Death of Little Eliza Phillips By Drowning

A very sad accident, and one which should be a warning to others, took place last Monday forenoon, little Miss Eliza Phillips, only daughter of W.H. Phillips, manager of the Arcade hotel and railroad eating house in this city, aged 11 years, 9 months, and 13 days, in company with two other little girls, boarding at the hotel, one of which is about Eliza’s age, the other younger, went to the creek at the foot of Fifth street and went in bathing.  The parents of the children knew nothing of their whereabouts, and never dreamed of them being anywhere near the banks of the now deep and treacherous creek.  Having undressed it appears that the children sat in the shallow water near the bank for some time playing, after which Eliza and the oldest one of the two others got up to move out into deeper water, and in doing so went off the steep bank which borders in the creek almost all along, both going into water over their heads.  The other girl after scrambling succeeded in getting a foot hold and crawled out of the water, but little Eliza was less fortunate and sank in the deep water and drowned.  The little companions on finding Eliza gone, dressed themselves as soon as possible and ran up to the hotel and gave the alarm.  Mr. Trammel, clerk of the hotel, and some others started at once for the spot, and after hunting in the water for a few minutes found the dead body past all hopes of restoration, she then having been under the water nearly three-quarters on an hour.

The funeral was held this forenoon at 10:00 a.m. at their residence on East Fourth street.  Mr. Phillips and his two little sons have the sympathy of the entire community in the heavy loss they are called upon to sustain, and the deep grief the dreadful accident entails.  There was indeed a shadow of gloom cast over the city when the report came that little ‘Liza was drowned, and a pang of anguish was sent to the hearts of those who knew her.  She was born in New York in the year of 1873, and was an only daughter.  She had recently returned home from Bethany College of Topeka, where she was a general favorite, and, although but ten years of age, she possessed a remarkably brilliant intellect.  She was a bud of great promise, being possessed of those qualities of mind and heart which endeared her to friends and acquaintances.  Always full of life and vivacity she was loved and admired by her playmates.  Her sweet smile and ever ready kiss for those she loved were an evidence of the affectionate nature she possessed.  We should not question the strange sand providence which removed her from the loving care of a kind and indulgent parent and from a life which gave promise of a brilliant future.  She is safe with Him who said, “Suffer little children to come unto me.”  The Newton Kansan, Newton Kansas.  Thursday, July 5, 1883.  Page 3.  (c) Transcribed by Darren McMannis for the Harvey County Genealogical Society.

Eliza Phillips’ burial location is unknown.

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