More than 100 descendants of Brooklyn pioneer John Phillips, who settled in this community in 1860, gathered here recently from the Southwest to honor their forebear by placing a plaque and headstone at his grave.
John Phillips, a native of New Jersey born in 1811, sailed on the ship's well-known six-month, 24,000-mile voyage carrying Church members from New York to San Francisco, Calif. He then traveled to Salt Lake City in 1848 and later returned to San Francisco where he met and married Merab Gordge, an Australian widow and convert. Travelling back to Utah, the family was asked to return to California to help settle San Bernardino, where they remained until recalled by Brigham Young in 1857 at the coming of Johnston's Army. They returned to Washington County and settled in Beaver in 1860, where they lived for the rest of their lives.
A great-granddaughter, Ruby Phillips Nicol, and several other descendants helped organize the family effort for a headstone to replace a decayed wooden one, and hold a family reunion in Beaver.
"Because of the great success of the family reunion, another one is planned for next year to . . . enlarge on the family tree and genealogies," said Dorothy Kennedy, a descendant.