Phillips, Cyrus E.


Born in Indiana in 1829, Cyrus E. Phillips was the fourth of six children born to Brannock and Eliza (Wells) Phillips. Cyrus’ parents moved to Indiana from Kentucky shortly before his birth, and then relocated to Iowa in their later years.

Cyrus headed to California in 1852 at age twenty-three. Two years later, on 10 February 1854, he married Mary Margaret Amick at Lexington, Indiana. Of the couple’s three children born in Indiana—Ida, Charles, and Ella—only Ella survived to adulthood. By 1860 Cyrus and Mary Margaret had moved to Iowa, where three more children were born to them: William, Fanny, and Harry. The couple was left with three living children when Fanny, too, died in 1866.

As a merchant, Cyrus apparently provided his family with a comfortable living. The 1870 and 1880 Iowa Censuses list servants in the household. Ella, William, and Harry all attended school, while Mary Margaret kept house.

Cyrus served as captain of the Eddyville Guards, Iowa Militia, during the Civil War. His sole sibling to also enlist for the war, Sardis, was killed in 1862. Cyrus lived to the age of seventy-four and died at Keokuk, Iowa in 1903.


1860 Iowa Census (Cyrus E. Phillips, Eddyville, WapelloCounty, 683).

1870 Iowa Census (C.E. Phillips, Keokuk, LeeCounty, 201).

1880 Iowa Census (Cyrus E. Phillips, Keokuk, LeeCounty, 279C).

Journal of Brannock Phillips (courtesy of Cyrus Phillips IV).