A Slice from the Life of John Meshack Phipps: 1850-1870

A number of earlier posts have documented the life of John Meshack Phipps or Phips, twin brother of Eli Shadrack Phips or Phipps. The twins were born in 1812 in Virginia, and were sons of Jesse and Jane (“Jennie”) Spurlin Phips, with that Jesse having been a son of Samuel Phips who died in Ashe County, North Carolina in 1854. Jesse died in 1865 in Putnam County, Missouri.

A recent post included records from the 1840s involving the twins in the Mormon settlement of Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, where they were evidently hiding out while masquerading as Mormons. The following is an incomplete collection of records presenting a slice out of the life of John Meshack (“Shack”) Phips or Phipps, covering the later period from 1850 to 1870.

Census records during that period, as transcribed below, give some clues as to John’s ever-changing whereabouts both earlier and later, because of notations listing birthplaces of his children. Based on that data, if it can be trusted, the following residences for John can be assumed:

  • About 1842: Indiana (1850 census) or Illinois (1860 census): Birth of son Mathew
  • About 1848-1849: Iowa (1850, 1860 censuses): Birth of daughter Margaret
  • About 1851-1853: Iowa (1860, 1870 censuses): Birth of son Hiram/Hiraim
  • About 1853-1854: Iowa (1860, 1870 censuses): Birth of son John/Preston (John Preston)
  • About 1855-1856: Iowa (1860, 1870 censuses): Birth of daughter Mary
  • About 1858: Missouri (1860, 1870 censuses): Birth of daughter Malina/Melvina
  • About 1860-1864: Kansas (1860 census) or Iowa (1870 census): Birth of son S.A./Albert (Albert Simpson)
  • About 1862: Kansas (1870 census): Birth of daughter Laura

Also listed out of turn is a Hattie, born in Missouri about 1855 according to the 1870 census.

1850

In the 1850 census, he appears as John M. Phipps, farmer, in the household of Hiram Long. Both Hiram Long and John Meshack (“Shack”) Phips or Phipps are discussed at length in Edward Bonney’s period account of the outlaw gang. In the copy just linked, a separate chapter headed “Shack Phips,” Chapter 11, begins on page 91. Hiram Long is pictured facing page 104. While his likeness could have been based on an artist’s fancy, the book’s portrait of outlaw gang member John Long, the Phips brother’s relative (John’s wife was a Long), was copied from a daguerreotype.

The hanging of Granville Young, John Long, and Aaron Long (a different Aaron from the one listed below) in Rock Island, Illinois for the murder of Col. George Davenport, for whom Davenport, Iowa was named, occurred in 1845. By 1850, apparently, Edward Bonney’s book was in circulation, which presumably prompted some family members to flee to Iowa.

From the 1850 census, Monroe County, Iowa, 10 December 1850:

330/330:

  • Hiram Long, 27 [born about 1823], male, farmer, real est. $600, North Carolina
  • John M. Phipps, 33 [born about 1817], male, farmer, Virginia
  • Mary Phipps, 26 [born about 1824], female, North Carolina
  • Mathew Phipps, 8 [born about 1842], male, Indiana, attended school
  • Margaret Phipps, 2 [born about 1848], female, Iowa

331/331:

  • Aaron B. Long, 28 [born about 1822], male, merchant, real est. $250, North Carolina
  • Mary C. [or O.?] Long, 17 [born about 1833], female, Indiana

1855

By the mid-1850s, John Meshack (“Shack”) Phips or Phipps began showing up in records in Nodaway County, Missouri, a county which sits along the Iowa state line. This was near Putnam County, Missouri, also on the Iowa line, where John’s father Jesse Phips or Phipps was living.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Deed Book 3, p. 59:

Know all men by these presents that I John M Phipps of the county of Nodaway and State of Missouri have this day for and in consideration of the sum of eight hundred dollars to me in hand paid by Alexander Clelland of the county of Nodaway and State of Missouri have this day bargained and sold and by these presents do bargain and sell unto the said Alexander Clelland and to his heirs and assigns forever three certain tracts pieces or parcels of land situate lying and being in Nodaway county and State of Missouri to wit The North East quarter of section No two (2) and the West half of lot No one of the North West quarter of section No one and also the North half of the south East quarter of section No four (4) all in Township No sixty three (63) of Range No thirty five (35) Containing in all two hundred and sixty four acres and [4?]8/100 of an acre more or less. To have and to hold the said tracts pieces or parcels of land with all and singular the privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining unto him the said Alexander Clelland and his heirs and assigns forever.

But these presents and every thing herein contained are upon this express condition and understanding towit That the said John M Phipps has this day made executed and delivered unto the said Alexander Clelland his bond or promissory note bearing even date herewith for eight hundred dollars.

Now if the said John M Phipps shall well and truly pay or cause to be paid the said bond or promissory note at or before the time the same shall become payable then and in that case these presents and every thing herein contained as well as said bond or promisory Note shall be null and void Else to be and remain in full force and effect.

Witness my hand and seal this 8th day of November A D 1855

[signed:] John M Phipps (Seal)

State of Missouri
County of Nodaway
SS
Be it remembered that on this 8th day of November in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and fifty five personally appeared before me Amos Graham clerk of the circuit court within and for the county aforesaid John M Phipps who is personally Known to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within and foregoing instrument of writing as party thereto and acknowledged the same to be his act and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned

L S In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court at office this 8th day of November A D 1855

[signed:]
Amos Graham [clerk.?]
By Solomon West D C

The last foregoing instrument of writing and certificate of acknowledgement were received for record the 8th day of November 1855

[signed:]
Amos Graham Recorder
By S West D C

[In margin:]

Know all men by these presents that I Alexander Clelland of Nodaway County Missouri have this day recd. of John M Phipps Eight hundred dollars and hereby release him, and the real estate herein mentioned from the obligations of the same, forever. Given under my hand and seal this 8th day of November AD 1856
[signed:] Alexr. Cleland (Seal)
Test Amos Graham clerk By A. D. Graham D.C.

1856

From Nodaway County, Missouri Deed Book 3, pp. 307-308:

This Deed made and entered into this fourth day of August in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty six by and between John M Phipps and Mary Phipps his wife of the county of Nodaway and State of Missouri of the first part and William M Cook of the county of Nodaway and State of Missouri of the second part Witnesseth: that the said parties of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and Thirty dollars to them in hand paid by the said party of the second part the receipt whereof is hereby confessed and acknowledged have given granted bargained and sold and by these presents do give grant bargain sell convey and confirm unto the said party of the second part, and to his heirs and assigns forever a certain tract piece or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Nodaway and State of missouri towit: The South west quarter of the south East quarter of section No. Twenty three (23) in Township No. Sixty four (64) of Range No Thirty five (35) containing forty acres more or less. To have and to hold the said tract piece or parcel of land with all the privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging or in any wise appertaining unto him the said party of the second part, and to his heirs and assigns forever and the said parties of the first part for themselves their heirs executors and administrators, do covenant and agree that they will warrant and forever defend the title to the said tract piece or parcel of land and every part thereof unto him the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns against the lawful claim or claims of all persons what soever claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof. In witness whereof the said parties of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first herein written.

[signed:]
John M Phipps (seal)
Mary Phipps (Seal)

State of Missouri
County of Nodaway

Be it remembered that on this first day of September in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty six before me Amos Graham clerk of the circuit court within and for the county aforesaid personally appeared John M Phipps and Mary his wife who are personally known to me to be the persons whose names are subscribed to the within foregoing deed as parties thereto and severally acknowledged the same to be their act and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned: And she the said Mary Phipp [sic] being by me first made acquainted with the contents of said deed and examined separate and apart from her said husband, acknowledged on such examination that she executed the same and relinquishes her dower in the real estate therein mentioned freely and without compulsion or undue influence of her said husband.

L S In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court at office the date last aforesaid

[signed:]
Amos Graham Clerk
By A. D. Graham D. C.

[p. 398:]

The last foregoing deed was received for record on the 1st day of September 1856

[signed:]
Amos Graham Recorder
By A D Graham Dept

It was presumably as a part of their outlaw gang activities that the twins appear to have visited Virginia in 1856. This next record would seem unlikely to pertain to John Meshack Phipps and his twin brother Eli Shadrack Phipps. After all, why would a man living in the Midwest in 1856 suddenly show up in Virginia? The record specifically refers, however, to two twin brothers “named Fipps” from Indiana, and they had originally come from the area right on the Virginia/North Carolina state line.

As Edward Bonney discussed at length in his period book about the Long/Phips outlaw gang, the members were incredibly mobile. Bonney’s account refers to gang members constantly traveling from state to state throughout the Upper Mississippi Valley. A bit earlier than the record below, John showed up in records in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, just after living in Owen County, Indiana with, according to Bonney, associates traveling very extensively.

From the New Albany Daily Ledger, New Albany, Indiana, Mon., 11 February 1856, p. 2:

FATAL AFFRAY. – A fatal affray occurred a short time since, in Rich Valley, Smythe county, Va., at the house of one Allison, in which a man named Clear was killed. Two young men, twin bothers [sic; brothers], named Fipps, from Indiana, have been arrested and committed upon the following circumstantial evidence:

There were several men at Allison’s house frolicking, when a fight took place between one of the Fipps and another man, which at length became a general fight, the two Fipps having no friends were considerably worsted. They got out of the house and were followed by Clear into the yard, who shortly after returned, and said “he was killed;” and laid himself down on a bed and died in a few minutes.

1856-1857

John resided in Nodaway County, Missouri in 1856 and 1857, according to a newspaper article. Other family members were in the same general area.

1857-1875

Several land patents refer to John M. Phipps, presumably him, in connection with land in Nodaway County, Missouri from 1857 to 1875. Four dated 1857, 1858, 1863, and 1875 were based on military land warrants and were reassigned to him. One dated 1859 was written to John M. Phipps of Nodaway County.

1859

By 1859, a series of court records begin to appear which seem to revolve around the types of squabbles and debts which have been noted elsewhere as involving some members of this family. At one point, however, an issue of forgery arises, which appears to have involved grand larceny.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 351:

November Term 1858.

A Mozingo
vs
John Phipps
appeal

On defendants motion this cause is continued till the next term of this Court.

David Kinder
vs
John Phipps
same

On application of the defendant this cause is continued till the next term of this court.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 407:

May Term 1859. . . .

Allen Muzingo
vs
John M Phipps
Civil action

On Plaintiff motion put at the foot of the Dockett

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 412:

May Term A D 1859. . . .

John M Phipps
vs
Silas Muzingo
Same [Civil Action]

Defendant by his attorneys files Demurrer herein

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 416:

May Term 1859. . . .

John M Phipps
vs
Lewis Perkins
Civil action

Now at this day the plaintiff dismissess [sic] his suit herein.

It is therefore considered by the Court here that said defendant, recover of said plaintiff the costs and charges in this behalf expended, for which execution may issue. –

David Kinder
v.s.
John M Phipps
Civil action

Now at this day came the said plaintiff and likewise the said defendant, and both parties being ready for trial, the Came [sic] a Jury – Towit: Barnard Thomas, W H Davis, H Markwell, G H Holbrook, E Brogan, and W C [Orear?], who after hearing the evidence return the following verdict, Viz:

“We the Jury find for the plaintiff Thirty eight dollars and eighty cents, after allowing all credits. – W C [Orear?], foreman.”

It is therefore considered by the Court, that said plaintiff recover of said defendant, said sum of Thirty eight dollars and eighty cents so found to be due, and the costs and charges in the justices Court, as in this Court, for which an execution may issue.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 419:

May Term A D 1859.

Allen Muzingo
vs
John M Phipps

Now at this day this cause came on to be heard both parties being ready for trial by agreement Submitted to a jury of four to wit B F Ross J Pennington [J? or I?] A Lanning & William Blackman who being duly sworn and empannelled, the Plaintiff dismisses his suit, with leave to withdraw note Sued upon by leaving copy –

It is therefore considered by the court here that the Defendant recover of the said Allen Muznego [sic] the cost and charges in this behalf expended and that he have execution therefor

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 421:

May Term A D 1859

Wednesday Morning, May 4th A. D. 1859
Court met pursuant to adjournment – . . .

State of Missouri
vs
John M Phipps
Transcript

Grand jury fail to find a bill of Indictment herein Dft [i.e. defendant] discharged

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 449:

Silas Mozingo
vs
John M Phipps
Civil Action

Defendant has leave to answer within sixty days of the next term of this Court

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 451:

May Term A. D. 1859.

John M Phipps
vs
Silas M[u?]zingo
Civil action

Now at this day came the Said plaintiff and dismisses his suit herein.

It is therefore Considered by the Court here that said defendant recover of said plaintiff the costs and charges in this behalf expended, and it is ordered that execution issue therefor.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 14:

November 1st October Term 1859 Second Day . . .

Silas Muzingo
vs
John M. Phips
Civil Action

On plaintiff’s motion this cause is put at the foot of the docket

Henry Elsworth
vs
Silas Muzingo
Civil Action

On the motion of the plaintiff this cause is continued to the next term of this court. It is therefore considered and adjudged by the court here that the Said Silas Muzingo recover of the Said Henry Elsworth the costs and charges in this behalf expended at this term of the court for which execution may issue

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, pp. 18-19:

[p. 18:]

November 1st October 1859 Second Day . . .

Silas Muzingo
vs
John M Phipps

This cause is continued until the next term of this court on the application of the Defendant

[p. 19:]

It is therefore considered by the court here that the said Silas Muzingo recover of the Said John M. Phipps the costs and charges in this behalf expended at this term of the court

And it is further ordered that an attachment be issued against Mrs [blank] Griffith as witness in this cause returnable to the next term of this court

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, pp. 28-29:

[p. 28:]

November 3rd October Term 1859 Third Day . . .

W. C. Barnes
vs
John M. Phipps
Attachment

Order of Publication of Notice

[p. 29:]

and it is further ordered that an alias writ of attachment be issued in favor of the Said W. C. Barnes and against the said John M. Phipps directed to the Sheriff of Nodaway county returnable to the next term of this court . . .

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 31:

November 2nd October Term 1859 Third day . . .

F. Hall to use of
W. P. Cowles
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

Defendant has leave to file answer within 60 days of the next term of this court

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 33:

November 2nd October 1859 Third day . . .

W. C. Barnes
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

Now comes the defendant, John M. Phipps, in the above entitled cause and enters his appearance

1860

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 70:

April 30th April Term 1860 First day . . .

Franklin Hall to use
W. P. Cowles
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

On defendant’s motion this cause is put at the foot of the Docket

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 71:

April 30th April Term First day . . .

Silas Mozingo
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

On Plaintiff’s motion this cause is put at the foot of the docket

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 77:

May 1st April Term 1860 Second day . . .

William C. Barnes
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

Now at this day comes the Plaintiff by his attorney and the defendant and by agreement of the parties judgment is rendered against the defendant for thirty five dollars and 3 cents

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the court here that the Said William C. Barnes recover of the Said John M. Phipps the Said Sum of Thirty five dollars and 3 cents together with the costs and charges in this behalf expended. For which execution may issue

The following record not only introduces the matter of forgery, but indicates a change of venue to another county, that being Holt County, Missouri. Changes of venue tend to be granted when the locals are so worked up about a matter that it is believed that the defendant is not likely to receive a fair trial otherwise. The records below, unfortunately, do not explain the particulars of the indictments, but by the time the matter continues in records in April 1862, records seem to indicate a connection to grand larceny.

As we’ve seen at other points and in other places with some members of this family, a tactic appears to have been to delay and prolong legal issues until the individual involved finally disappears. In this matter, court actions are seen to drag on and on, from 1860 into 1862(!).

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 84:

May 2nd April Term 1860 third day

State of Missouri
against
John M Phipps
Forgery – Indictment No. 1.

Now comes the circuit attorney who prosecutes for and on behalf of the State and likewise said John M.Phipps, and on motion and the petition of the said John M. Phipps praying for a change of Venue hereof it is ordered that a change be awarded to Holt County Missouri and that the costs be also changed to said Holt County

State of Missouri
vs
John M Phipps
Forgery – Indictment No. 2.

Now comes the circuit attorney who prosecutes for and on behalf of the State and likewise Said John M Phipps, and on motion and the petition of the Said John M Phipps praying for a change of Venue hereof it is ordered that a change be awarded to Holt county Missouri and that the costs be also changed to Holt County

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 86:

May 2nd April Term 1860 Third day

Franklin Hall to the use of
William P Cowles
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

Defendant by his attorney files motion to [rule? or sue?] plaintiff to security for the costs . . .

Silas Mozingo
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action for Slander

Now comes the plaintiff and likewise the defendant and both parties being ready for trial there came a jury To Wit: E. King, G. Edwards, James Alexander, Alfred Jones, Sanford Smith, Hiram Markwell, W Emergon, L Martin Nicholas Owens, C Engle, Thos Parker and James T. Smith who were duly empannelled and and [sic; word repeated] after hearing the evidence return into court their verdict To wit: “We the jury find for the plaintiff and assess the damage at $41.70 9/12
Williams Emerson Foreman”

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the court here that the said Silas Mozingo recover of the Said John M. Phipps the Said Sum of forty one dollars and 70 & 9/12 cents Together with the costs and charges in this Suit expended And it is ordered by the court here that execution may issue

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 89:

May 2nd April Term 1860 Third day

Thomas Thoroughman
vs
John M. Phipps
Confession of Judgment

Now comes the Said defendant and acknowledges himself to owe and be indebted to the plaintiff in the Sum of one hundred and seventy five dollars

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the Court here that the Said Thomas Thoroughman recover of the said John M. Phipps the said sum of one hundred and seventy five dollars, together with the Costs and charges in this suit expended with stay of Execution for Six months, after which time execution may issue

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, pp. 91-92:

[p. 91:]

May 2nd April Term 1860 Third day . . .

Franklin Hall to the use of
William P. Cowles
against
John M. Phipps
Civil action

Plaintiff files his bond for costs herein

Franklin Hall to the use of
William P. Cowles
against
John M Phipps
Civil action

Defendant withdraws his answer herein

And the court here being satisfied, by a transcript, of a judgment from a court of record, from the State of Iowa that the said defendant is justly indebted to the plaintiff in the Sum of two hundred and seventy five dollars and 27 cents

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the court here that the Said Franklin Hall to the use of William P. Cowles recover of

[p. 92:]

the Said John M. Phipps the said sum of Two hundred and Seventy five dollars and 27 cents Together with the costs and charges in this suit expended. And it is ordered that execution may issue

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 130:

John Elsworth Plaintiff
against
John M Phipps Defendant
Attachment in a civil action
June 1st, AD 1860

Now at this day comes John Elsworth, the plaintiff in the above entitled cause, before the undersigned clerk of the circuit Court of Nodaway County, in vacation, and files his petition and affidavit, Stating among other things that the above named defendant John M. Phipps, is a non resident of this State. It is therefore ordered by the clerk aforesaid, in Vacation that publication be made notifying him that an action has been commenced against him by petition and attachment, in the circuit Court of Nodaway County in the State of Missouri, founded on an account and damages claimed by the plaintiff against the defendant for non performance of a contract, both amounting to the Sum of Three hundred and Eighty one dollars and 40 cents, that his property is about to be attached, and that unless he be and appear at the next term of said court at the court House in Maryville in Said County of Nodaway, and on or before the third day of Said Term (if the term Shall So long continue, and if not then before the end of the term) judgment will be rendered against him, and his property Sold to Satisfy the Same. It is further ordered that a copy hereof be published in the Maryville Reporter a newspaper published in Said county of Nodaway, for four weeks Successively, the last insertion to be at least four weeks before the commencement of the next term of this court
Jas B. Prather Clerk

In the 1860 census on 6 July 1860, John appears as a farmer in Dodge Township, Boone County, Iowa. Note that his twin brother Eli Shadrack Phipps was living a short distance away. The ages of both John and Eli are in error in this census.

From the 1860 census, Dodge Township, Boone County, Iowa, with post office at Ridgeport, 6 July 1860:

354/288:

  • John M. Phipps, 42 [born about 1818] male, farmer, real estate [blank], personal estate $500, born Virginia
  • Mary [looks like “May”] Phipps, 35 [born about 1825], female, born North Carolina
  • Mathew Phipps, 18 [born about 1842], male, born Illinois
  • Margret Phipps, 11 [born about 1849], female, born Iowa
  • Hiram J. Phipps, 9 [born about 1851], male, born Iowa
  • John P. Phipps, 7 [born about 1853], male, born Iowa
  • Mary Phipps, 5 [born about 1855], female, born Iowa
  • Malina Phipps, 2 [born about 1858], female, born Missouri
  • S.A. Phipps, 3 months [born 1860], female, born Kansas

357/290:

  • G. W. Conner, 23, male, farmer, -/$200, born born Indiana
  • Caroline Conner, 23, female, born Indiana
  • Columbus Conner, 4, male, born Iowa
  • Mary J. Conner, 1, female, born Iowa
  • Eli Phipps, 42 [born about 1818], male, farmer, real estate $2000, personal estate $1000, born Virginia

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C p. 269:

[Note: Regarding this record, see the change of venue from Nodaway County was noted above, from 2 May 1860, which was considered still part of the April Term, Nodaway County Book B, p. 84.]

October Term 1860 –

State of Missouri
Against
John M. Phipps
Forgery Note

On Motion of Circuit Attorney this Cause is placed at the foot of the Docket –

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, p. 271:

October Term 1860 –

State of Missouri
Against
John M Phipps
Forgery No 1 –

On Defendants application this cause is continued until court in c[?]

State of Missouri
Against
John M. Phipps
Forgery No 2 –

On Defendants application this cause is continued until court in c[?]

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, p. 272:

October Term 1860 –

State of Missouri
Against
John M. Phipps
Forgery No 1 –

Now here comes the Circuit Attorney and the Defendant being solemnly called to come into Court in discharge of his Recognizance, came not, but made Default and A [T?] Jenkins, [A.? or 
W.?] [T.?] Walker, Caleb S. [Burns? or Burrus?] and Redman Wilfley his cognizors, though solemnly called to come into court and bring with them the body of the said John M. Phipps, in discharge of their Recognizance, came not but made Default thereupon it is considered that the said Recognizance be and the Same is hereby forfeited – with leave to set the same aside by the appearance of the parties in this court on the first day of the next term thereof

State of Missouri
Against
John M. Phipps
Forgery No 2 –

Now here comes the Circuit Attorney, and the Defendant though Solemnly Called to come into court in Discharge of his Recognizance came not but made Default, and A. [T.?] Jenkins and Samuel A. Trowen [or Trower?], his cognizors though Solemnly called to come into Court and bring with them the body of the Said John M. Phipps in discharge of their Recognizance came not but made Default, whereupon it is considered that the said recognizance be and the same is hereby forfeited – with leave to set the same aside by the appearance of the parties in this court on the first day of the next term thereof

[Note: For more regarding the above, see Holt County Book C, p. 338, April Term 1861, below.]

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, pp. 178-179:

[p. 178:]

October 30th October Term 1860 Second day . . .

H Griffey
against
John M Phipps
Attachment

Now comes the plaintiff and dismisses his suit herein

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the Court here that defendant recover of plaintiff the Costs and charges in this Suit expended: for which execution may issue

[p. 179:]

John Elsworth
Against
John M. Phipps
Attachment

Now comes the plaintiff by his attorney, and dismisses his Suit herein

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the Court here that defendant recover of plaintiff and D L Elsworth & D B Morlan his Security the Costs and Charges in this suit expended; for which execution may issue

1861

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, pp. 338-339:

[p. 338:]

April Term 1861 –

State of Missouri
County of Holt SS

At a circuit Court begun and held at the Court House in Oregon in Holt County within the 12th judicial Circuit Court Missouri Monday April 12th present
Hon. Silas Woodson Judge
R.G. Emerson Sheriff
E. Van Buskirk, Clerk
when the following Proceedings were had and done to wit . . .

Ordered that Alexander Davis be and he is hereby appointed Circuit Attorney pro. tem to prosecute the Indictment of the State against J. M. Phipps.

State of Missouri
Against
John M Phipps
Forgery No 1

Now here comes the Circuit Attorney Pro Tem who prosecutes for and on behalf of the State, and the Defendant being Solemnly called to Come into Court in discharge of his recognizance came not but makes default, and [A. T.?] Jenkins, and Saml. A. Trower his cognizers being duly called to come into court and bring with them the body of John M. Phipps in discharge of their recognizance came not but make default. It is therefore considered and adjudged that [Said?] Recognizance of the said John M. Phipps, and of the said A. [T.?] Jenkins and Saml A Trower his Recognisors be and they are hereby forfeited, And it is hereby Ordered that a [? (presumably Scire)] Facias Issue made returnable at the next term of this Court. –

State of Missouri
Against
John M. Phipps
Forgery No 2 –

Now here comes the circuit Attorney Pro Tem who prosecutes for and on behalf of the state and the Defendant being Solemnly called to come into court in discharge of his Recognizance comes not but makes default And A [T?] Jenkins and Samuel A. Trower his cognizors, being duly called to come into court And bring with them the body of John M. Phips [sic] in discharge of their Recognizance came not but made default. It is therefore considered and

[p. 339:]

adjudges that Said Recognizance of the Said John M. Phipps and the said A [T.?] Jenkins and Saml. A. Trower be and the same are hereby forfeited, and that Scire Facias Issue made Returnable at the next Term of this court.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 233:

May 2nd April Term 1861 Fourth Day . . .

John Elsworth
vs
John M Phipps

Plaintiff has leave to withdraw papers Sued over

1862

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, p. 397:

April Term 1862 – . . .

State of Missouri
Against
J. M. Phipps & others
Grand Larceny

Now [here?] on motion of circuit Attorney Aliases are hereby ordered to Issue, and cause continued until court in cause

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, p. 398:

April Term 1862 – . . .

State of Missouri
Against
J. M. Phipps & others
Grand Larceny –

Now here Comes the Circuit Attorney who prosecutes for And on behalf of the state, and on his motion it is Ordered that Aliases Issue herein, and cause continued until next court –

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, pp. 462-463

[p. 462:]

October Term 1862 – . . .

State of Missouri
Against
J. M. Phipps & others
Forgery No 1 –

On motion of Circuit Attorney it is hereby Ordered that An Alias Scire Facias be Issued against Defendants John M. Phipps and A. J. Jenkins and Samuel A. Trower directed to the Sheriff of Nodaway County, made Returnable at the next term of this Court until which time this cause is continued –

State of Missouri
Against
J. M. Phipps & others
Forgery No 2.

On motion of Circuit Attorney it is hereby ordered that an alias Scire Facias be Issued against Defendants John M. Phipps and A. J. Jenkins

[p. 463:]

and Samuel A. Trower directed to the Sheriff of Nodaway County made Returnable at the next term of this court, until which time this cause is continued –

Note: Samuel A. Trower was presumably the Samuel Trower who is listed in the 1860 census in Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri on 2 June 1860. Trower was a merchant who was born in Virginia about 1820. His real estate was worth $1,000, and his personal estate $2,000. A.J. Jenkins was likely Andrew Jenkins, another Maryville merchant. He appears in the same census on 14 June 1860, and was born about 1816 in Kentucky. At the time, he had real estate worth $20,000 and personal estate worth $10,000. Why these men were, evidently, willing to go out on a limb for John Meshack Phipps is unclear.

Further research may turn up later information about the forgery issue. Whether John was able to evade the issue by his delaying tactics and by moving is, at this point, unclear.

1864

On 2 February 1864, John M. Phipps was presumably living at Independence, Missouri. That’s the date on which the death certificate of his son Albert S. Phipps indicates that he was born at Independence. John’s name appears on that certificate as John N. Phipps, an error for John M. Phipps. Independence is in Jackson County.

1865

In 1865, John’s siblings evidently believed he was in Iowa. The following is an affidavit in the probate packet (packet 642) of his father Jesse in Putnam County, Missouri:

In the matter of Jesse Phipps Estate,

State of Missouri,
County of Putnam,
ss.

Michael Creamer says that to the best of his Knowledge and belief, the names of the heirs of the said Jesse Phipps are respectively as follows: – George Phipps, residence unknown; Jesse Phipps, who resides in Illinois, Shadrach Phipps, in Iowa, John M. Phipps, in Iowa, David Phipps, in Oregon, that the said Jesse Phipps, died without a will, that he will make a perfect inventory of, and faithfully administer said estate, & pay the debts as far as the assets will extend and the law direct, and account for and pay all assets which shall come to his [? (looks like “paeseion,” presumably possession)] or Knowledge.

[signed] Michl. Creamer

1870

John appears in the 1870 census in Ft. Osage Township, Jackson County, Missouri. He was listed on 15 August 1870 as John “Philips,” with his occupation left blank. This might have been around the time when underground stables for stolen horses were being operated by the gang in the area and when he was personally acquainted with Jesse James. The misspelling in his name may have been deliberate on John’s part.

From the 1870 census, Fort Osage Township, Jackson County, Missouri, with post office at Napoleon City, Missouri, 15 August 1870, p. 33, #231/231:

  • John Philips, 54 [born about 1816], male, white, real estate [blank], personal estate [blank], born Virginia
  • Mary Philips, 46 [born about 1824], female, white, born North Carolina
  • [page break – p. 34 – same date]
  • Hiraim [J?[ Philips, 17 [born about 1853], male, white, farm laborer, born “Ioway,” attended school
  • Preston Philips, 16 [born about 1854], male, white, farm laborer, born “Ioway,” attended school
  • Mary Philips, 14 [born about 1856], female, white, born “Ioway,” attended school
  • Melvina Philips, 12 [born about 1858], female, white, born Missouri, attended school
  • Laura B Philips, 8 [born about 1862], female, white, born Kansas, attended school
  • Albert Philips, 6 [born about 1864], male, white, born “Ioway,” attended school
  • Hattie Philips, 15 [born about 1855], female, white, born Missouri
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One thought on “A Slice from the Life of John Meshack Phipps: 1850-1870

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