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The Family History Files of Dalton Ray Phillips







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We are all in this together.

I support old fashioned values. If that offends you then you probably don't want to be here.


Many hours of work have been put into the research and documentation of the people listed on these pages. I would like to thank everyone who helped me with my family history research since I started this project in 1995.

The original version of the website contains most of the information files for the family lines.

You can access it by following this link:

I believe this new version of the website will let you find pertinent information faster. I am including all of my general notes, which I have not made public before. I hope you will benefit from the information presented here.

Table of Contents

bullet  Surname List
bullet  Index of Names
bullet  Sources (Bibliography)


I am putting all of this documentation together and presenting it on the web for several reasons -

 (1) I believe it is important and deserves to be documented 

(2) I believe some of it will benefit others at some point in time

(3) it has taken me several years to gather this information - I believe it should be preserved and presented for the benefit of other researchers.

I am getting old and I don't spend as much time on the genealogy research as I used to but I am determined to keep this running as long as I can. Feel free to drop me an e-mail.

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The Big Country

The area of Texas where I grew up is known as the Staked Plains and is also known to the locals as "The Big Country".  That is a fair description for it - "Wide open spaces, with no trees to spoil the view!" I used to describe it as "the out back of Texas" when I was away in the Navy, telling stories about it.

Sam Houston

Sketch of Sam Houston.

Comanche Warrior

When I travel back there, one of the first things I want to do is to go take a look at the old mountains. I find a secluded place with a good view, like the one in the photograph. I just walk around, breathing fresh air, looking and enjoy being alive. I can see why it was a special place for the Comanches.

The Double Mountains near Rotan, Texas

Sacred ground to the Comanche's - a home of the great Chief Quanah Parker - written about by early Spanish Explorers - Double Mountain Ranch was owned by the late great Sammy Baugh - legendary Washington Redskins football quarterback.

Dalton Ray Phillips, HTCS (SW), U.S.Navy (about 1987)

I was born and raised in Rotan, Fisher County, Texas. It is located on the staked plains of west Texas, between Abilene and Lubbock.  It is now known as "The Big Country" - I sometimes like to call it "the outback of Texas".  In Texas history, it was part of the Comancheria, a vast empire inhabited almost entirely by Comanche Indians until the late 1860's. A few whiles passed through there back in the earlier times but the Comanche's were fiercely protective and the whites had no desire to stay there. The first actual  white settlers established several large cattle ranches and everything was centered around them for many years. The railroads started coming through that part of the country in the 1880's and 1890's, and new roads were established as the region became more populated.  Gradually, over time, the big ranches were broken up and opened up for general homesteading and the smaller farms and ranches that we see there today were created, along with many small towns, including Rotan. I can not claim that my ancestors were among those early settlers - as a matter of fact, my father was working as a laborer -  putting in new highways out there in the late 1930's, as part of President Roosevelt's program to create jobs and keep men working so we could pull out of the Great Depression . He made friends with several people in Rotan, liked it and moved his family there around 1944. I must admit that I couldn't wait to get away from there when I was a boy. When I turned 18 in 1964, I joined the U.S. Navy. I now have fond memories about growing up there.

Now fully retired, I have several websites going and tinker around with drawing. I am pretty much confined to the home nowadays so piddling around with my sketching helps me pass the time and stay out of the wife's way. You can see more of my artwork in my CafePress shop -  My Safe Place. It is a commercial site but you don't have to buy anything.


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        Please be advised that I do not have photographs for most of the people shown here. Most of the sketches are based on my imagination and are not represented as being exact likenesses for the people named.

Artist's rendering - no photos


William W. Gooch & Keziah Ann Hart. Married about 1746 in VA. Parents of James Gooch. I believe he was born in Virginia but I am not sure of it. A prosperous tobacco planter, he fought as a soldier in the American Army during the Revolutionary War. Late in his life, he was interviewed about his family history by a related Methodist Minister, which was recorded in a journal. The main point he wanted to make is that he was not a Scot. He said he spoke with a heavy brogue but was of English descent. The Scots were not popular in that part of the country during that period because many of them had sided with the British Army. Keziah died young and William married again, to a lady named Francis Rice. He had two sets of children. Our Line comes from the first marriage. When he died, he willed several Negro slaves to family members - along with livestock and ducks.

Click here to read more about the Gooch families.


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James Gooch & Elisabeth Kelly. Married August 3, 1785 in Caswell Co., NC. Parents of William Gooch. James was the wandering kind. While most of his siblings settled down to be farmers or merchants after growing up, James was constantly on the move, traveling to South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. The Kelly's were well established and owned plantations in Georgia and South Carolina. James marched to the beat of a different drummer - that is for sure.


Gabriel Phillips (the elder) & wife ????. Married about  1785 in SC. Parents of Gabriel Phillips (the younger). Gabriel Phillips was among the first from this line to arrive in America. He migrated here from Ireland. Family legend holds that the family was pressed out of Wales in the the early 1700's because of their religious beliefs - moving to Ireland. Some of them were being persecuted in Ireland by the middle 1700's and they made the move on to America.




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James Hembree & Asanath Gentry. Married about 1790, probably in SC. James was a clergyman., a Methodist Minister.




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Jesse Kuykendall & Jeannie Hall. Married about 1801 in TN. They were the parents of Mary Kuykendall. The Kuykendall line had earlier roots in the state of New York. They were among the earliest settlers there, migrating from Holland in the 1600's. They migrated to Tennessee when it opened up for settlement after 1750. From what I read about them, they were of the old aristocratic class in Tennessee.



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James CallahanMary Foley. Married in 1804 in Wilkes Co., GA.. Parents of James Hughes Callahan. I believe his father's name was Edward and he was probably born in America. His grandfather may have been named John and he probably migrated to America from Ireland, arriving in Pennsylvania between 1730 and 1740. I believe James started the family's wagon making enterprise.


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James Clinton Neill & Margaret Harriett Ferguson. Married 1807, Probably in TN. Parents of Samuel Clinton Neill. A professional soldier, he was wounded at the Battle of Horse Shoe Bend in Tennessee in 1814. He served as a LT COL in the Texian Army under General Sam Houston. He was in command of the Alamo in early 1836 and took a leave of absence a few weeks before the Mexican invaders arrived. His reason used for taking leave was to  attend to a seriously ill relative. He turned it over to LT COL William Travis. It is noted that his wife died in February of 1836. The Alamo was under siege from February 23 - March, 6 of 1836, when it finally fell. He ran the artillery at the Battle of San Jacinto. He was wounded in the hip there by shrapnel fragments from an exploding cannon burst. Afterwards, some branded him as a coward for shirking his duty at the Alamo but he was held in high esteem by Sam Houston until his death in 1845.

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Johnson Day & Sarah Hembree. Married about 1814, probably in SC. Parents of Sarah Medissa Day. They came to Texas in 1836. Johnson died not long after they settled in Sequin, Texas and I do not have much information about him. In some documents, he is referred to as "Judge Day". Sarah was deeply religious. She was the daughter of a Methodist minister. She operated a boarding house in Sequin  for many years after her husband died. The boarding house was right down the street from the Old Ranger Station.


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Gabriel Phillips (the younger) & Abbey Rainmaker. Married about 1825 in Spartenburg District, SC. Parents of Calvin Phillips. I believe he was a Christian Missionary who had great admiration for the Cherokees. I had thought Abbey Rainmaker was a Cherokee but that cannot be proven. After their marriage, they chose to live with the Cherokees and raised their sons there - in the ways of the Cherokee.

Artist's rendering - no photos


William Gooch & Sarah ??? Married about 1815 in SC. Unproven parents of William Martin Gooch. I know little about William Gooch and his wife. I believe he was a son of James and Elisabeth (Kelly) Gooch but that is not proven. He appears in records for South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi. He is a weak link in my Gooch family line because I cannot say with certainty who his parents were. He was listed as a farmer in census records and sometimes worked as a blacksmith and wagon maker. He died of consumption in 1859 in Mississippi. His farm was located near the farm of William Martin Gooch in the 1850 records and I believe they were father and son. In the 1840 census, another farm nearby was owned by Tillman Gooch. I believe William and Tillman were brothers. There also seems to be a link between him and  Billy Gosling Gooch in Lancaster County, South Carolina. I have not been able to make a direct tie between them that can be verified but they were in communication with each other. He also had communications with members of the Thomas Gooch line, who lived in McNairy Co., Tennessee, just across the state line from Mississippi.  Billy Gosling Gooch was a cruel slave holder who was written about in the "The Narratives of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper from American Slavery".  Thomas Gooch was a Baptist Minister.

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Shadrach Reddick & Nellie Smith.Married September 6, 1821 in Sangamon Co., IL. Parents of Rachael Reddick. Shadrach spent h several years as a soldier and Indian Fighter. He served under General Andrew Jackson and fought in campaigns against Indians in Florida, Tennessee and the Mississippi Territory. It seems that he settled down to being a blacksmith and farmer after he married Nellie. Nellie died and he ended up in northwest Arkansas, living near his grown children in the late 1840's. Around 1850, he decided to go to Oregon. Shadrach and his sons built three wagons especially for the trip and they set out on the old Oregon Trail. His adventurous spirit had been awakened, even though he was already an old man, by the standards of that time. He died in Oregon before 1860.

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Elijah "Lige" Oliver & Mary Kuykendall.  Married about 1830 in TN. Parents of Elizabeth Jane Oliver. Elijah was a prosperous merchant and community leader in northeast Mississippi. He came from poor roots in Rockingham Co., North Carolina. He was very friendly and treated all people fairly. He had a reputation for being honest. Mary had aristocratic roots and sometimes looked down on the common folks and the Chickasaws. She was a haughty and aloof lady and bragged about being kin to Daniel Boone, although I see no proof of that. The Oliver family plot is in the Old Baldwyn Cemetery near the town of Baldwyn, Mississippi. The graves are located on high ground. Many of the old grave markers are now toppled and broken up but they were once splendid monuments.


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Samuel Clinton Neill & Lourahama Berry. Married June 13, 1841 in TX. Parents of Sarah Elizabeth Neill. I know very little about Samuel. I believe Lourahama was an Indian - possibly Osage. She had a connection to the Francis Berry family but I am not sure how they were related. At first, I thought she was his daughter but that does not seem to be the case. Francis Berry arrived in Texas in the 1820's. He was already an old man. He was an adventurous man who lived his life on the edge of civilization. He lived in Missouri before coming to Texas. It is written that he was friends with Daniel Boone. With his lifestyle, Lourahama may have been a gift that was presented to Francis by one of the Indian Chiefs. Several cousins believe  Lourahama was a natural daughter of Francis Berry and was not an Indian. I have doubts about it. We will probably never know. 

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James Hughes Callahan & Sarah Medissa Day. Married March 26, 1843 in Gonzeles Co., TX. Parents of James Sanford Callahan. James came to Texas in late 1835 as part of the Georgia volunteer. He fought in the Texian Revolution and  later served as a Captain over frontier Texas Rangers. He was killed in a gunfight with a neighbor in April of 1856.

You can read more about James Hughes Callahan by clicking here.

Sarah died about five months after her husband was killed in April of 1856. It is believed that she died from grief and sorrow. Their children - 3 sons and 2 daughters -  were left in the charge of a guardian.

Artist's rendering - photos on file

William Martin Gooch & Elizabeth Jane Oliver. Married June 5, 1849 in Tishomingo Co., MS. Parents of William Elijah "Lige" Gooch. William was a farmer and blacksmith. In the early days of the Civil War, while serving as a Confederate militiaman, he suffered gunpowder burns to his face and eyes when a cannon backfired. He was brought home blind and in great pain. A female Negro slave gathered herbs and secret ingredients to cook up a special salve. When it was applied to the burns, it seemed to work wonders. At first Elizabeth scoffed at the "Voodoo medicine" but later credited it with saving his eyesight - possibly even his life. He may have been impacted by the war experience for the rest of his life. Family business was always done by Elizabeth and her signature appears on everything. It makes me wonder if he was handicapped by poor eyesight or other issues. We know that she was a very strong willed and controlling person so it could be that is just the way they did things. We will probably never know.


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Calvin Phillips & Rachael Reddick. Married December 20, 1849 in Benton Co., AR. Parents of John Wesley Phillips.  I believe Calvin was raised among the Cherokees, in their way, and spent time with them whenever he could as an adult. If I remember right, my father said Rachael was a school teacher in her younger days. Calvin took his family to Texas in the 1870's. They appear in the 1880 Cooke Co., Texas census records. Several members of the family moved into the Chickasaw Nation of the Indian Territory before 1890. I believe Calvin and Rachael moved with them. I have not found any documentation showing that they were in the Indian Territory. I am curious about what drew so many white people to the Indian Territory in the 1880's and 1890's. History shows that it was a wild and lawless place to live in those times and it was a safe haven for outlaws. I know there was strip mining for coal going on in the area of the Chickasaw Nation, where my Phillips family settled. My father's stories about his boyhood while living near Wapanuka, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, indicate Calvin was still alive in 1905. It seems that he lived near them.

Artist's rendering - photos on file


James Sanford Callahan & Sarah Elizabeth Neill. Married January 24, 1866 in Caldwell Co., TX. Parents of Willie Katherine Callahan. James was a laborer and jack-of-all-trades. He rode as a cavalryman for the Confederacy during the Civil War, spending most of his time patrolling the frontier, trying to keep the Indians in check. He served as a frontier Texas Ranger for short term assignments from time to time during the 1870's. He seemed to prefer working with horses. Sarah was a small energetic woman. She was outspoken about not liking Indians, although she admitted that she had Indian blood. She said, "If I knew which of my veins carry the Indian blood, I would rip them out." She served as a midwife to help pregnant women in distress in the sparsely populated Chickasaw Nation, which had few doctors. She died around 1900, from complications after being bit by a poisonous snake. James lived until after November of 1917. I lose track of him then. I could not find a record of his death or burial. I believe he was living in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma near a small town named America, Oklahoma, when he died. He may have lived in the home of a daughter, Carrie.

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William Elijah "Lige" Gooch & Sarah Elizabeth Jane Davis. Married October 30, 1872 in Lee Co., MS. Parents of Jesse Gooch. An interesting man - I am of the opinion that he was an "unrepentant rebel" and never got over the humiliation the southerners suffered after losing the Civil War. He ran away at age twelve to join the Confederate Army. Legend holds that he was a drummer boy but I found no proof of it. There is also a story about him being captured by the Yankees and serving time in a prisoner of war camp in Illinois or Indiana, not making it back to his home in Mississippi until 1867. I could not verify that. He had a falling out with his son, Jess - my grandfather - in the early 1900's. They parted ways and as far as I know there was no contact between them after that. My mother, Mava, corresponded with him by mail while she was a girl. Her father found out about it and put a stop to it. Sarah died before 1910, probably in Paris, Lamar Co., Texas. William died in 1929 in Fort Worth, Tarrant Co., Texas. Jesse apparently adored his mother, Sarah. In the stories I remember my mother telling, Jess left home when he was 16, shortly after his mother died. He blamed his father, Lige, for her early death, saying that he was more concerned about making money than caring for his sick wife. I now know she did not die when he was 16 because she was alive in 1900 and shows up in the census records for Paris, Lamar Co., Texas. That is part of the mystery that still needs to be resolved. Lige Gooch may not have been the villain that I thought he was because there are two sides to every story.


Artist's rendering - photos on file

Artist's rendering - photos on file

John Wesley Phillips & Willie Katherine "Kate" Callahan. Married in 1889 in the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory. Parents of Walter Lee Phillips. They were both common salt of the earth people with no frills. John was laid back and Kate was high energy. John considered himself to be the manager of the family. It was a matter of pride. At harvest time, the wife and children would do the heavy work of picking cotton while John stayed on the wagon, which was parked in the shade. When the wagon was full, he hauled it to the cotton gin in town. I believe this trait was passed down to him by his father, Calvin, who was raised as a Cherokee. Indian men were hunters and warriors and they did not get involved with child rearing or domestic chores. John died in 1939. Kate died in 1950. They are buried side by side in the White Point Cemetery near Comanche, Texas. A severely retarded daughter named Lizzie is buried with them.



Jesse James Gooch & Bessie Fannen. Married December 26, 1901 in Paris, Lamar Co., TX. Parents of Mava Opal Gooch. He is the main reason I started this research project back in 1995. He died many years before I was born. My mother passed on many stories about him. He told stories about growing up somewhere in the old south. His father was named Lige and he described him as a mean spirited and cruel man who hated the Negroes. The years between about 1880 and 1915 in his life were pretty much a mystery. I set to work on unraveling the mystery around old Jess. I was able to untangle some of it, but there are still many questions that need to be answered. My mother never knew her natural mother, Bessie. Jesse and Bessie were together in 1910, living in Ada, Oklahoma - as proven by census records. They parted under mysterious circumstances shortly after that. Mother remembered living with a family in Snyder, Oklahoma as a small child. Her father picked her up and brought her to the little town of Mullin, Texas around 1915, when she was 6 years old. It seems like he was hiding and  wanted to stay off the beaten path. Within a few years he married a widow lady with 3 young daughters still at home. It was a marriage of convenience - he needed a caregiver for his little daughter and she needed help with providing for herself and the three girls.  He died January 31, 1935 in Brownwood, Brown Co., Texas. He is buried in the White Point Cemetery near Comanche, Texas.

You can read more about Jess and others in my Gooch family line by clicking here.




Walter Lee Phillips & Ethyl Beaty. Married in 1916 in TX. Parents of four daughters. Parted by divorce about 1931.

My father never talked much about this marriage. It was a chapter of his life that he had closed many years ago. I know they had four daughters. The only one I ever met was Jewel ("Judy"), who was born in 1917. The other girls were younger, born 2 or 3 years apart. . After their divorce, Ethyl married an Army officer. It was the days of the great depression. Dad gave up his parental rights because it was the best thing to do - for the girls sake.

Eustice Houston Price & Mava Opal Gooch. Married 1925 in Coleman, Coleman Co., TX. Parents of Loretta June Price. Parted by the the unexpected death of Eustice in 1928. He was the love of my mother's life. Losing him at that early age was a tragedy in her life

Artist's rendering - photos on file

Merle Reid & Mava Opal Gooch. Married about 1930 in Brownwood, Brown Co., TX. Parted by annulment in 1931. They married too fast and were simply not compatible. Merle was not prepared for taking over the father role for a young child that was not his. My mother was still deeply in love with Eustice and remained so for the rest of her life. Mother would later admit that none of the men in her life could ever replace Eustice in her heart.





Artist's rendering - photos on file

Walter Lee Phillips & Mava Opal Gooch. Married in 1933 in TX. Parents of Dalton Ray Phillips and four other sons. Parted by divorce in 1956 in Rotan, Fisher Co., TX. He is buried in the White Point Cemetery near Comanche, Texas




Joe Stanley Howard & Mava Opal Gooch. Married in 1962 in Rotan, Fisher Co., TX. Parted by the death of Joe Stanley on April 25, 1970. Joe is buried in the Dow Community Cemetery near Rotan, Texas. Mava lived until December 23, 1976, when she died in Sweetwater, Texas. he is buried in the White Point Cememtery near Comanche, Texas - next to her father.




Artist's rendering - photos on file


Dalton Ray Phillips & Dorothy Katherine (Kathy) Herring. Married April 26, 1994 in Jacksonville, Duval Co., FL. Parted by the death of Kathy on March 20, 2015 in Temple, Bell Co., TX. Kathy was my wife and my best friend. We moved from Florida back to our native Texas in 2004. We shared many good times and some bad times together. Losing Kathy was very painful for me.



Artist's rendering - photos on file

Dalton Ray Phillips & Linda Diane May. Married March 24, 2016 in Sweetwater, Nolan Co., TX. We had a short romance back in the middle 1970's, when we were both single and unattached. I was 29 and she was 18. It did not work out. Fate brought us back together again in January of 2016, when I was 69 and she was 58. I had lost my first wife, Kathy, and Linda had been divorced for several years. Within a few months, we were married. We now live together in marital bliss in New Haven, Indiana. She is the sunshine in my life - my Lovely Linda.

* Records marked as <UNVERIFIED CONNECTION> should not be accepted as facts without further research.  I believe the family links are there,  as described, but it has not been possible for me to prove it. Especially in the Gooch lines, everything gets muddled and it all runs together because so many of them had the same first names with similar birthdates.

Timeline Sketches and Highlights of my father ...

Walter Lee Phillips

Walter Lee Phillips was my father. He was a son of John Wesley and Willie Katherine (Callahan) Phillips. He was a grandson of Calvin Phillips and a great grandson of James Hughes Callahan and Gabriel Phillips. He was born in 1896 in Wapanucka, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory.

During his lifetime, my father faced many challenges. He was never one to complain or whine. When obstacles got in his way, he figured out  a way to get through them, around them, over them or under them. That is what people did back then. He was a survivor.


1920 Prosperous times. Dad was a cocky and over confidant young man. He had a pretty young wife and they had started a family. They would have four daughters together.  He had also started a trucking business in the border town of Del Rio, Texas, with a partner named Jack and it was doing well. He was at the top of his game.

1935 Days of the Great Depression. His first marriage ended around 1928. It was a trying time period for most folks in America, including Dad. The crash of the stock market in 1929 was the start of the Great Depression. Dad was no saint. For a few years his primary means for making money was bootlegging illegal liquor. He married my mother, Mava Opal Gooch, in 1933. By 1935, Dad had settled down and was foreman for a big rancher. He ran the hands and took care of the livestock and my mother did the cooking for the whole crew, normally between 10 and 20 men. He was paid very little but they were provided with a house to live in, groceries and and the other essentials. They considered themselves to be very fortunate.

1948 Happy days. Jobs were abundant in the years after World War II ended. This is the way I remember Dad when I was a little boy. Dad was like a big kid. He was happy and laughing all of the time. He always had time for us kids. I would climb all over him as he sat in his easy chair in the evenings. Those evening sessions were an important part of my life. It was my special time with Daddy. He told me stories and I told him stories. All of my stories were lies and I am sure some of his were too.


1955 Dark times. From about 1952  to 1957 Dad went through some very depressing days. He was always tired, had money problems and his marriage to my mother was coming apart. His life was in shambles. He was not happy. He was always solemn and grim. He spent little time with us kids. He was hard to approach. He stayed at work as much as he could.

1958 On the rebound. In typical fashion, Dad pulled himself out of the doldrums. After the divorce with my mother became final in 1957, he accepted it and quit grieving over it. He adapted to his new situation and made some changes in his lifestyle.  It was like he turned over a new page in his life. He became more outgoing again and made new friends. He had little formal schooling but was intelligent and naturally inquisitive. He read the newspaper every day. He was especially interested in politics and was a hardcore Democrat. He often had spirited discussions with others about politics and could hold his own with any of them.


1966 Fulfillment. The years between 1960 and 1969 were very good for Dad. He had the old drive, self confidence and his "country boy charm" back. He had a gift for gab and did not know any strangers.  He enjoyed being around other people and was always good for a story. He enjoyed his grandchildren and liked to spoil them. His health was still good and he had a little extra money so he could travel around some and see places he had never seen before. I spent many pleasant days with Dad during this period of his life. I got to know him as a real person, on a grown up level. I had great respect for him. There was always a side to him that he kept hidden. He always tried to stay positive, which is to his credit. He was never one to complain. He took everything in stride and I never heard him whine about anything.


1970 Near the end. Dad's health started to fail in 1969. He had to have his right leg amputated above the knee because of poor blood circulation. He mastered getting around on crutches and then using the new artificial limb he was fitted with. His physical activities were still very limited. His life had always been his work and he was never the same after became an invalid. He died in January of 1971. May he rest in peace.


Highlights of my great grandfather ...

Calvin Phillips




When my father was in his late 60's, he  talked about a grandfather he spent time with as a small boy when they lived on the reservation in Oklahoma. He described him as an old Indian man who wore his hair in braids. He was toothless and had a bad scar on one side of his face -  with part of the ear missing. We know the family left the Chickasaw Nation in the Indian Territory to settle on a farm in Comanche County, Texas around 1905, when Dad would have been 9 years old. Oklahoma came into the Union as as a State in 1907. I believe that grandfather Dad talked about was Calvin Phillips. Several cousins have pointed out that there is no Indian blood indicated in the DNA checks they had done. I appreciate their information and I admit that I cannot show Indian connections on the Phillips side of the family by looking at the documentation I have found. Several family members believed there is Indian blood in the family, as shown in old correspondence and journals. In all honesty - I do not know why Calvin Phillips would want to look like an Indian, if he was not one. I can only theorize about it.

Calvin Phillips was my great grandfather. He was born in South Carolina between 1820 and 1830. I believe he spent a great deal of time with the Cherokees during his lifetime. I have not proven Cherokee connections by blood but I know he wanted to look like an Indian.  He chose to wear his hair long - Indian style, often in braids. He also had many of the Indian ways. He is shown above as I believe he would have looked around 1860 and again around 1900. His parents were Gabriel Phillips and Abbey Rainmaker. I believe Gabriel was a Christian Missionary - probably a Methodist. He had great admiration for the Cherokees and was sympathetic with the plight of all of the Native Americans -  as the white settlers closed in on them, to gobble up their lands and spoil the ecology. Calvin married Abbey Rainmaker, who I had theorized as being a Cherokee. That is apparently not the case. I believe they lived among the Cherokees for several years. They raised their sons in the Cherokee way. This is pure speculation on my part. All of this is lost to history and I will probably never be able to prove it, with the records that still exist. If anyone has more information on this point, I would appreciate hearing it.


Highlights of my great great great grandfather ...

Elijah Oliver

Elijah Oliver was my great great great grandfather. He was born December 29, 1811 in North Carolina and grew up there. He was from a large family but I have no details about them.  According to stories, he came to Tennessee alone as a young man. Others from the family may have followed him there later. He peddled simple products that people needed up and down the Old Nathez Trail for a couple of years. He was a hard working and ambitious young man and had a gift for gab. He figured he could make his mark by selling folks the basic things they needed. He started out simple - selling items that could be loaded in a well used mule drawn wagon. He got to know the people and was liked by all of the white settlers and Indians that he called on. He was a smart merchant and knew the key to success was to provide folks with things they wanted and needed at a fair price. He earned a reputation for being honest and dependable. His business thrived and grew. His wife was Mary Kuykendall. When he became interested in her in the 1820's, her parents were against their daughter having a relationship with him because they considered Elijah to be beneath them in class. In a discussion with Mary's father when he was ready to propose marriage, Elijah stated that he would someday be a wealthy man. They married, despite the disapproval of Mary's parents.  He later established several general mercantile stores, which were very prosperous. He was also involved in land speculation, the sale of liquor and may have traded in slaves. He was a leader in the community and served as a Justice-of-the-Peace in Corinth, Mississippi in the early 1840's . True to his word, Elijah Oliver became a very wealthy and influential man. A carriage accident in the early 1850's may have left him crippled and limited his physical activities. He died Oct 15,  1883 in Baldwyn, Prentiss Co., Mississippi.


Sketches of  ...

Joe Stanley Howard




Joe Stanley Howard was my step father. He was born April 26, 1908 in Fisher County, Texas. His family migrated from South Carolina and settled on homestead land in Fisher County, Texas sometime in the 1880's. They were among the earliest settlers. His father was a prominent farmer/rancher and merchant. Joe and my mother married in 1962. Joe was killed in April of 1970 in a farm tractor accident that happened on the property of his sister in Fisher County, Texas.



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Disgruntled ... YES!

Maybe I am just a disgruntled old man but I believe it was wrong for the maverick Federal District Judges to have the power to stop our President's Executive Order regarding limiting immigration. I believe they overstepped the bounds of their authority and intentionally created a road block for the Executive Branch simply because they do not like Donald Trump. Be that as it may be, he is the President of the United States. The order he issued was reasonable - in my unqualified opinion.  I support what he is doing. I am not a scholar but it seems to me that these judges have too much power and the oversight of it all is somehow lacking. I think there is something wrong with this picture. We need to get our elected representatives involved - first to find out if there is a disconnect somewhere that requires changes in the existing laws and second - to initiate action to impeach any Federal District Judge who intentionally tried to create an obstacle for the President without proper grounds.





I tell stories here about some of the people I knew when I was a boy growing up in Rotan, Fisher County, Texas. As far as I know - most of these people are deceased now. In no way do I intend to disrespect them by telling these stories.


I do not use a Guest Book. If you need to contact me, please send email.

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New book written by Dr. Joseph Luther coming out soon. Scheduled for release April 17, 2017. Please contact me for more information.


James Hughes Callahan was my great great grandfather.


Dalton Ray Phillips
New Haven, Indiana
- Specific address will be provided upon request.

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This Web Site was Created 20 Mar 2014 with Legacy 8.0 from Millennia


William Elijah "Lige" Gooch & Sarah Elizabeth Jane Davis. Married October 30, 1872 in Lee Co., MS.