Atoka County, Oklahoma Genealogy
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THE TRAVELS OF Hartwell Phillips

Hartwell was born on Arbuckle's Island in the Arkansas River just east of Ft. Smith in 1897, where his father Jim, rented a farm. It was near Jim's wife's family, the McCREAS and the NESBITTS.

When Hartwell was very young, Jim took his small family and moved to Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma where his parents had settled near the small  town of Wanette. Jim's father had bought a farm near his cousin, William A. TROUSDALE. William's son William Bell 'Billy' TROUSDALE became the first sheriff of Pottawatomie county in 1895.

Jim later moved his family to Lindsey in Garvin Co. The PHILLIP'S house was on the bank of the Washita River where Hartwell learned to swim, when Jim tied two one gallon Karo syrup buckets together and threw them and Hartwell into the river. Hartwell's younger brother, Albert, told of Jim and Hartwell walking miles upstream and riding logs back down.

Jim was a restless sort and moved fairly often. When Hartwell was about fourteen, they moved again.

With three wagons loaded with their goods they headed for Atoka County. Jim drove one, Hartwell another and a hired hand named Walter drove the third.

Hartwell quit school after the eighth grade to work on the farm. When he was twenty, World War I was raging so Hartwell joined the army. He took his training at Camp Pike, Arkansas.

In the nationwide flu epidemic of 1917-1918, Hartwell was hospitalized when his unit shipped out for France.

It was irrelevant, as it turned out, since the armistice was signed before they got into combat.

After the war, Hartwell went to work for the Post Office and attended Tyler Commercial College in Tyler, Texas.

The PHILLIPS family by this time had moved again, to the community of Star, about two or three miles east of Boggy Depot. This was not far from where the Williams family lived.

Soon Hartwell and Beulah WILLIAMS were married and went into business in Atoka.

The timing was terrible. The depression was starting and folks could not pay their bills. The store went broke and Hartwell and Beulah moved back to the country at New Hope.

Hartwell fed his family by hunting and trapping. He was well known for his skill with trap and rifle. It was at this time that their son, Carl was born.

Eventually the family lived in Tushka and then Antlers and finally when World War II came along, Hartwell loaded his family into their 1937 Chevrolet sedan and went to California.

Hartwell found work as a welder at the Pacific Bridge Shipyard in Alameda, California.

Housing was impossible to find so he stayed with his sister-in-law Jewell CHAPMAN and her family in a one room apartment until he found a place to stay.

He soon contracted pneumonia and passed away at San Jose, California in 1943. Beulah took him back to Atoka for burial.

Submitted by Carl Phillips.

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State Coordinator: Linda Simpson Asst. State Coordinator: Mel Owings