W. T. Phillips is a son of Thomas and Mary (McCorkle) Phillips, being one of their six children, and was born in Green County, Ky., November 26, 1839. He lived with his parents until their deaths, his mother dying in March, 1857, and his father in April, 1858, in Morgan County, Mo., having moved from Benton County in 1851, to which place they had moved from their native State in 1843. From 1858 to 1861 W. T. Phillips resided in Georgetown, Pettis Co., Mo., and at the latter date enlisted in the Third Army Corps, under Gen. Sigel, and was made a prisoner at Springfield, but at the end of four or five days made his escape and went into winter quarters with his command at Rolla, Mo. He was discharged on the 21st of January, 1862, and in July of the same year joined the State Militia at Camden, and served until January, 1865, when his company was disbanded. February 9, 1865, he wedded Eliza Jane Holt, daughter of G. W. and Sarah Jane (McKeen) Holt, being the eldest of their eleven children. Her marriage with Mr. Phillips has been blessed in the birth of thirteen children, eleven of whom are living: Mary and Sarah (twins), born on the 7th of February, 1866; Ellen, born November 28, 1867; W. H., born January 29, 1870; Margaret, born September 26, 1871; J. S., born September 16, 1873; J. T., born July 1, 1875; Victoria, born February 6, 1877; D. S. and G. H. (twins), born October 26, 1878; Myrtie, Cora and Edna (triplets), born October 16, 1880 (the former died August 26, 1881. and Cora died August 25, 1882); Sarah and Ellen are married. Mr. Phillips has resided on the farm he now occupies since November, 1865. It contains 136 acres, and sixty are under cultivation, the rest being in timber. Besides this he owns 320 acres in another tract, of which about thirty are in tillable condition. He has good buildings on his farm, and has an orchard of about seventy-five or eighty bearing apple trees. He and wife are members of the Christian Church, and he has always voted the Democratic ticket.
History of Cole, Moniteau, Morgan, Benton, Miller, Maries and Osage Counties, Missouri, Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.