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James Laughlin Phillips, B.A. 1908
Born May 30, 1884, in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Died October 20, 1918, in Washington, D.C.
James Laughlin Phillips was born May 30, 1884, in Pittsburgh, Pa., the son of Duncan Clinch and Eliza Irwin (Laughlin) Phillips. His father, a graduate of Brown University in the Class of 1861, was a Major in the United States Army from 1862 to 1863. He was the son of Elias and Mary Ormsby (Ormsby) Phillips, and was engaged in business as a window glass manufacturer. Among his early American ancestors were John Phillips, who served as an aide-de-camp to Washington, and Oliver and John Ormsby, who were prominent in the Colonial history of Pittsburgh. Eliza Laughlin Phillips' father, James Laughlin, was a pioneer in the steel industry and the founder of the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company of Pittsburgh; her mother was Anne (Irwin) Laughlin.
He was fitted for college at the Washington School and at The Hill School, Pottstown, Pa. He received a first colloquy appointment Junior year and a second dispute Senior year.
In 1911, after spending several years in travel in this country and abroad, he took a position with the banking house of N. W. Halsey & Company, of New York and Washington, but remained with them for only six months. He was then for a time executive secretary of the National Civic Federation, but resigned in the spring of 1912 to take an active part in the Republican Presidential campaign. He was vice chairman of the Republican Finance Committee during the campaign of 1916. He was a member of the board of directors of the Riggs National Bank of Washington.
From the outbreak of the war until April 1, 1918, he was secretary and associate director of the Intercollegiate Intelligence Bureau in Washington, and when this organization was taken over by the War and Labor departments he became, on April 29, associate director of the Bureau of Personnel of the American Red Cross, in charge of all applications for foreign service. His death occurred October 20, 1918, in Washington, as a result of pneumonia, following influenza, and he was buried in Rock Creek Cemetery.
He was married at Nantucket, Mass., September 8, 1917, to Alice Conyngham, daughter of Charles Alling and Helen (Conyngham) Gifford. His widow was married on May 1, 1920, to Charles Alfred Johnson, of Denver, Colo. Mr. Phillips is survived by a son, Gifford, his mother, and a brother, Duncan Phillips, 'o8. He was a cousin of Irwin B. Laughlin (B.A. 1893) and the late Thomas McKennan Laughlin (Ph.B. 1897).
Source: Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University, Deceased During the Academic Year Ending 1918, by Bulletin, Yale University, published by Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Co., 1918; Pg. 1021