28 August 2010

Obituary--George Phillips

Until I started going through these obituaries, I never realized how many residents from my home town area of Hesperia were from Scotland. I knew the McCallum family and that the Robertsons were from there originally, but while I knew that Fremont was a Dutch stronghold, never realized my home area was predominately Scottish. It does make sense now too that Hesperia had no Reformed churches, while Fremont many. And that Fremont had no Presbyterian church, which Hesperia boasted. Goes to show, you never stop learning.

From the 30 May 1917 Fremont TimesIndicator:

George Phillips

Mr Phillips was a farmer in Scotland and came with his family to Denver, Newaygo county, Michigan, in 1881, taking up a piece of land, on which he has resided ever since. His wife died shortly after coming to this country and he brought up his two younger daughters and son, Tom, and after his daughters married and left him he and Tom lived together, keeping house themselves and were inseparable companions, and it was wonderful how they enjoyed life. Mr Phillips was a thrifty farmer, a hard worker and every stroke counted, and in his old age he was able to enjoy the fruits of his labors, having all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life, and when he rode out with his son, tom, in his automobile, he has said he "wadna change places wi' the king." Mr. Phillips talked gude broad Scotch and was proud of it. He was a great reader and deep thinker and was alive to the issues of the day and you had to be pretty well posted when you entered into an argument with him. A life-long Presbyterian, he was posted on the bible and knew it thoroughly. Witty and keen, he was like a strong bulwark in his community. He was seldom applied to in vain for help or the latest news or the gist of a political speech and his keen memory and originality of speech made him one of the most conspicuous figures of his community.
He bore his sufferings with a fortitude borne of the Scottish Martyrs, from which he sprung, and said no one need fear death, and he was ready and willing to go.
The funeral was held at the house Tuesday afternoon at two o'clock, the Rev. George VanWyngerden officiating. He was laid to rest by the side of his wife in the East cemetery. Those who are left to morn are his three sons and four daughters: James, George and Tom and Mrs. John Bird, and Mrs. Betsey Maynard, all of Hesperia; Mrs Belle Kennedy, of Hammond, Ind., and Mrs Fred Bird, of Fremont. Also two sisters in St. Minnons, Sterling, Scotland; twelve grand-children and five great-grand-children.

You just have to love it. The only date in the article is the year them came to Michigan. No age, date of birth or death. Yet there is such detail about the man himself. If this was my ancestor, I wouldn't know whether to rejoice or cry over this obituary.

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