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:
|Maudy M.||May 1892|
|John R.||Apr. 1894|
|Emey M.||Apr. 1886|
Herein lies a verse written in an autograph book belonging to Francis Hackler and signed by John W. Phillips dated January 27, 1884:
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