Thomas Wharton Phillips

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Thomas Wharton Phillips

Thomas Wharton Phillips (February 23, 1835 – July 21, 1912) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Thomas W. Phillips (father of Thomas Wharton Phillips, Jr.) was born near Mount Jackson, Pennsylvania, in that section of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, now included in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. He attended the common schools and was also privately instructed. He engaged in the production of oil, and served as president of the Producers’ Protective Association from 1887 to 1890. He was president of the Citizens’ National Bank of New Castle, Pennsylvania, and a member of the board of trustees of Bethany College, West Virginia, and of Hiram College, Ohio.

Phillips was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-third and Fifty-fourth Congresses. He was the Chairman of the United States House Committee on Labor during the Fifty-fourth Congress. He did not seek renomination in 1896. He resumed his former pursuits, and was appointed a member of the United States Industrial Commission by President William McKinley and served until its dissolution. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1908. He died in New Castle. Interment in Oak Park Cemetery, New Castle, Pennsylvania.

In 1906 Phillips was approached by his friend, Dr. Ely Zollars, for held in establishing a bible college in what was then the Oklahoma Territory. Mr. Phillips agreed to pay Dr. Zollars salary for one year while his friend sought to secure a location for the school. Phillips became a long time benefactor of the school which was initially called Oklahoma Christian University. Upon Phillips' death the trustees voted to change the name of the school to Phillips University in his honor.[1] The university closed in 1998, but Phillips Theological Seminary which separated from the university in 1987, continues to exist as of 2016.[2]


  1. ^ "DR. ELY VAUGHN ZOLLARS, PRESIDENT 1907-1916". Phillips University Legacy Foundation.
  2. ^ "About Phillips". Phillips Theological Seminary.


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Eugene P. Gillespie
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 25th congressional district

Succeeded by
Joseph B. Showalter