Newbury Township - The existence of the Phillips Family Cemetery was brought to our attention by Nick Clark, a descendant of those buried there. The cemetery is located near the Merle and Nora Lietz farm. The easiest way to get to the Phillips Cemetery is to take Vera Road south from I-70 for three miles. The cemetery is on the west side of Vera Road across and about 200 yards northwest of the farmhouse. Since the cemetery is on private property, please get permission from the landowners before visiting the cemetery. (location confirmed: 1 3/4 south of I-70; SE 1/4 Sec. 5 T12S R12E). May also be known as Walker Cemetery.
Phillips Allen (Sr.) Albert 12 Jun 1819 30 Jun 1878
Phillips Mary Elizabeth   30 Jun 1878
Hart Millie (8 year old daughter of George)    
Hill Beverly   1849 1870
Jewel Gertie (infant dau. of George and Bell)    
Phillips Jessie (small dau of Levi and Hanna)    
Phillips Johnny (small son of Levi and Hanna)    
Phillips Martha (8 year old dau of James and Clara)    
Ralston Daisy (small dau of Joseph and Nancy)    
Ralston Jose' (small son of Joseph and Nancy)    
Shreffler Enos (2 year old son of Daniel and Mandy)    
Walker Mary E.   1906
Walker Thomas Civil War Vet   1902
Walker Willie (adopted infant of Tom and Mary)    

The following history was provided by Nick Clark:

There is a very interesting story about the first burials, those of Allen and Mary Graham Phillips in 1878. They had made a trip to Topeka to visit their son Levi, and were returning home to their farm of 1,000 acres. They were crossing Mission Creek west of Topeka when a storm came up and their carriage was struck by lightening. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips were killed instantly--but the horses and carriage were not hurt. The next morning, their son Al Phillips, Jr. went out to do chores and found his parents dead in the carriage and the horses calmly eating hay from the bunk. According to their obituary, Mr. Phillips had said only a couple of weeks before their death that he had dreamed that they would soon die and would be together.

Also of interest in the cemetery is a huge stone that was chipped and hollowed out by the Indians of that area in prehistoric times. There used to be two of these stones in the cemetery, but the daughter of Mr. Phillips, Mable Phillips Herron and her husband Wilbur V. "Jack" Herron took one of the stones to their home in Maple Hill and planted flowers in it. He was the barber in Maple Hill and she ran a grocery store. When they were getting up in years, they took the stone to the Wabaunsee County Historical Museum, where it remains today. The other stone is still in the pasture at the Phillips Cemetery.

The cemetery used to be fenced but I don't know if it still is. There were several tombstones there. I remember my grandmother, Mable Jones Clark (Mrs. Jim) standing by the graves and crying at the headstone of James Walker, who was her age and hanged himself in the Jones family barn in Paxico. Mable Jones' father, Leander Emory "Deacon" Jones was a brother of Mrs. Phillips, making Mable and James cousins.

Allen Phillips was born on June 12, 1819 in Indiana and he and Mary Graham were married March 3, 1836 in Terre Haute, Indiana. They came to Wabaunsee County in 1868 and bought their farm from the Potawatomi Indians. They were killed on Sunday, June 30, 1878.


additional information from 2000's Stories of the Past, page 580.