WILLIAM S. PHILLIPS. Superintendent of the Illinois Institution for the Education of the Blind, is fulfilling the duties of a very arduous and responsible position in the most praiseworthy manner. He was born at Mackville, Washington Co., Ky., July 8, 1856, and is the second son of the late Dr. Franklin W. Phillips, his distinguished predecessor as Superintendent of the institution above-named, and a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in this volume.
The subject of this notice came to Jacksonville with his parents in 1866, and here pursued his primary studies in the public schools. Later he entered Illinois College, and in 1877 accepted a clerkship under his father, then Superintendent of the Institution for the Blind, which he retained until the latter's death, which occurred Jan. 17, 1888. In May following the Trustees, after visiting various other States and their institutions for the training of the blind, and after considering many other applications, very properly chose the present incumbent as the worthy successor of his father.
The history of this admirably conducted institution comes not within the province of this work, albeit it is proper to say that it now contains 164 pupils with five literary teachers, six music teachers, and about thirty other officers and employees, there being altogether forty-four persons on the pay-roll. Mr. Phillips entered college with a view to the profession of law, but, subsequently finding the training and education of the blind congenial to his tastes, he decided to confine himself thereto, and it is now altogether certain that the trustees did a wise thing in naming him to a position ordinarily so difficult to fill.
On the 12th of June, 1884, Mr. Phillips was united in marriage with Miss Mary C., the accomplished daughter of the Rev. Preston Wood, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, now located at Springfield. Both our subject and his estimable wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is also identified with the Masonic fraternity, the I.O.O.F. and the K. of P. He is a liberal and public-spirited citizen, and not only fully acquainted with the best methods of conducting the institution over which he presides, but as a citizen is highly esteemed in the community.