A Phipps Family of Clay, Sullivan, and Vigo Counties, Indiana

Moses Phipps appears in the 1840 census in Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana, on the same page as James Phipps, Hugh Dobkins, and John and Henry Cooprider. Dobkins and the Coopriders are individuals who appear to have been associated with the Phipps family who came into Owen and Clay Counties, Indiana from Ashe County, North Carolina. Moses also lived in same township in the 1860 census, but has not been found in the 1850 census.

Hugh Dobkins married Jane Phipps in adjacent Owen County on 27 April 1845. Laura A. Phipps is said to have married Uriah Cooprider 21 April 1872, son of Henry Cooprider. Henry Cooprider is said to have been born in 1815 in Clay County, Indiana. Blanchard, in his book Counties of Clay and Owen  Indiana, 1884, p. 24, refers to “the Phipps or Cooprider place” near Clay City. This was discussed in an earlier post.

Harrison Township in Clay County is the same township where William and Sampson Phipps or Phips were living. Sampson appears in the census there in 1860, 1870, and 1880. Sampson’s father was born in North Carolina according to the 1880 census. Sampson was a son of Benjamin and Lethe (Williams) Phipps according to Blanchard, who refers to William and Sampson as brothers.

One odd factor is that Moses Phips or Phipps appears in the census in Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana in the 1840 and 1860 census, but not in the 1850 census. An online copy of the 1850 census for that township is of very poor quality, with a few names only partly readable. Still, however, it does not appear that he was listed.

Other Phips or Phipps individuals are listed in Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana in the 1850 census, however. One would think that they were likely related in some way to Moses Phipps. These individuals are abstracted below.

1850 census, 21 October 1850, Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana, handwritten p. 570, stamped p. 285b:

  • James Phips, 48 [born about 1802], male, farmer, real estate $1,000, born Kentucky
  • Mary Phipps, 56 [born about 1794], born Kentucky
  • Frederick Phipes [sic; as spelled], 23 [born about 1827], male, laborer, born Indiana
  • Margaret Phips, 19 [born about 1831], female, born Indiana
  • Poley Phipes [sic], 16 [born about 1834], female, born Indiana
  • George Phips, 13 [born about 1837], male, born Indiana

Also appearing in the same township is the household of what looks like “Ambrose”(?) Phips.

1850 census, 23 October 1850, Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana, stamped p. 287a:

  • A[ambrose?] Phips, 45 [born about 1805, male, farmer, real estate $500, born Kentucky
  • Mary Phipes [sic], 85 [born about 1765, female, born Virginia
  • Catharine Phips, 49 [born about 1801], female, born Kentucky, could not read and write
  • Henry Bolock, 24 [born about 1826], male, laborer, born South Carolina

Another family in the same township is that of Sampson (listed as Samson) Phips.

1850 census, 26 October 1850, Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana, handwritten p. 576, stamped p. 288b:

  • Samson Phips, 33 [born about 1817], male, farmer, real estate $200, born Indiana
  • Polly Phips, 26 [born about 1824], female, born Indiana
  • Sarah Phips, 6 [born about 1844], female, born Indiana
  • Robart Phips, 5 [born about 1845], male, born Indiana
  • Charity Griffith, 15, female, born Indiana

The following page shows Mary Phips, 61 (born about 1789 in “N Carolina;” the “N” is indistinct but appears to be an “N”) and 14-year-old “Idda” Phips, living in the household of Jackson Kimmons. Further down the same page is the family of William Phips:

1850 census, 27 October 1850, Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana:

  • William Phips, 22 [born about 1828], male, laborer, born Indiana
  • Martha Phips, 10 [born about 1840], female, born Indiana
  • William J Phips, 8 [born about 1842], male, born Indiana
  • James Phips, 7 [born about 1843], male, born Indiana
  • Moses Phips, 3 [born about 1847], male, born Indiana

Of these individuals, again, we know that Sampson and William were brothers and were sons of Benjamin and Lethe (Williams) Phipps (Blanchard, pp. 204-205, 544). We also know that this Benjamin was born in North Carolina (1880 census listing for Sampson).

A chronology of the life of Moses Phipps

Moses Phipps was born about 1806 in Tennessee according to the 1860 census, and about the same date in East Tennessee according to the 1870 census. Blanchard, Counties of Clay and Owen Indiana, 1884, p. 438, says that he was born in East Tennessee.

In the 1840 census, Moses Phipps appears in the census in Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana. The census shows him as born about 1800-1810. The only adult female was born about 1810-1820. This was presumably his 1st wife, Catherine Griffith.

It would seem that she was likely related to Rebecca Ann Griffith, who married Eli Shadrack Phips of Owen County, adjacent to Clay County. Eli was a grandson of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina. She was likely also related to Sarah Griffith who married a William Phipps who was born in 1824 in Lawrence County, Indiana, and the Nancy Griffith who married the William Phipps who was a son of Benjamin and Jean (Has) of Grayson County, Virginia.

1840 census, Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana:

Moses Phipps:

  • Free white males: 1 under 5, 1 30-40 [born about 1800-1810]
  • Free white females: 2 under 5, 1 5-10, 1 20-30 [born about 1810-1820]

An 1850 census listing for Moses Phips or Phipps has not been found, as already noted. He appears in the 1860 census, however, again in Harrison Township. In the interim, he remarried. His new wife was Emily Jerman.

Information abstracted from marriage record, Clay County, Indiana Marriage Record Book 1, p. 402:

  • Groom: Moses Phipps
  • Bride: Emily Jerman
  • License date: 29 July 1858
  • Marriage: 31 July 1858, Clay County, Indiana, by George W. May, Justice of the Peace

Moses then appears in the 1860 census with his 2nd wife, Emily Jerman.

1860 census, 31 July 1860, Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana, PO at Martz:

  • Moses Phipps [head], 54 [born about 1806], male, farmer, real estate $300, personal estate $175, born Tennessee
  • Emily Phipps, 26 [born about 1834], female, weaver, born Kentucky, could not read and write
  • Robert Phipps, 8 [born about 1852], male, born Indiana, attended school
  • George W. Phipps, 3 [born about 1857], male, born Indiana, attended school
  • Sarah J. Phipps, 5 [born about 1855], female, born Indiana, attended school

By 1870, Moses Phipps had moved into Sullivan County, Indiana. Sullivan County is adjacent to Clay and Vigo Counties.

1870 census, 8 June 1870, Jackson Township, Sullivan County, Indiana, PO at Lewis:

  • Stephen R. Doll, 63, male, white, blacksmith, real estate [blank], personal estate $200, born Ohio
  • Mary A. Doll, 59, female, white, keeping house, born Virginia, could not read and write
  • Alonzo S. Doll, 27, male, white, farmer, real estate $400, born Indiana
  • Moses Phipps, 64 [born about 1806], male, white, farmer, real estate $600, personal estate $100, born East Tennessee
  • Emily Phipps, 35 [born about 1835], female, white, keeping house, born Kentucky, could not read or write
  • Sarah J. Phipps, 10 [born about 1860], female, white, born Indiana, could not read or write
  • Charlotte Phipps, 8, female, white, born Indiana, could not read or write
  • Martha E. Phipps, 8, female, white, born Indiana
  • Levi S. Phipps, 1/12 [age 1 month], male, white, born Indiana

Moses Phipps died by 1879. The Terre Haute Gazette, 26 June 1879, p. 8, under “Court House Echoes,” refers to his son Joshua J. Phipps as guardian of minor heirs of Moses Phipps:

. . . Joshua J. Phipps, guardian Lotta M. and Martha B. Phipps, and John, Sarah, Amanda and Wm. Mullen, minor heirs of Moses Phipps, deceased. Bond $100, with W. H. Tryon and Abijah Richey as sureties. . . .

Joshua J. Phipps, son of Moses Phipps

A son of Moses Phipps was the Joshua J. Phipps who was referred to here as guardian. Of course, “Lotta M.” would be the same person as Charlotte Phipps in the 1870 census.

Joshua does not appear in the census with his father Moses. He was born in 1841, so missed the 1840 census (that census would not have listed children by name anyway), and the 1850 census listing was not found. In 1860 he was presumably out on his own at the age of about 19.

He enlisted on 15 July 1861 for Civil War service in Company C, 11th Indiana Infantry, under Col. Lewis Wallace. He was present at the battles of Ft. Donelson and Shiloh, according to Blanchard. He was discharged for disability in July 1862, stayed at home a month, then reenlisted. Joshua reenlisted into Company K, 85th Infantry, but was wounded shortly afterward. He was taken to Hospital Number 3 in Nashville until June, according to Blanchard.

Joshua J. Phipps began to assist a surgeon named Harlow with surgeries in June 1862. He was then transferred to Company F, 3rd Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps, and was stationed, according to Blanchard, at the U.S. Arsenal at Dearbornville. This was a small village west of Detroit. He was at the U.S. Dispensatory until 8 November 1865, when he was mustered out at Detroit. He then entered a medical college at Ann Arbor, Michigan for a term.

Joshua J. Phipps married Mary F. O’Neal on 12 September 1865 in Detroit.

Wayne County, Michigan Marriage Certificates Book E, p. 582:

[In margin:] 25170
[Body of text:]
Detroit Wayne Co. Mich. Sep 12th 1865. I do certify that I this day joined in marriage according to law the following parties Joshua J Phipps son of Moses Phipps aged 23 years of Terre Haute Ind. to Miss Mary O Neil parents unknown aged 20 years of [Archin?] Canada West. Witnesses present, John McFarland, Jno. D. Smith.
Saml. Freeland Clergyman

The 1880 census shows Joshua J. Phipps living in Pearson Township, Vigo County, Indiana, where he was a physician. The reason why he had moved to Vigo County, Indiana is not clear. He later moved back to Clay County. Blanchard says (p. 438) that Joshua J. Phipps practiced medicine for 9 years in Pierson Township, Vigo County, Indiana.

1880 census, 11 June 1880, Pierson Township, Vigo County, Indiana, p. 15:

  • Joshua J. Phipps, white male, 37 [born about 1843], married, physician, born Indiana, his parents born Tennessee
  • Mary [T.? or P.?] Phipps, white female, 34 [born about 1846], wife, married, keeping house, born Canada, her father born Ireland, her mother born Scotland
  • Edward Phipps, white male, 12 [born about 1868], son, single, at school, attended school, born Indiana, his father born Indiana, his mother born Canada
  • Laura J. Phipps, white female, 8 [born about 1872], daughter, single, attended school, born Indiana, her father born Indiana, her mother born Canada
  • Nettie M. Phipps, white female, 5 [born about 1875], daughter, single, born Indiana, her father born Indiana, her mother born Canada
  • Mary P. Phipps, white female, 5/12 [age 5 months], born January, daughter, single, born Indiana, her father born Indiana, her mother born Canada

In 1884, Blanchard’s Counties of Clay and Owen Indiana was published. Blanchard included a biography of Dr. Joshua J. Phipps on p. 438. At that time, Joshua was described as a “practicing physician” of Middlebury, Clay County, Indiana. William Travis, in his 1909 book A History of Clay County, Vol. 1, refers on p. 167 to Joshua Phipps as among those who had been physicians in Middlebury.

Minors of Joshua J. Phipps at Farmersburg in Sullivan County, Indiana received a pension based on Joshua’s Civil War service. This is noted in the Indianapolis Journal, 5 January 1889, p. 2.

A daughter of Joshua J. Phipps by his marriage to Mary O’Neal was Pearl Phipps. She would appear to have been the Mary P. Phipps listed in the 1880 census. She married Lincoln E. Wilman in 1899 in Vigo County, Indiana.

From Vigo County, Indiana Marriage Book 5M, p. 52:

  • Full name of groom: Lincoln E Wilman
  • Place of residence of groom: Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Age next birthday: 29 [born about 1870]
  • Color: white
  • Occupation: Restaurant
  • Place of birth: Ohio
  • Father’s name: Robert A Wilman
  • Mother’s maiden name: Ellen E. Thomas
  • No. groom’s marriage: 1
  • Full name of bride, maiden name if a widow: Pearl Phipps
  • Place of residence: Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Age next birthday: 20 [born about 1879]
  • Color: White
  • Place of birth: Palmetto, Indiana
  • Father’s name: Joshua Phipps
  • Mother’s maiden name: Mary O’Neal
  • No. bride’s marriage: 1
  • Place of marriage: Terre Haute, Indiana
  • By whom married: Rev. E. Becker
  • Date of marriage: 11 January 1899
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