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September 19, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

 Buckingham Notables: William B. Phillips

In the nineteenth century, lengthy obituaries were rare for Buckingham County residents, though, they occasionally appeared in the Richmond newspapers. This one for William B. Phillips was especially rich in detail. Unfortunately the obituary is difficult to read, the ending is illegible, and I do not have a source for the clipping. If a Slate River Ramblings reader knows more about William B. Phillips please comment.


Departed this life, on 29 April 1861, at his residence in Buckingham co., Va., Brother Wm. B. Phillips, formerly of Charlottesville, Alb. co., to which place his mortal remains were brought for internment by the side of those of his excellent wife, who had only some few years, preceded him to the world of spirits.

Brother Phillips was about seventy-one years of age, and was in the enjoyment of a large portion of health and strength, and bid fair to live to be very old, when he was attacked by typhoid pneumonia, which, in a few days, closed his earthly existence.

Being accustomed to prescribe for himself and slightly unwell, and being unaware of the nature of the disease under which he was laboring, he neglected to call the physician, until it was too late to afford him any relief.

Brother Phillips was one of the most candid, sincere, honest and kindhearted man that I have ever known. It was refreshing to meet occasionally with one so unsophisticated and unselfish, who seems never to have entertained the thought of injuring a human being, but he was always ready to extend a helping hand to those who were needy. Upright in his intentions, and transparent in his character, he seemed to be unable to comprehend the mystery of deceit and dishonesty by which the conduct of too many are influenced and directed; and therefore by reposing too much confidence in man, he suffered pecuniary to some extent, but such was his diligence and energy that he accumulated considerable property, which after spending much on the education of his children, he left to be equitably divided among them.

Brother Phillips, though a sober, moral and useful member of society, did not confess the Lord Jesus Christ in baptism, until after the death of his wife. After his connexion with the church, he was unwavering in his fidelity and liberal and his contributions.

A short time before his death, he declared that he had never doubted his acceptance by the Lord, since he was baptized; and that he had no more fear of dying; then he had of retiring to his bed to sleep. Entreating his children not to [grieve] for him, he peacefully, and without a groan, passed away from earth.

Mark the perfect (or sincere) man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace Psalm xxxviiI: 37th. . . .

R. L. C.


Leave a Comment
  1. kellvnp / Sep 23 2019 10:25 am

    Wow, so poetic. . .

    • Joanne Yeck / Sep 23 2019 10:58 am

      It is lovely, isnt’ it? You really get a feeling for the man and his times. I hope a family member sees it.


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