Columbus & Amanda (Ross) Phipps: An Oklahoma Cherokee Family

From Eastern Cherokee Application of John Phipps (#27400):

  • Form signed John Phipps, 22 Jun 1907
  • Action: Admitted
  • Residence: Rex, Oklahoma
  • “nephew of #8213, and claims through the same ancestors. Son of #15599 1/2. Brother of #27401.”

15599 1/2 (15599.5) is Amanda Phipps nee Ross. She applied 26 Jan 1907, while living in the Cherokee Nation, with her post office at Fort Gibson. She was born in 1861 in the Cherokee Nation and claim through “my Father John Ross & Mother Malinda Ross & Grand Mother Malinda Ross.” She said her husband was Columbus Phipps, whose age was 48.]

  • Name: John Phipps
  • Indian name: None
  • Residence: [Rex?], [county:] Cherokee Nation, [state:] Indian Territory
  • Age: 22
  • Born: 27 Oct 1884 Cherokee Nation
  • Marital status: Single
  • Father: Columbus Phipps
  • Mother: Amanda Ross [Amanda is written twice as “Manda” with “A” then added in front]
  • Father’s birthplace: Georgia
  • Mother’s birthplace: Cherokee Nation
  • Where parents resided in 1851: Unknown
  • Date of death of father: Still living
  • Date of death of mother: Still living
  • Enrollment of parents and with what tribe: “mother Cherokees, for cherokee strip Payment & allotment of land”
  • Brothers and sisters with ages and residence:
    • (1) Bettie Eppson, Rex, Indian Territory, born 1882, #27,402
    • (2) Carrie Smith, Rex, Indian Territory, born 1887, #27,401
    • (3) Joe Phipps, Rex, Indian Territory, born 1889
    • (4) Beulah Phipps, Rex, Indian Territory, born 1892
    • (5) Lula Phipp [sic], Rex, Indian Territory, born 1895
    • (6) Ella Phipps, Rex, Indian Territory, born 1898
    • (7) Albert Phipp [sic], Rex, Indian Territory, born 1901
  • Grandparents on mother’s side: John Ross, Malinda Ross
  • Birthplaces of grandparents: Unknown
  • Residence of grandparents in 1851: Unknown
  • Personal enrollment and with what tribe: “with Cherokees for Cherokee strip payment and for allotment of land”
  • Form signed John Phipps 22 Jun 1907
  • Witnesses: Sirrisie Rogers and Emily Bird, who knew him 22 and 12 years respectively

This family is referenced in Emmet Starr’s well known book on Cherokee genealogy, History of the Cherokee Indians and their Legends and Folk Lore (p. 558). He refers to Betty, daughter of Columbus and Amanda (Ross) Phipps, who of course would have been a brother of the John Phipps who applied above.

Starr says that Betty was born 6 Jul 1882. She married Joseph Epperson 29 Jul 1902 at Wagoner. Her married name is represented in the Eastern Cherokee Application cited above as “Bettie Eppson.” Her husband, according to Starr, was born in Cleaburn County, Arkansas in 1882. Their children, with their birthdates, are listed in Starr.

Columbus and Amanda (Ross) Phipps are buried in Three Rivers Cemetery at Okay in Wagoner County. Their tombstone is pictured in Find A Grave, and bears the following inscription:


MAY 15 1857
JAN 17 1929

APR 7 1859
JAN 12 1930

This family is also discussed here and here. Columbus Phipps and his wife Amanda (Ross) Phipps are listed in the 1900 census in the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory. The 1910 and 1920 censuses show them as living in Wagoner and what had become, by that time, Oklahoma. Those censuses show Columbus as born about 1859-1860 in Georgia.

Columbus would appear to most likely have been the son of a James Phipps who was born about 1813 in North Carolina. That James appears in the 1860 census in Murray County, Georgia, with his wife Elisabeth and several children and including 2-year-old Columbus, born in Georgia:

1860 Census, the 1013rd District [Gill?], Murray Co., GA, P.O. [Hosslens?] Mill, 28 Jul 1860, p. 99, 697/663:

  • James Phipps, 47 [b. abt 1813], M, farmer, real est. $200, pers. est. $200, NC, could not read or write
  • Elisabeth Phipps, 38 [b. abt 1822], F, GA, could not read or write
  • Mary I. [or J.?] Phipps, 15 [b. abt 1845], F, GA, attended school
  • Martha [E.? or C.?] Phipps, 13 [b. abt 1847], F, GA, attended school
  • Sarah A. Phipps, 12 [b. abt 1848], F, GA, attended school
  • Virginia [E.? or C.?] Phipps, 9 [b. abt 1851], F, GA, attended school
  • Nancy Phipps, 6 [b. abt 1854], F, GA, attended school
  • Luviney Phipps, 4 [b. abt 1856], F, GA
  • Columbus Phipps, 2 [b. abt 1858], M, GA

Two other Phipps males appear as heads of household in Murray County, Georgia in that year: Abner (born about 1809 in North Carolina) and “Isah” (born about 1815 in North Carolina). All three families were living in the same district with the same post office address.

In the 1850 census, “Izaiah” Phipps, born about 1818 in North Carolina, appears in the same county, Murray County, Georgia. His household is continued onto a second page, and Abner appears further down that second page. On that page, Abner is listed as having been born about 1804 in North Carolina. James should also be in Georgia in the 1850 census, according to the birth years and places of his children in the 1860 census. Perhaps a page-by-page search would reveal him.

John Phipps, son of Columbus and Amanda (Ross) Phipps, married after he applied for Cherokee benefits. He and his wife are buried in the same cemetery as his parents. The tombstone for him and his wife is similarly pictured in Find A Grave. The tombstone reads as follows:


OCT 27 1884
JULY 3 1946

MAY 3 1885
OCT 30 1953

Another child of Columbus and Amanda (Ross) Phipps was Joe, who appears to have been called Jodie. A Find A Grave page shows his World War I military tombstone. He is buried in the Fort Gibson National Cemetery in Muskogee County. His tombstone reads,

NOV 3 1889
APR 29 1962

2 thoughts on “Columbus & Amanda (Ross) Phipps: An Oklahoma Cherokee Family

  1. I’ve run across the given name Columbus several times among the Phipps families. It looks to be a favorite.

    Sent from my iPhone

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