around in the middle of the street in her nightgown. She would totally lose track of reality and think she was a young girl again. Unless you kept the doors locked, she would just walk right into your room, when she had one of those spells, and start talking irrationally about anything that happened to be on her mind. She usually thought you were her "Papa", or someone she had known way back in her past. One night, Wes and his wife Barb had a fight. Wes came over to Dad's place to spend the night. There was an outside entrance to Dad's room and I had let Wes in through that door. There was another door leading into the main house. I had forgotten to lock that door. Wes and I were lying there in bed, almost asleep when the door to the main house flew open. Mrs. Guthridge was standing there in the darkness, wearing her nightgown, and holding a candle out in front of her. She had let her hair down and it was all frazzled up on her head. She asked, "Where is Mary Ann?" She said, "Papa told me she is in here." She really looked wild that night and it was a scary experience. It scared both Wes and I. Wesley was pretty upset by that incident because he had never seen Mrs. Guthridge in that state. At first he thought she was mad because he was sleeping there in Dad's room, as a "non-renter" and was there to kick him out. When he found out she was having one of her spells, he was very concerned about it. We had a hard time getting her calmed down that night. She just kept going on and on about not being able to find "Mary Ann". "Mary Ann" was someone from way back in her past and I have no idea what she was talking about.
It was all very sad. All of the characters around there started looking out for Mrs. Guthridge. Dad took a special interest in her and he helped to get the others involved in looking out for her. They all banned together to set up a schedule, of sorts, to make sure someone was always there to keep an eye on Mrs. Guthridge. She had a son named Samuel who was a big-shot schoolteacher somewhere down in South Texas. He would come to see her with his family for a few days about once a year. Dad kept calling him on the phone, to tell him about all the problems his mother was having. But the son didn't want to take her down there to live with him, and he didn't try to do anything to help her. Dad would sometimes get irate with him on the phone, trying to get him to do something about his mother. But, the son let her stay there that way until she had basically lost her mind. Then he came to pick her up, to put her away in an asylum and she died a short time later. We heard that he had committed suicide a few years after that.
The old Guthridge house was sold. Shortly afterwards it was torn down so the land could be cleared and made into a parking lot.
Dad and most of the other characters moved across the street, into Miss Maud's rooming house. Miss Maud was an old retired High School English teacher. She took care of a bed-fast old maid sister who was named Miss Nellie. Miss Maud wasn't a "miss" - she was a widow and she had several children, all grown. None of them lived nearby. The two sisters lived in a stately old two-story house that had been built in the early 1900's by their father, Judge Cunningham. It was basically the same atmosphere there as it was at Mrs. Guthridge's place. Miss Maud's house was much bigger; two stories with a big wide covered porch in front. Trees, mostly pecans, surrounded the house. Dad had an upstairs room there. From his room, there was an adjoining alcove with a door on it. Inside that little alcove were shelves and shelves of old law books, some of them dating back to the 1800's. I would sometimes go in there during the daytime to look around and browse through the old books. I always thought that house was spooky. Dad often worked a long night shift, when I was there, and he came home about 7 AM. I would sometimes get myself pretty scared in the middle of the night, in that room by myself. I thought that little alcove where those law books were stored was haunted and I would imagine hearing all kinds of noises coming from in there. Sometimes I would get so scared in the middle of the night that I would walk across the street to sit in the Bus Station until early morning, when I knew Dad would be coming home from work. I would always make sure I was back in the room and supposedly sound asleep before Dad came home. I never did let on to Dad that I was scared staying there by myself, but I am sure he knew.
Dad and Miss Maud had a "thing" going after a while. Miss Nellie, the old maid sister, passed away in the middle 1960's. Miss Maud had always had someone around to look out for and take care of. She was lost when her sister died and she didn't have anyone to fuss over. It was basically a companionship thing between Miss Maud and Dad, but she definitely had a strong interest in Dad. She always took care of him, and looked out for him. She gave him much more attention than she did the other roomers. Shortly after Miss Nellie died, Dad started having problems with his left foot and ankle swelling up. As a younger man, when Stan was not much more than a toddler, Dad had chopped the top of his left foot with an axe. By the stories I heard it happened like this. Dad was chopping wood. Stan was trying to help his Daddy, by gathering up the wood chips. He ran under Dad, just as he had started to swing the axe down. Dad couldn't stop the swing, so to keep from hitting Stan, he pulled the axe in and it landed across the top of his foot. He cut most of the ligaments. He almost bled to death from that injury before they got him to a doctor. The doctors said that he wouldn't be able to walk after that, without using a cane. But Dad took it all in stride. After he recovered from that injury, he always walked with a bad limp, throwing that foot out to one side, but he walked without using a cane. As he got older, the scar tissue closed off some the arteries, and the circulation in that leg was restricted, which caused the swelling and pain. Dad used to call it "the gout". He used to grin and bear it, but it just kept getting worse as he grew older. He wouldn't go to see a doctor; he just soaked his foot in hot water and Epsom salts all the time. To further complicate things, even in late his sixties, Dad routinely worked twelve to sixteen hour shifts as a cook, standing on a concrete floor. When he had those episodes with his leg, on some occasions he would be down in bed for several days. Miss Maud would bring him all his meals, and make a big fuss over him. Dad was having other health problems, in his late sixties, such as problems with his colon.
Dad and Miss Maud ended up getting married. He finally had to have his left leg amputated just above the knee, due to blood poisoning, a couple of years before he died. While it was basically a marriage of convenience for both of them, they were happy together. Miss Maud continued to fuss over him and take care of him until the day he died. She was great little old lady and we all loved her. When I would come around, on my leaves from the Navy, I would usually bring beer to their house. Dad liked to drink a beer or two in the evenings, usually hot, right out of the can. Miss Maud even started to drink a beer with us once in a while, but she would always pour it in a glass, over ice cubes. She thought she was really "pushing things to the limit" when she did that, and her eyes would just be sparkling.
The marriage between Dad and Miss Maud caused a few complications. One of her sons was the principal of a school in Lubbock, Texas. It was always very awkward when he came to visit Miss Maude with his family. Miss Maud's brother, Oliver Cunningham, was a noted attorney in Abilene. He also came to visit her often. One of Oliver's daughters married Dallas Perkins, an entrepreneur and land developer who became very wealthy after he established the town of Impact, Texas. The size of Impact was only about three hundred acres and it was located in a poor section of the northwestern corner of Abilene. Dallas Perkins made Impact unique by making it "wet"; that is making it legal to sell beer and other packaged alcoholic beverages there. Abilene had been "dry" for many years, and the people who lived there had to drive for over thirty miles to purchase beer or other alcoholic beverages. Within a few months after it was incorporated as a town, several large package liquor stores had been built in Impact, and all of them were doing a bustling business. It was a big "boom" for the area and Dallas Perkins became a very wealthy man almost overnight. Miss Maude's relatives were all very nice to us, but we were obviously "out-classed" and I always felt very uncomfortable around them. Miss Maud was a real sweetheart, and I could never say anything bad about her.
After he had his leg amputated, at about 71 years of age, Dad had to get around on crutches for several months. He was pretty good at that and he didn't let it stop him from going places. Of course, he was still pretty much restricted in what he could do, and he couldn't work anymore. Dad's life had always been his work and he didn't like being idle. While he always put on a happy face, he started to get depressed. He didn't complain but I could see the change in him. During those times I took him down to visit Uncle Otho and Aunt Annie in Comanche, Texas several times, just to get him away from the house. Dad had never cared much about keeping in touch with his brothers and sisters as a younger man, after he moved away to Fisher County. Except for Uncle Marvin, I had never even met any of them. They never visited us and we never visited them. I met Uncle Otho and Aunt Annie for the first time when I was in my twenties. Uncle Otho had kept the old John Wesley Phillips home place in Comanche County, Texas and he was still farming it - or having it farmed for him - as an old man. Otho was quite a character. He carried on the old John Wesley Phillips tradition - his wife, Ellen, waited on him hand and foot. There was not much resemblance between Otho and Dad, but they were alike in other ways. They were both big talkers and they liked to tell stories - sometimes stretching the truth a little. The big thing they all liked to do when they got together was play dominoes, especially a game called "42". They would all have a big old time playing that game. I never learned how to play it, but I would sit there and listen to them laugh and talk. The most sentimental visits were with Aunt Annie. She lived alone in a little run-down house in the town of Comanche. She had moved into that house right after she was married, in the early 1920's and she was still living there when she died. The house was unpainted and needed repairs. Annie would always get sentimental when Dad would come to visit her. What I remember most about her is that she would always get shoeboxes full of old pictures out of her closet and she would cry as she went through them with us. Dad did not like to dwell on the past and I think he was bothered by Annie's tendency to live in the past. When we visited her, Dad did not want to stay very long.
After the amputation wound healed, Dad was fitted with an artificial leg. He learned to get around with that device almost as well as he had before his leg was amputated. He was never able to go back to work again.
As an old man, Dad always loved to spend time with his smaller grandchildren - at least for a couple of days at a time. One of his favorite tricks was to take his false teeth out, to hold them in his hand and snap them at the little ones. That always got their attention. When he would visit someone, Dad liked to get up very early, and surprise everybody with a big home cooked breakfast, complete with "made from scratch" biscuits and his special recipe "red eye" gravy.
Dad adored Wesley. That was only natural, as Wesley was his first-born son. He thought Wesley could do no wrong, and he was always bragging about him. I suppose there may have been a little sibling jealousy on my part at times. But I also had a great admiration for Wesley and he was a role model for me. I tried to be like him in many ways. In all fairness, Dad was proud of all of us. When we would visit him, he would always make the rounds with us, so he could show us off to all of his friends and acquaintances. But, he was especially proud of Wesley and there was a special bond between them.
Dad was one of those "unforgettable characters". On the surface, he was a simple and uncomplicated man. He was almost always calm and in control and he took things in stride. I can only remember seeing Dad mad at any of us kids a few times. He was not one to give into self-pity and he did not complain about anything. But there was a deeper and more sentimental side to him that I am not sure I ever really got to know. Dad was a "salt of the earth" kind of man. He would give the shirt off his back to anyone that needed help. In many ways he was a "showman" and he was always trying to be the center of attention. He was a very pleasant person and he was easy to like. He also had a gift for gab and he never knew a stranger. While he lacked formal education, he had a natural intelligence and eagerness to learn about things that interested him. There was rarely a day when he missed reading the local newspaper from front to back. He was especially interested in politics and that was one of his favorite topics of conversation when he got together with friends and acquaintances.
Dad died in January of 1971. His funeral service was unique in that there was such a strange mix of people there. In the audience at the ceremony were Dallas Perkins, the millionaire, and Oliver Cunningham, the wealthy lawyer, all the old timers and characters from the rooming house, Dad's barber, some of the people from the Greyhound Bus Station, and Juan, a Mexican dishwasher that Dad had befriended many years before when he came to Abilene as an illegal alien. Seeing Juan there was especially touching for me. In his broken English, Juan kept saying, "Good man, Mr. Lee." I suppose that pretty well described what we all felt that day.
Dad is buried at the White Point Cemetery about seven miles outside of Comanche, Texas, along with his father, his mother and many of his brothers and sisters. Recently, while visiting that little country cemetery, Stan and I came across two small graves near the area where the children are buried there. The two graves were off by themselves, side by side. There were no head stones or markers on the graves. But someone had planted flat round stones in the ground at the head of each grave. There was crude engraving on each of these stones and it looked like someone had chiseled the letters in by hand. The engraving on one of the stones read "baby boy Phillips" and the other read "infant Phillips". There were no dates engraved on the stones. We are thinking Dad may have buried the two babies they lost there in the early 1940's so they would not be alone. We will never know that for sure.
Recollections of Dalton R. Phillips, 1998
General Notes: Wife - Ethel Beatty
Ethel was one of twelve children of Rev. ad Mrs. John Patrick Beatty. He was a Methodist preacher.
Johnnie Ethel Beaty b. 18 Jan. 1901 in Comanche County, Texas to Mary Thomas
Wilhelm & John Patrick Beaty. d. 26 May 1984 San Antonio, Bexar Co, TX. The
TDI says Neta Allen died 27 May 1984. The SSDI shows Neta Allen last
residence was Boerne, Kendall Co, TX at time of Death in May 1984. It
appears Neta Allen is Johnnie Ethel Beaty. Reason for her name difference
unexplained. A Harris Family Data Base says Ethel d. 28 May 1985 in TX.
H. 2.) George S. Allen b. 19 May 1900 Jackson Co, AL d. Nov. 1975
Brady, McCulloch Co., TX. . Career Army Officer. Married Ethel ca 1928 San
Antonio, TX. George retired from the Army after WW II as a Colonel. Dalton
Ray Phillips wrote George adopted the girls. Details not known but at least
Johnnie Bee Phillips used the Allen name on a TX Birth index.
They moved from San Antonio. In 1971 lived just outside Marble
John Patrick Beatty and Mary Thomas Wilhelm
Husband John Patrick Beatty
Born: Died: Buried:Marriage:
Wife Mary Thomas Wilhelm
Born: Died: Buried:
1 F Ethel Beatty
AKA: Johnnie Ethel Beatty, Neta Beatty, Ethel Beaty, Johnnie Ethel Beaty Born: 18 Jan 1901 - Comanche Co., TX Died: 28 May 1985 - TX Buried:Spouse: Walter Lee Phillips Marr: 1916 - TX 4Spouse: George S. Allen Marr: 1928 - TX
John Bell and Jane Gooch
Husband John Bell
Born: Abt 1800 Died: Abt 1870 - TN Buried:Marriage: 29 Nov 1828 - Davidson City, TN
Wife Jane Gooch
Born: 24 Jul 1803 - Caswell Co., NC Died: Abt 1875 - TN Buried:
Father: David Gooch Mother: Jenny Williams
Johnny Bellettini and Linda Faye Evans
Husband Johnny Bellettini
Born: Died: Buried:Marriage: 7 Mar 1970 - Ward's Chapel Church
Wife Linda Faye Evans
Born: 17 Jun 1951 - Boggy Depot, Oklahoma Died: Buried:
Father: Cleao Edward Evans Mother: Anna Belle "Ann" White
Joe Logan and Ova Bellew
Husband Joe Logan
Born: 18 Apr 1907 Died: 6 Feb 1935 Buried: - Tyler, TX
Father: John Benjamin Logan Mother: Mollie Caloma Callahan
Marriage: Abt 1930
Wife Ova Bellew
Born: Died: Buried:
1 F June Logan
Born: Abt 1932 Died: Buried: