James R. Phillips
The Phillips Farm originated more than a century ago, when David Arthur Phillips purchased 160 acres of farmland south of Shelbyville in December 1910. In the early 1800s, the land was known as Holt’s Campground and was the site of religious camp meetings. Later on, the land was the site of a brief encampment of Confederate troops during the Civil War. A trench 100 yards long is still visible along what is now U.S. 231 South.
David and his wife, Bessie Campbell, raised corn, wheat, horses and mules, cattle and hogs on the farm. In 1912, the farmhouse burned, and the family moved into a two-room sharecropper’s cabin while their home was being rebuilt. One of their three children, Claude Wilson, was born in that cabin and spent his first winter there.
In 1970, Claude Wilson Phillips inherited 120 acres of the family farm. Although he did not own the land until 1970, Claude had worked on the farm where he was born from the late 1920s until his death in 1984. Claude and his wife, Lucille Dennis, and their children, James and Jettie raised corn, wheat, barley, beef cattle, hay and pasture. During World War II, the farm was the site of war games under Gen. George S. Patton as he prepared his troops to fight in the European theater.
James R. Phillips acquired the family farm in 1990. Of the 95 acres he farms, 16 belonged to his grandfather. James raises beef cattle with an emphasis on quality hay production and pasture. James and his wife, Marilyn Bryant, live on the farm that is a place not only of family and agricultural history, but religious and military history as well.