Iowa Old Press

Oskaloosa Daily Herald
Oskaloosa, Mahaska co. Iowa
February 27, 1912

"Aunt" Semirah Phillips, one of Oskaloosa's oldest citizens and the first school teacher in Mahaska County, died this morning. Mrs. Semirah Ann Phillips, aged 85 years, 9 months and 8 days, passed away at her home, No. 316 South Market Street, at 2:16 o'clock, Tuesday morning, February 27, 1912, of old age after a decline covering a period of several months. Funeral services at 2:30 o'clock p.m., Wednesday, February 28. Interment in Forest Cemetery. "Aunt Semirah," as she was called by almost everyone, was possibly the best known woman in Oskaloosa. She was likewise the oldest "old resident" of the city, having come to the village when it contained but a few people and a small cluster of primitive log buildings. She was the first school teacher of the County and has resided in Mahaska for a period of 68 years. She was married to T.Garl Phillips in January, 1846, and was the mother of two sons, O.Q. Phillips, deceased, and O.C.G. Phillips, well-known attorney of Oskaloosa, who survives. Miss Dot Phillips and Mrs. Jenkin Davis are
grand-daughters. Mrs. Phillips was in many ways a remarkable woman, of high intellectual attainment and accomplishment. She is the author of a history of Mahaska County and was a deep student of current events and human affairs up until a few months preceding her death. The family home for years has been in the
two-story brick residence, No. 316 South Market Street, where the silent messenger bore the last summons this morning. It is one of the better of the pioneer homes of the city and known to practically every one who knows anything of the town as the "Phillips place." The sympathy of the town and county goes out to the family. In the passing of Aunty Semirah Phillips there has been removed one of the last links that has retained for us a personal contact with those early pioneer days of the community, of which the deceased possessed a better knowledge and memory and a deeper personal experience than any of those now left of the old day.

[note: transcriber of article not related; there is a photo included in article.]
[transcribed by J.D.P., February 2005]

Iowa Old Press
Mahaska County