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Theodore C. Phillips (1832-1885)
Born in Novi, Oakland Co., MI, settled in Bay City in 1862.

1892 biography. Added Oct., 2009.

History of Saginaw and Bay Counties, Michigan, 1892



On the opposite page is presented a portrait of this gentleman, who was born in Novi, Oakland County, this State, February 17, 1838. He lived with his parents until he was seventeen years of age. His knowledge of books was gained at the village school in the vicinity of his home, but the practical side of his nature was so apparent that he was given responsible positions far earlier than the majority of boys. At the age above mentioned our subject's father gave him his time, and he learned the carpenter's trade, intending to become a millwright. Devoting one year to that, he then took charge of an extensive business, and was located on the borders of Oakland and Wayne Counties. Then he went to Lyons, Ionia County, where he built a dam across the Grand River.

During the years of 1858-59 our subject built a flourmill, and from that time until 1862 made the buildings of mills his business. At the date above mentioned he located in Bay City, working as a millwright the first year, but for the next five years he was engaged in the grocery business with Mr. Dunham. In 1866, in partnership with John Brooks, he built the north half of the Union Block on Water Street, opposite the Fraser House.

Having acquired considerable land in the county, in 1869 Mr. Phillips engaged in the real-estate business. The following year he was appointed Postmaster of Bay City, and for eight year filled the position to the entire satisfaction of his party. At the expiration of his term of office he assumed the management of the Bay City Tribune, and was its managing editor until June, 1881, when he moved to his farm on section 19, Monitor Township. He had given his place the name of the Nebobish Farm.

In 1861 our subject was united in marriage with Miss. Catherine H. Stevens, of Lyons, Ionia County, daughter of Preston and Thedo L. Stevens. Mr. Stevens died in 1856, and his wife passed away in 1879 while a resident of Portland, Ionia County. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips have been the parents of eight children, six of whom are now living. The eldest of these, Effie, is the wife of Charles Husel, and lives near St. Clair, Mich.; Preston is an insurance agent in Bay City; Theodore is a navigator on a grain boat; Otto is a sailor on the lakes; Glenn lives at home, as does Camilla, who is a student in the schools.

Mr. Phillips was always a man of great energy and perseverance. In 1863 he was appointed enrolling officer of Bay County, which is the eighty-fifth sub-district of Michigan, and with Isaac Marston, Deputy Marshal, and R. P. Essex, Supervisor of Hampton, which then included Bay City, performed the duties of the office. By the application of our subject to the War Department, Bay County's quota during the Civil War was reduced to forty-five men.

After a useful life Mr. Phillips died July 4, 1883, and his body was interred in the cemetery of Bay City. Although having been an invalid for some time, his recover was confidently expected by his family, when he was suddenly and without waring taken away. Mrs. Phillips still lives on the old homestead and supervises the work of the farm, which comprises about three hundred acres of land, well improved and in a good state of cultivation. They carry on general farming and stock-raising, confining themselves in the latter line to Holstein cattle.

Additional Notes.

    T. C. Phillips is buried at Pine Ridge Cemetery, Bay City, MI.

    History of Bay County, Michigan, 1883:

  • 1866 This year the Universalist Society of Bay City reorganized, with T. C. Phillips as a trustee and treasurer.
  • 1870 T. C. Phillips succeeded Henry S. Raymond as postmaster of Bay City. In 1871 he removed the postoffice from a small frame building near the Campbell House on Water street to quarters in the Westover block (s w cor. Center & Washington).

    History of Saginaw and Bay Counties, Mich., 1892:

  • Frederick W. Dunham, was assistant postmaster to T. C. Phillips. The two were also partners in the Phillips-Dunham grocery business.

    1874 Directory, Bay City, Mich.

  • The Tribune newspaper, incorporated in 1874, was located on the corner of Saginaw and 5th streets.
  • 1877 Michigan State Agriculture Society (1878):
  • In January, 1866, T. C. Phillips was elected as a member of the board of directors for the Bay County Agricultural Society.

    1880 - Census, Bay City, MI:

  • Phillips, Theodore, born 1832, Mich., Mgr. Tribune newspaper
  • Phillips, Catherine, spouse.
  • Children: Theodore, Glenn, Preston.

    1885 - Michigan Deaths:

  • Theodore C. Phillips, died Jul. 4, 1885, farmer, Monitor Twp.

    1893 Michigan Marriages:

  • Theodore (son), born 1868, married Eva Kern on Jun. 15, 1893, in Auburn, MI.
Related Pages/Notes

Theodore C. Phillips

Related Pages:
Pine Ridge Cemetery
People Referenced
Brooks, John
Dunham, Frederick W.
Essex, Ransom P.
Husel, Charles
Kern, Eva
Marston, Isaac
Phillips, Camilla (dau.)
Phillips, Effie (dau.)
Phillips, Glenn (son)
Phillips, Otto (son)
Phillips, Preston (son)
Phillips, Theodore (son)
Phillips, Theodore C. (subject)
Raymond, Henry S.
Stevens, Catherine H. (wife)
Stevens, Preston
Stevens, Thedo L.
Subjects Referenced
Auburn, MI
Bay City, MI
Bay City Tribune
Bay Co., MI
Bay Co. Agricultural Soc.
Campbell House
Civil War
Fraser House
Hampton Township
Ionia Co., MI
Lyons, MI
Monitor Township
Novi, MI
Oakland Co., MI
Phillips & Dunham grocery
Pine Ridge Cemetery
Portland, MI
St. Clair, MI
Union Block
Universalist Society
War Department
Wayne Co., MI
Westover block
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.