Project Success Stories

The Four Sons of Bennet Phillips

I grew up in a very small town (1,100) in Southern Illinois where being a Phillips was like being royalty.  My father and his brother were lawyers; their father had owned the bank, which he had inherited from his father "Judge" Phillips.  When I was young (in the 50's), my Great-Aunt Anne lived in the dilapidated Phillips mansion on the edge of town.  Most people probably found it very spooky, but it was just a normal part of our lives.  Aunt Anne's husband had lost all his money in the Great Depression, and the house had been left to her in its entirety with all its contents.  They had not thrown anything out since the house was built in 1893, so it was packed to the rafters.  A few items that stand out were a boxed pair of derringers and newspapers announcing Lincoln's death.  When I was about 12, the house and all its contents were sold to pay for my aunt's move to a nursing home.  The new owners had a bonfire in the back yard with the pictures and letters and sold all the antiques to dealers who came from all over.

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