Was born in Edgecombe county, North Carolina, June 14, 1838, a son of James Jones Philips, the leading physician and planter of Edgecombe county.  His mother was Miss Harriet A. Burt, a daughter of William Burt, a planter.

He was educated at St. James College, Maryland, and the University of North Carolina.  Was for a long time a trustee of this institution; at the time of his death a member of the executive committee.  He had been Clerk and Master in Equity for Nash county, engrossing clerk of the Legislature of North Carolina from 1864-65; mayor of Tarboro; president of Pamlico Insurance and Banking Company, of Tarboro, N. C., and judge of the Superior court of North Carolina from 1882 to 1890.  He was a member of the Masonic order and senior warden of the Calvary Episcopal church of Tarboro, N. C.

He married Miss Martha S. Hyman, a daughter of Henry Hyman, the leading merchant of Tarboro, N. C., and planter of Edgecombe county, and is the father of eight children, five daughters and three sons: Miss Annie Hyman Philips married Herbert Jackson, assistant cashier of Commercial and Farmers’ Bank, Raleigh, N. C.; James Jones Philips, physician, Tarboro, N. C.; Miss Mary Philips, who married Henry G. Wood, of Edenton, N. C., a fishery owner and planter; Miss Martha Washington Philips, who married Dr. John Franklin Woodward, of Norfolk, Va.; Miss Josephine Philips, who married Albert Pike, of Washington, D. C., a member of the U. S. Geological Survey; Miss Leila Burt Philips, of Tarboro N. C.; Frederick Philips, a planter of Tarboro, N. C.; Henry Hyman Philips, of Tarboro, N. C., and a law student at the University of North Carolina.

Transcription from the book, Prominent People of North Carolina: Brief Biographies of Leading People for Ready Reference Purposes, published in 1906, page 73, found on the website, Hathitrust Digital Library (, accessed 14 February 2021.  Photograph from the book, History of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, written by J. Kelly Turner and John Luther Bridgers, published in 1920, page 285, found on the website, Hathitrust Digital Library (, accessed 14 February 2021.


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