Sunday, April 15, 2018

Descendants of jean Baptiste Joseph Vifquain

Descendants of Jean Baptiste Joseph Vifquain

Table of Contents


  • Caroline Vifquain history, presented by Sally Stauffer Vifquain at the Vifquain Reunion Aug 3rd, 2002, Estes Park, CO. (PDF Version for printing)
  • Victor Vifquain Biography.  This was done by a group from Belgium who are interested in Civil War Soldiers from Belgium.  I am working on translating this from french since it has a lot of good information.  This is difficult and will take me a while since I don't know french, and have to rely on a translation program.  If you know french want to translate it, send me an e-mail.


Here are all the links that I could find that relate to Vifquain:
If you have a link to add, e-mail me at

Vifquain Family Reunion 2004

See Pictures from the Summer 2002 Vifquain Reunion

This web site produced 6 July 2003

Friday, July 17, 2015

In Memory ~ Maxine Donovan Phillip

In Memory ~ Maxine Phillip

Maxine Phillip, 97, of Alliance, passed away Monday, July 6, 2015 at Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance.

Maxine was born January 4, 1918 to Claud B. and Emma (Bauer) Donovan ten miles northeast of Alliance, Nebraska in the family home.

She graduated from Alliance High School in 1935. She was baptized in the United Methodist Church in 1928 and joined the church in 1938 and was very active in church circles and the United Methodist Women.

Maxine married Jean Phillip on April 26, 1941 at the Morrill County Courthouse in Bridgeport, Nebraska. They were married over 73 years at the time of Jean's death. She lived all of her life in Alliance, except for a few months in Norman, Oklahoma and seven years in Sidney, Nebraska. She devoted herself to her husband and two children and their families. Cooking, cleaning, sewing, knitting and reading were her favorites until her eyesight failed.

Her survivors include her son, Jary (Dee) Phillip of Omaha and daughter, Judy (Larry) Mann of Alliance; four grandchildren and nine great grandchildren: Jennifer (Tom) Shatel and their children, Sarah, Kate and Anna of Omaha; Alison (Kevin) Streck and their children, Olivia Sikora and Claire of Omaha; Cory (Sherry) Mann and their children, Colter and Chloe of Alliance; and Jared (Melanie) Mann and their children, Keaton and Gavin of Alliance. She is also survived by her brother in law, Robert Phillip of Hermosa, South Dakota.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, sisters and brother, Vivian (Charles) Sherlock, Arleen (Herb) McFall and Harold (Ann) Donovan. Also preceding her in death were her in laws, Kenneth and Harriet Phillip, Leo and Zetta Phillip and Bernadine Phillip.

Funeral services will be held Friday, July 10 at 10:30 a.m. at the Alliance United Methodist Church with Pastor Tom Lucas officiating. Burial will be in the Alliance Cemetery. Following the burial, the family will welcome visitors at a luncheon at the Newberry, 402 Box Butte Avenue in Alliance. Visitation will be Thursday, July 9 from 1-7 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Alliance United Methodist Church; the Highland Park Care Center Memory Support Unit, 1633 Sweetwater, Alliance, Nebraska, 69301; Prairie Haven Hospice, 3701 Avenue D, Suite 2204, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, 69361; or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Guestbook from Bates Funeral home is below the pictures.

After luncheon at the Newberry, everyone was invited out to Cory & Sherry Mann's home.

Larry Mann and Jennifer Shatel spoke at Maxine's funeral.
















07/15/2015 -


Maxine knew my Mother and myself for a long time. My prayers is with you all.

07/10/2015 -

Laura Furrow

Judy and family, so sorry for your loss.

07/09/2015 -

Carolann Arrants Blanco

I am sorry for your loss, Maxine was a such a good woman, she alwasy knew what her values and priorities were and lived up to them every day. I bet Jean was sure glad to see her.

07/07/2015 -

Cindy & Don Zurn

Judy & family, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. Your mom was always a pleasant person to be around...Now she is with your Dad, together again. Blessings.

07/07/2015 -

Tammi Pierce

Judy, sorry to hear the passing of your mother. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bob and Bill Trip

As most of you know, Bill Phillip and Bob Phillip went on a road trip from Hermosa SD to Des Moines IA and back with many stops in between, including a wedding and a memorial service for Leo Phillip.  Enjoy Bill's quotes and the many pictures he took showing us all a little more about the Phillip/Vifquain history

Here are the quotes from Bill...posted on facebook (the dates and times are when they were posted on facebook).  You should be able to double click on any picture to zoom in.

May 26, 9:53 pm
All packed and ready to leave right after work tomorrow. That will save a half hour drive home and another half hour back. Plan to drive to Bozeman, Montana and then get an early start Thursday to make it to Hermosa, SD so we can drive part way to Des Moines, Iowa. Maybe to Sioux Falls, SD and then have a short drive Friday. I was going to make the whole drive Friday but my uncle Bob called me this morning and thought we should drive part way Thursday because at his age (93) he likes (and needs) to stop a lot.

May 27, 10:31 am
Made it to Bozeman, Montana. About a 7 or 8 hour drive to my uncle's place. Then we'll see how much farther east we can drive tomorrow. That will make Friday an easy drive into Des Moines, Iowa. Good weather and only 8 miles of road construction so far. Of course that was up the mountain to Lookout pass (Idaho / Montana border) behind a long convoy of slow moving semi's.

May 28, 8:22 am
Having a good time with uncle Bob. We were going to stop in Sioux Falls, SD. but decided to keep going. Got to Sioux City Iowa and kept going. We're in Onawa, Iowa, about 2 1/2 hours from Des Moines so it will be a short drive tomorrow.  *Bill and Bob are headed to Jim Phillip's son's wedding (Nick) on May 30th in West Des Moines IA*
Heard some good stories and found out Bob and his brother Leo were both at Iwo JIma and Okinawa at the same time but didn't know it. They didn't find out until after the war was over. 

I also heard more about the kamikaze that hit his ship off Okinawa and almost sunk it. *The USS Hinsdale*

June 1, 5:51 am
Having a good time, still hearing stories from uncle Bob. My nephew asked him which one of the four boys, (Ken, Jean, Bob, and Leo) was the trouble maker. I thought this would be interesting. His immediate reply was Jean. He said he was always getting blamed for things Jean did. A picture my grandma took popped into my mind. They lived on a farm and judging from the picture it would have been in about 1924 or 1925. Jean and Bob were given the task of irrigating some trees. Bob would have been about 3 or 4 and Jean would have been about 7 or 8. They were using a kids wagon to carry the water and Jean was pulling and Bob was pushing for everything he was worth. Jean would give a little tug on the handle of the wagon causing water to splash out on Bob and he would get soaking wet, never realizing what Jean was doing. Grandma took lots of good pictures.

Of course Jean may have inherited that trait from Grandma. She made pancakes for breakfast for Bob and Leo one morning and they were complaining that they were too tough to cut even with a knife. Grandma had put some batter down, then a piece of cloth, then covered that with batter. It was April Fools day.

June 1, 2:08 pm
We made it to Lincoln, Nebraska today. Found the Nebraska History Museum but it is closed for renovation until next year. We wanted to look at some of General Vifquain's possessions, his sword, spurs, and whatever else they had. He's my GG grandfather, Bob's G grandfather. Won the Medal of Honor during the civil war. Before going any farther I should point out he fought for the north before Susanne says "bless his heart". He did actually win it, not by re-enlisting but by standing up just out of rifle range and letting them shoot at a Yankee Colonel and then charging forward before they could reload at the battle of Vicksburg.

Since the museum was closed Bob asked if I wanted to see the cemetery where the General is buried. He hadn't been there in over 40 years but did a pretty good job of almost remembering where the grave was. We went to the office and when I said we were looking for Victor Vifquain's grave they said "oh, the General". That was nice.

To put things in perspective, Bob said his Mom thought the General was an arrogant ol cuss....

Other pictures Bill took:
This was in front of the Vifquain gravestone above.

This is the back of the Vifguain gravestone above.
 This is at the base of the Vifquain gravestone (picture with Bob).  Notice the flowers scattered around.  Increase the size of the picture and look at the center plaque on the ground....Post G.A.R. 214  There seems to be a descrepancy when I looked up what this plaque meant at this site.  When you go to this site and search for Vifquain, you will find the plaque should have been 234 ???
This is beside the Vifquain gravestone (picture with Bob)

June 2, 3:08 pm
Had a good time and a steak dinner with cousins Steve and Dean and Dean's wife, Becky, in Lincoln last night. We found out that after grandma and grandpa lost the farm near Springview, Nebraska in 1934 and moved to Alliance that Bob and younger brother Leo immediately got in trouble with the truant officer. Bob had just graduated from the 8th grade in Springview and school was out there for the summer but still going on in Alliance. Bob and Leo were running around town having a good time and grandma's explanation that they had finished their grades in Springview wasn't good enough. So they ended up back in school.

June 2, 3:24 pm
We left Lincoln this morning but first Bob felt the need to visit a plumber and get his water works going again. Minor delay, in and out in about an hour and a half. Then on to Grand Island to check out a stone in the cemetery there. His aunt Lulu was buried there but without a marker so he had one made. The first one was wrong so he had it fixed and was checking to make sure it was right.
Other pictures Bill took:
 Notice the fresh flowers....there were fresh flowers on the gravestone above also.
Next stop was a museum with a lot of Vifquain memorabilia ~a testimonial to General Vifquain
 the many battles fought by General Vifquain
 Military record of General Vifquain, paid in full ~ $1584.71
 Medal of Honor certificate for General Vifquain
Signed by President Andrew Johnson

June 2, 3:29 pm
I knew we were back in the sandhills of Nebraska ~ after leaving Grand Island we went north on highway 183 and were slightly delayed.

June 2, 3:32 pm
We're in Springview, Nebraska now, near where grandma and grandpa Phillip's farm was. Bob had reservations made at a 4 unit "motel" off the main drag. We pulled up out front, went inside unit #4 that he had reserved and the key was waiting for us on the counter. It was a real surprise to find out it included wifi.

June 2, 5:52 pm
We went and had supper at the Cattleman's lounge in Springfield and realized there was no place to eat breakfast so stopped at the grocery store. Bob thought he knew someone (in a round about way) that worked there. Turns out the daughter in law of the owners is the one he knew. He use to go camping with her grandparents. The owner picked up the phone and called her and about 5 minutes later she and her family walked in the back door. Lots of talking and then her husband went home and brought back a book that showed who owned the land in the county in 1912. Sections 22, 26, 27, and 28 show the Vifquain name. Bob also recognized lots of neighbors' names. He told how Jean and Bob would walk and Grandpa Phillip carried Leo on his shoulders as they walked about a mile south to listen to the Amos and Andy radio show on a neighbor's radio.

He told how Grandpa Phillip cut big blocks of ice from the creek running through section 28, put it in the ice house and covered it with straw and sawdust and that they still had ice the next fall.
June 3 ~ Bob and Bill were at the Burton cemetery looking at more family gravestones.  As much as I know, the genealogy goes something like this:
Lillie (born about 1855) married Peter John Phillip (parents of Willie Walter Phillip) 
Maggie (daughter, sister of Willie Walter) born 1882 (Son, Benjamin Palmer, born and died, 1915)
L. W. Palmer (Maggie's husband)
Louie (son of Maggie) born 1904
Helen (daughter of Maggie) born 1911
Helen married August C Spann (born 1906

Verde Hope Spann born and died 1917

Lillie Phillip (notice the spelling on the gravestone).
Gravestone of Benjamin Palmer, I believe (It looks as if the P and R of Palmer are missing)

Gravestone of Peter Phillip

June 4, 6:36 am
At the Willie Walter Phillip farm ~ The entrance to the storm cellar

June 4, 6:36 am
Inside the storm cellar

June 5, 7:43 am
Uncle Bob knows how to fix a good breakfast. Yesterday, sausage, eggs, hash browns and toast. Today it was cold cereal but with real milk, not the watered down some percent something or other. And some half and half to make the milk a little richer. Good stuff!

June 6, 8:09 pm
All good things must come to an end. Today was the funeral service for Uncle Leo. Had a good time with family before and after. Head for home tomorrow morning.

June 7, 6:55 pm
Home, a little under 2000 miles on my car and a little over 2000 miles on Bob's car. The closest thing to an accident was about 25 miles from home. A group of cars merging on to the freeway so I moved over to the left. One car swerved all the way over to get in the left lane. I braked hard and about that time he stuck his head out the window and looked back. Darwin will find him eventually.

Monday, March 16, 2015

In Memory ~ Leo Lane Phillip

  1. In Memory ~ Leo Phillip

“Leo,” “Dad,” and “Granddad”: Leo Lane Phillip, age 90, was surrounded by his family when he died Wednesday morning, March 11, 2015. He was born into an extended family that included brothers, aunts and uncles, and cousins. He was the youngest of four brothers; son of Alma (Vifquain) and Willie Phillip.
Leo was born in Springview, July 4, 1924 (all his life Americans celebrated his birthday). He graduated from Alliance High School in 1942, and joined the U.S. Navy in 1943. He saw action in European and Pacific theatres, aboard the U.S.S. Tulagi and was awarded numerous service ribbons, including the Philippine Liberation Star. He was discharged in 1945.
On Dec. 15, 1946, he married Zetta B. Lawler. They were married 62 years, until her death in 2009.
Leo’s working life was with Kembel Sand and Gravel, where he was a Bookkeeper and Dispatcher; Cawley’s Tater-Flakes, where he was Personnel and Office Manager; Metropolitan Life Insurance where he was a Salesman; and A.H. Jones Company of Alliance, where he was Parts Manager.
Leo was noted for his woodworking skills. He built furniture that is still in use today. He won awards at the County Fair for his pieces. In partnership with Zetta, who was a painter, they created decorative pieces that are prized by friends and family.
Throughout his life being with family was important to him. Gathering around the dining room table for board games or cards with children, grandchildren, and friends was a regular occurrence.
A life-long member of the Elks he enjoyed treating his family to Friday night dinners at the lodge. For over fifty years he was a member of the loan committee for Panhandle Co-op Credit Union. All his life he regularly donated blood. He was a long-time member of First Baptist Church in Scottsbluff, and later the Federated Church in Mitchell.
In 2010, he met Eva Lindsey, who became his new dancing partner. Together they spent time enjoying life, their families and friends.
Leo is survived by his children: Lynelle Gramm of Lake Geneva, Wis., Steven Phillip of Lincoln, Julie Phillip of Redlands, Calif., and Dean Phillip of Lincoln; and daughters-in-law Becky (Dean) Phillip of Lincoln, and Kathy Phillip of Lincoln. His grandchildren are Devin, Jerrod, Sarah, Elizabeth, Andrew, Daniel, and Stephanie. His great grandchildren are: Isaac, Briley, Kobe, Kyrie, Theo, Jadon, and Jonah. Brother Robert Phillip lives in Hermosa, S.D.
Leo was preceded in death by his parents and two of his brothers: Kenneth Phillip and Jean Phillip.

A memorial service and celebration of life is planned for June 6, 2015, at the Federated Church in Mitchell. Further details will be announced at a later date.

Lynelle Gramm spoke at Leo's memorial service.

2014  ~ in his workshop in Scottsbluff

2011 ~ at Phillip Family Reunion in Alliance

2009 ~ at Zetta's funeral

2006 ~ in home in Scottsbluff

Thanksgiving, after 1953 at Alma Phillip's home

Thanksgiving, before 1953 with Mom & Dad, Alma and Willie, at parent's home at 503 Sweetwater in Alliance, Nebraska