John Willard Phillips
Josephine Hackler

John Willard Phillips was born in Sagamon County, Illinois, on April 9, 1855. Son of James S. and Maranda (Eaton) Phillips, he had three sisters; Polly, Leora and Madora. He resided in Illinois until the age of 19, then left for California on September 22, 1874.

He married Josephine Hackler on October 9, 1879, at Point of Timber, California. Their witness was Josephine's sister, Alice Hackler. Josephine was born on June 10, 1856, in Coloma, California, daughter of John Prosper and Elizabeth Norris Hackler.

John and Josephine arrived in Shasta County in 1884, and settled a homestead at Whitmore on November 15, 1884. They settled an eighty acre parcel, adjorning John P. Hackler, his father-in-law, and Francis Hackler, Josephine's brother. The homestead was planted with 500 fruit and nut trees, bearing vines of all kinds, and the necessary garden. Areas were cleared and fenced for pasture land as well.

John worked away from home for the first few years while they were establishing the homestead, later selling fruits, vegetables and hogs to make a living. John and Josephine were Christian Science in belief. He helped the local farmers by performing some veterinarian practices, while Josephine was the local midwife. They had ten children:
Alice 1880
Elizabeth June 1884
Viola Nov. 1885
Walter 1886
Inez 1888
Maudy M. May 1892
John R. Apr. 1894
Emey M. Apr. 1886
Bertha June 1899
Josie 1901

John was a member of the Mason Lodge and was known by the townspeople as "Honest John." They lived on the Whitmore homestead until 1913. When P. G. & E. bought the property to obtain the water rights to Mill Creek. They then moved to the Millville Plains, later moving to Marysville, California. John died in 1938 in Marysville, and Josephine later passed away on September 27, 1939, after moving back to the Millville Plains home.

Herein lies a verse written in an autograph book belonging to Francis Hackler and signed by John W. Phillips dated January 27, 1884:

Brother fpancis;
O' grant thee heaven a middle state
neither too humble nor too great,
More than enough for nature's ends
With something left over to treat thy friends.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

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