JOHN EZRA PHILLIPS, M. D. No profession demands so much of its followers as that of medicine. The life of the physician of today is one of constant study, his spare moments filled with familiarizing himself with the various discoveries being made, his mind alert to take advantage of each opening to defeat disease, In the farming communities conditions for the doctor are not so favorable, for the time consumed in reaching patients, often miles away, gives the physician but little relaxation, and it is often only love for his profession that keeps him actively in its ranks. John Ezra Phillips, M. D., is not only a country physician with a large practice, but is also cultivating an excellent farm of two hundred acres, situated about eight miles northeast of Benton, in Franklin county. Dr. Phillips is a member of a family which settled here when this section was but a vast, heavily timbered forest, with Indians still lurking in ambush and wild game in plenty. He was born October 31, 1872, in Franklin county, and is a son of Horace and Minerva (Estes) Phillips.
Jacob Phillips, Sr., the great-grandfather of Dr. Phillips, was born in North Carolina., a son of a French-Huguenot who was driven from France during the religious troubles, came to America at an early day and participated in the Revolutionary war. Jacob removed from North Carolina to Ohio in 1804, and to Illinois in 1815, settling in White (now Franklin) county, where he was one of the very earliest settlers. His son, Jacob, Jr., was born in Ohio in 1811, and came to Illinois with his parents when four years of age. His life was spent on the farm, now operated by Dr. Phillips, where he died at the age of thirty-three years. He served as captain of a company during the Black Hawk war, and the hardships of soldier life undermined his health and hastened his death. Jacob Phillips had two sons: Horace and James, the latter of whom served during the Civil war and now resides in Franklin county. Horace Phillips was born and reared on the old homestead, received three months' schooling in a log schoolhouse, and throughout his life was engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was a faithful member of the Christian church. Horace Phillips married Minerva Estes, also a native of Franklin county, daughter of John Estes, who was born near where Ewing is now located, Franklin county, in 1809. He was a farmer and school teacher, served in the Black Hawk war, and died in Franklin county. He was a son of Joseph and Rita Estes, the former of whom came to Illinois from Kentucky in 1802, and with his horse and axe cleared a place near where Ewing now is, and returned to Kentucky for his family. During the remainder of his life he followed farming in Franklin and Jefferson counties.
John Ezra Phillips received his education in the public schools and took a scientific course at Ewing College, and then spent one year in the medical department of the University of Tennessee, at Nashville. Three years later he was graduated from the St. Louis University of Medicine,
in 1903, and after spending three years in a hospital in St. Louis, opened up an office and was engaged in practice for two years at Tenth and Price streets. About this time his father was taken sick and he returned home to take charge of the farm, which he has operated since his father's death. Dr. Phillips then settled down to the life of the country doctor, and is now known for miles around among the agriculturists of Franklin county. Giving the best and most sympathetic care to his patients, willing at all times to go to the bedside of the sick, no matter how far removed, he has won the affection of the entire countryside, and his practice is correspondingly large. Dr. Phillips finds time from his professional duties to superintend the farm, and has developed one of the best properties in his township. He has never married. In political matters he is a Democrat, fraternally he is a member of Ewing Blue Lodge, No. 705, A. F. & A. 31, and in his professional capacity holds membership in the state and county medical associations. He has done much to influence public opinion in behalf of movements for the betterment of his community, is highly regarded in his profession, and has the respect and esteem of his fellow-citizens, who have recognized and appreciated his many admirable qualities of mind and heart.