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Phillips Family

From 1880 Census:  Thomas Phillips, 33, born England also his mother and father. Cathy Phillips, 32, born Mich. father born in Vermont, mother in England.  Children:  Mabel, 12, born Mich., Francis (male), 10, born Mich., Fred, 8, born in Virginia, Nellie, 4, born in Virginia, Ernest, 2, born in Michigan, Aleneza, 20, Nephew born in Canada.

Nellie Phillips, b. 1876, d. 1892
Fred Phillips, b. 1872, d. 1893
Hanna D. Phillips, b. 1885, d. 1972
Ernest C. Phillips, b. 1878, d. 1953

In 1916 Ernest Phillips owned 40 acres located in NE 1/4, NW 1/4, Section 18, T25 - R5E, Curtis Township.

Phillips Family & Neighbors

The Phillips came to Curtisville from Memphis, Michigan. They purchased a large piece of land from Marvin Wilbur. Even living is such a remote wilderness area as Curtisville was at the time, the never forgot their English heritage. Mrs. Phillips and the girls dressed formally for tea every afternoon.  Fred and Nell died of "comsumption" and are buried in the Curtisville Cemetery.  The Phillips' returned to Memphis.  Their son, Ernest, lived for years on a portion of the old Phillips farm.  Ernest married Hannah Stewart Dawson of Memphis.  They had one adopted daughter, Undine.  Hazel, youngest daughter of Tom and Cathy Phillips was born in Curtisville.  She now resides in Alpena with her grandson, David. In later years, Hannah and Ernie purchased the Wilkerson place on Bamfield road. They moved their house to the new location from the old Phillips place behind the Gordon farm. The house had been moved once previously from the Frank Phillips place which was across Wilbur Creek and to the west of the Tom Phillips farm. Recently, Jim Heilig Sr. observed that Ernie Phillips was so sentimentallhy attached to his house that he took it with him each and every time he moved. Jim humorously speculated that if Ernie  moved to California, he would have hitched his team to the house and taken it with him. The original house and property is now owned by the Robert Suda's of Livonia.  The house may be the oldest original dwelling remaining in Curtisville.

Ernie Phillips

Those who knew Hannah, Ernie and Undine know that a volume could be written about them.  They were great fun, generous people and made our lives a little richer because they were a part of our community.

Ernie Phillips Lumberjack

In the land of Paul Bunyan.  Ernie Phillips, of Curtisville, Mich., furnishes living
proof that the lumberjack has not disappeared entirely from the land even in this day
and age.  Winter finds him engaged in his tasks.  Photo by Mort Walton

Hannah was full of the joy of life.  She was never seen depressed, and now that she is gone, her secret of optimism may have been discovered. Written in her Bible several times and on many pages of her daily diary are these words: "Put your troubles in the bottom of your heart and sit on the lid and smile."

Ernie Phillips.with team

Ernie Phillips with team

The following psalm was written in the fly leaf of her Bible:

I've shut the door on yesterday

Its sorrows and mistakes

I've locked within its gloomy walls

Past failures and heartaches

And now I throw the key away

To seek another room

And furnish it with hopes and smiles

And every sprintime bloom

No thought shall enter this abode

That has a hint of pain

and every alice and distruct

Shall never entrance gain

I've shut the door on yesterday

 tomarrow holds nor fear for me

Since I have found today.

1880 Census search and notes by Arbutus Milholin

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Last updated on:  Friday, June 17, 2011