Algonquin Historic

Crystal Lake Herald, December 3, 1909

James Philp

Death of Well-Known Resident of Algonquin


Had Traveled Extensively in Foreign Countries and
Crossed the Ocean Eleven Times

James Philp, familiarly known to his acquaintances and friends as Squire Philp, died in Algonquin , Illinois, at the residence of his son, James H. Philp, on Saturday, Nov. 28, 1908. He was born at St. Tudy, Cornwall, England, on Oct. 12, 1828, and at the time of his death was 80 years and 16 days of age.

Mr. Philp’s early life was passed at his place of birth, where he acquired his school education and his trade as blacksmith. At the age of 21 he married Jane Cornelius, and his oldest child, now Mrs. C. E. Chapell, of Elgin, Ill., was born at his early English home. Soon after this, realizing that the United States offered to the young and ambitious man great business advantages, with his wife and daughter he emigrated to America, landed at Quebec, Canada, and soon, by way of Chicago, where he made a short stop, he settled in the neighborhood of Algonquin, and became an American citizen. Here he opened a blacksmith shop, at a place called Miller’s Bridge, worked at his trade, and built up an excellent business in this line. When the Fox River railroad was built and opened at Algonquin, he moved to the village, two miles from his first location, and established the business he followed about twenty years.

Mr. Philp was industrious and frugal, and soon acquired other property, so that he became the leading business man of the neighborhood. He became a Free Mason, was school director for many years, and was elected justice of peace, which position he filled so satisfactorily that he was reelected many times, until he had held the office some twenty years. But Mr. Philp early realized that money possessed was only small value, unless it returned to its possessor something of greater value than the mere filthy lucre of a miserly hoard. A great reader and eager observer o the world and its people he naturally turned to travel as a means of enlarging his knowledge and adding to the pleasure of his life. In consequence in 1891 he was among those who made a trip around the world in the series of excursion established that year. In company with a friend, Wm. Glazler, he made this trip, which occupied about three months, from Feb. 8 to May 4 of that year. Their course took them through the Mediterranean Sea , Suez Canal, a side trip in Egypt, where he climbed one of the celebrated pyramids, then through the Red Sea to Ceylon. Thence coasting along the shores of Asia, China and Japan, he had an opportunity to see and “size up” the “yellow races” as they are called. Then across the broad Pacific and across the North American continent to his home.

In 1881 he made a trip to Florida and West Indies, spending two weeks in the Bahama Islands, with his companion, Dr. Nason. In 1889 he made a trip into Mexico and had a most interesting time. He visited his early home in England five times, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean altogether eleven times. He also visited British Columbia, Vancouver and the northwestern states on the Pacific coast. Later Mr. Philp moved to Los Angeles with his wife and daughter, and spent seven years in his Southern California home, but he ever retained his Algonquin residence and property and frequently returned here to celebrate his birthday with his children’s families. His last visit here was in October, 1907 , and while awaiting his birthday, his wife suddenly died at Los Angeles, Cal. Since his wife’s death he has resided with his son in Algonquin.

James Philp was a man excellent business and general abilities. He was a discriminating reader, a keen student of men and affairs, and one who had an extended acquaintance. He memory of facts, events, and men was remarkable, and a constant wonder and help to his friends. Of strict business integrity,m he was true to his friends, and all with whom he came in business or other contact. And his kindness to those whom he could help or advise was much more extensive than many supposed. For he did not make known he many philanthropic actions, but he has left an enduring memory in the minds of the many whom he so aided and helped, and the many other friends and relatives who knew and loved him.

James Philp was the father of six children, two of whom have died- a daughter Jennie, and a son Thomas. He leaves a brother, Robert Philp of North Crystal Lake, who is president of the village to mourn his loss and four children- Mrs. C. E. Chapell of Elgin;, Volney E. Philp of Hunting Beach, Cal; James H. Philp of Algonquin, and Lannie P. Philp of Los Angles, Cal.

His funeral occurred Thursday, Dec. 3, 1908, Rev. Lutton, of Chicago, officiating.

-William A. Nason



Origin of Name

First Village
Board Minutes


Historic Sites

Civil War Era

Auto Races
Hill Climbs

Algonquin Maps

Floods, Fires,

Pioneer History


Historic Calendar

Famous People



Family History


Questions or Inquiries