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George & Myrtle Phillips Collection - MS 377

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory
Photograph Highlights

Introduction

The correspondence, educational files, and scrapbooks of George A. Phillips, a black teacher and principal in Cincinnati, Ohio, covers a span of years form 1844 to 1976, with the bulk of the collection covering the years 1900 to 1976. The collection contains educational files and writings produced during his years of teaching and scrapbooks which he compiled and which detail his life and accomplishments. The correspondence primarily is with friends, family, and business acquaintances. Also included in this collection are thirty-five diaries which his wife Myrtle Phillips kept from 1932 to 1971.

The collection was donated and transferred to the Center for Archival Collections in September 1984, through the cooperation of Laurence R. Hipp, Grover Hill, Ohio. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and scholarly research. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection. The register was prepared by Robert Dunkelberger in October 1984.

Biographical Sketch

George Augustus Phillips (1885-1984) was a teacher and principal in Ohio and Michigan for fifty years. He was born on December 22, 1885, to Rev. Lloyd Phillips and Georgiana (Howard) Phillips in Washington Township, Paulding County, Ohio. He graduated from Paulding High School in 1907 and began teaching. He later took up farming but went back to teaching in 1917 when he moved to Cassopolis, Michigan. Phillips attended Western Michigan State College in Kalamazoo during the early twenties and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1924.

He moved from Michigan to Cincinnati where he received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1927. He taught from 1924 to 1935 at the Stowe-Jackson School, Cincinnati, and was principal of the Stowe School organization form 1935 to 1956, when he retired. His Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education was recognized and accepted in 1939 and he received an honorary degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1968.

Myrtle Ann Reynolds (1889-1973) was George Phillips' wife for sixty-four years. She was born on March 24, 1889, to Orlando Reynolds and Casselia (Allen) Reynolds in Ridge Township, Van Wert County, Ohio. She married George Phillips on October 31, 1909. She died on July 14, 1973, in Cincinnati.

Scope and Content

The George and Myrtle Phillips Collection includes correspondence which is arranged by correspondent's name. This correspondence includes letters between George and Myrtle, letters with friends and family, copies of letters written by George, correspondence with various educational and business contacts, personal and general correspondence.

One subject file is included in this collection which pertains to education. Included in this file are George Phillips' college and university records and credentials, notes on classes and seminars, a masters thesis, student notebooks, and reports. This collection also contains many literary productions. Among these are autograph books, Myrtle Phillips' diaries, family genealogies, a record of trips, the history of settlements in Paulding County, and the story of George Phillips' struggle for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The only financial document in this collection is a financial ledger containing listings of the Phillips' expenditures and receipts for the years 1912-1950. The collection also contains scrapbooks compiled by George Phillips which pertain to his life, family and friends. He also saved newspaper clippings which provide information on his life and various subjects of interest to him.

The collection also includes two ledgers listing the books contained in his library, membership cards of organizations to which he belonged, and photographs of his house and of various trips. The oversize material includes two large scrapbooks about George Phillips' life which contain newspaper clippings, correspondence, printed material and photographs, and a copy of a black newspaper published in Cincinnati.

This collection provides excellent information specifically on George Phillips' struggle as a black man to obtain an education and establish a career, and on Phillips' marriage and family. Generally, this collection provides information on the education of minority and urban youth, black family history, and local history--Paulding County and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Series Description

CORRESPONDENCE

CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN GEORGE AND MYRTLE PHILLIPS
1906-1965.
Arranged chronologically
The vast majority of these letters were written before their marriage in October 1909, and all but seven of those letters were written by Myrtle. In the letters, they describe their activities as well as their feelings for each other.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
1907-1967.
Arranged alphabetically by name and chronologically within.
The large majority of these letters were written from 1956-1967 and involve family members. The major friend with whom George Phillips corresponded was a Michigan banker, Wilson B. Decker. These letters dealt basically with financial matters, while the letters with family members describe family activities.

COPIES OF LETTERS WRITTEN BY GEORGE PHILLIPS
1906-1908.
Arranged chronologically in four small notebooks.
These notebooks contain copies of the letters that George Phillips wrote to various people during these years. Most of these were to friends and to his future wife, Myrtle.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH EDUCATIONAL AND BUSINESS CONTACTS
1907-1947.
Arranged chronologically in a large notebook.
These letters are with those people and organizations that George Phillips had educational or business contacts. They include Western Michigan University and Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College. The correspondence deals with a variety of subjects, such as job offers and educational programs.

CORRESPONDENCE OF A PERSONAL NATURE
1907-1964.
Arranged chronologically in a notebook.
These letters are with various friends and acquaintances of George Phillips and are characterized by their friendly nature. They are with such diverse people as his brothers and sisters, the American Sugar Industry, a committee from the House of Representatives, and heavyweight boxing champion Ezzard Charles.

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE
1902-1972.
Arranged chronologically
These letters are with a variety of people, such as family members, friends, and companies. They deal with different topics such as ordering products and family matters.

SUBJECT FILES

EDUCATION
1906-1968.
11 notebooks arranged alphabetically by title and chronologically within.
This subject file deals with education and contains material from notebooks which were compiled by George Phillips, plus a folder of miscellaneous educational material. These notebooks contain his Phillips' college and university records and credentials, elementary curriculum, a master's thesis, and the notebooks and reports of students who took classes with him. Most of these notebooks pertain to courses/curriculum from the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College.

LITERARY PRODUCTIONS

AUTOGRAPH BOOKS
1953, 1956.
Arranged chronologically
These books contains comments that were written by Harriet Beecher Stowe Junior High School teachers in 1953 and by members of the Stowe School PTA in 1956. The comments are basically ones that thank him for the job he did as principal.

"COLLECTION OF WELL PUT STATEMENTS"
n.d.
This is notebook compiled by George Phillips containing quotations and statements that he felt were interesting and said a good deal.

DIARIES OF MYRTLE PHILLIPS
1932-1935, 1940-1941, 1943-1971.
Arranged chronologically
The diaries contain daily entries written by Myrtle Phillips. Most of the entries deal with her daily activities and are complete until the last few years when she did not write very much because of poor eyesight.

FAMILY ALBUM OF LETTERS AND WRITINGS
1871.
This book contains letters which were written by the family of Elizabeth Wilson, a relative of George Phillips.

FAMILY GENEALOGY
n.d.
These papers contain the genealogy of the Phillips and Reynolds families. Reynolds was Myrtle's maiden name. The Phillips family genealogy begins with George's grandfather Abraham, who was born a slave. It is fairly compete and has been updated through the mid-1960s. The Reynolds family genealogy begins with Myrtle's grandfather, Elisha. Also included is genealogy on the Allen family (Myrtle's mother's maiden name). The information on the Reynolds and Allen families is not as complete as the Phillips genealogy.

FAMILY RECORD AND TRIPS
1933-1947.
Arranged chronologically
This is a record of trips which were taken by George and Myrtle Phillips during the above-mentioned years. Mentioned are the dates and times of arrivals and departures in various cities and what of interest was seen in those cities.

"PIONEER HISTORY OF SETTLEMENTS IN PAULDING COUNTY"
1968.
This is a history of the towns of Oakwood, Melrose, Fort Brown, Newburg-Royal Oak, and Hickory Flats, which are located in Paulding County. This history was written by Wilbur Porter.

"REFLECTIONS ON DR. AND MRS. GOOD'S GRANDCHILDREN"
1953-1965
Arranged chronologically
This was written by George Phillips and is a character analysis of Dr. and Mrs. Good's grandchildren, which was compiled by studying photographs of the grandchildren between the years 1953-1965.

"MY STRUGGLE FOR THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE"
1939.
This was written by George Phillips and tells how, after years of long work, his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Education (Cincinnati University) was recognized by the Tennessee State Board of Education in 1939.

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

FINANCIAL LEDGER
1912-1950.
Arranged chronologically
This ledger lists the receipts and expenditures of George Phillips for the years 1912-1950. The listings for 1924-1933 are monthly and very detailed. For the years 1934-1950, the only entries pertain to his yearly earnings and income.

SCRAPBOOK MATERIALS

SCRAPBOOKS OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS
1844-1976.
Arranged alphabetically by subject of scrapbook.
These scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, photographs, and other memorabilia of the family and friends of George Phillips.

NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS
1924-1975.
Arranged chronologically
These articles are form various newspapers and pertain to George and Myrtle Phillips, their friends and family, and various items which were of interest to George Phillips. Also included are copied quotes and saying which he collected.

LISTS

LEDGERS OF LIBRARY BOOK LISTS
n.d.
These two ledgers contain the books which George Phillips had in his library. Each listing includes the author of the book, the title, and the publisher.

PRINTED MATERIAL

MEMBERSHIP CARDS
1908-1966.
Listed chronologically.
Included are membership cards of various groups to which George Phillips belonged. Included in these are a church, the Patriotic League, and the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools.

PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL

UNIDENTIFIED TINTYPE AND PHOTO ALBUM
1940-1951.
The tintype is not dated and of an unknown person. The photo album contains pictures taken by George and Myrtle Phillips and also pictures of their house taken in 1951. The photographs are all black and white.

OVERSIZE MATERIAL

HONORARY DEGREE SCRAPBOOK
1941-1971.
This was compiled by George Phillips and contains newspaper clippings and letters relating to the Honorary Doctorate he received from the University of Cincinnati in 1968.

MY LIFE CAREER BOOK--GEORGE A. PHILLIPS
1900-1968.
This book contains the life history of George Phillips from his beginning schooling in 1900 to his Honorary Doctorate in 1968. Also covered in this book are his marriage, farming career, education at Western Michigan University, teaching career in Cincinnati, and administrative career as principal of Harriet Beecher Stowe School.

ENCAPSULATED NEWSPAPER--THE UNION
1948.
This is a copy of a black newspaper published in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 22, 1948. It has four pages and its editor is W. P. Dabney. Most of the articles deal with political issues and their relation to blacks.

Inventory

Box 1

Folders

  1. Correspondence between George and Myrtle Phillips, 1906-1908
  2. Correspondence between George and Myrtle Phillips, 1909-1965
  3. Correspondence with Mrs. Dulsie A. Butler, 1963-1967
  4. Correspondence with Wilson B. Decker, 1923-1962
  5. Correspondence with Opal Fulwood, 1956-1967
  6. Correspondence with Mr. & Mrs. John Mines, 1964-1967
  7. Correspondence from Eliza J. Pettiford, 1907-1908
  8. Correspondence with Rev. James Phillips, 1953-1966
  9. Correspondence with Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Simmons, 1956-1963
  10. Correspondence with family members, 1910-1967

Box 2

Folders

  1. Copies of letters written by George Phillips, 1906
  2. Copies of letters written by George Phillips, January-May 1907
  3. Copies of letters written by George Phillips, May-December 1907
  4. Copies of letters written by George Phillips, 1908
  5. Correspondence with educational and business contacts, 1907-1947
  6. Correspondence of a personal nature, 1907-1964
  7. Correspondence, general, 1902-1972

Box 3

Folders

  1. Education: administration of school personnel and thesis writing, 1928, 1931
  2. Education: college and university records and credentials, 1917-1945
  3. Education: college and university records and credentials, 1946-1968
  4. Education: elementary arithmetic and judging history textbooks, 1925
  5. Education: elementary curriculum, 1929
  6. Education: laboratory in learning, 1931-1932
  7. Education: master's thesis--F. J. Henry, 1931
  8. Education: seminar--Negro education, 1925
  9. Education: student notebooks, 1930

Box 4

Folders

  1. Education: student notebooks, 1931
  2. Education: student reports and biology notes, 1930
  3. Education: term reports, 1930
  4. Education: miscellaneous, 1906-1956
  5. Autograph book, 1953
  6. Autograph book, 1956
  7. "Collection of well-put statements," n.d.

Box 5

Folders

  1. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1932
  2. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1933
  3. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1934
  4. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1935
  5. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1940
  6. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1941
  7. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1943

Box 6

Folders

  1. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1944
  2. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1945
  3. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1946
  4. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1947
  5. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1948
  6. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1949

Box 7

Folders

  1. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1950
  2. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1951
  3. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1952
  4. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1953
  5. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1954

Box 8

Folders

  1. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1955
  2. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1956
  3. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1957
  4. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1958
  5. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1959

Box 9

Folders

  1. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1960
  2. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1961
  3. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1962
  4. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1963
  5. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1964

Box 10

Folders

  1. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1965
  2. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1966
  3. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1967
  4. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1968
  5. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1969

Box 11

Folders

  1. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1970
  2. Diary of Myrtle Phillips, 1971
  3. Family album of letters and writings, 1871
  4. Family genealogy, n.d.
  5. Family record and trips, 1933-1947
  6. "Pioneer history of settlements in Paulding County," 1968
  7. "Reflections on Dr. & Mrs. Good's grandchildren," 1953-1965
  8. "My struggle for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree," 1939
  9. Financial ledger, 1912-1950

Box 12

Folders

  1. Mr. & Mrs. James W. Butler scrapbook, 1913-1969
  2. Mrs. Iola Mae (Phillips) Dempsy scrapbook, 1948-1952
  3. Memory book--scrapbook, 1844-1974
  4. Messrs. Plumb, Sherry, Shinaberry scrapbook, 1914-1976
  5. Newspaper clippings, 1924-1975

Box 13

Folders

  1. Ledger of library book lists, n.d.
  2. Ledger of library book lists, n.d.
  3. Printed material: membership cards, 1908-1966
  4. Unidentified tintype, n.d.
  5. Photo album, 1940-1951
Oversize Material
  1. Scrapbook--Honorary degree, 1941-1971
  2. Book--"My Life Career" by George A. Phillips, 1900-1968
  3. Newspaper--The Union, 1948

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