Name:    Opal (Barton) Phillips

From:  The Newburgh-Chandler Recorder, Warrick Co., Indiana
Date:  Thursday, February 27, 2003

Boonville resident Opal B. Phillips died Friday, Feb. 21 at Southwind Healthcare in Boonville.  She was 98.

Opal Barton Phillips was born in Boonville on November 15, 1904, the daughter of Caleb Albert and Virginia Jane (Howard) Barton.  Two brothers, James and Howard Barton preceded her in death.

Opal was a dedicated member of Main Street General Baptist Church in Boonville, and has been since 1921.  She taught the Teachers Training classes and in all departments of the Sunday School.  She was a member of the Board of Religious Education.

After graduating from Boonville High School in 1922, Opal earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Evansville College.  She has been an educator in Warrick County beginning in 1924 until her retirement in 1971.  Opal married J. Oscar Phillips on June 27, 1936.  He preceded her in death on Oct. 28, 1970.

Mrs. J. Oscar Phillips belongs to the Order of Eastern Star Chapter #450; charter Member of Captain Jacob Warrick Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; and a member of the State of Indiana Lineage Research Committee of the D.A.R.  Her membership in professional organizations include National Education Association, Warrick County Classroom Teacher Association and the Indiana State Teachers Association.

Opal was an educator in many ways.  She was a teacher, researcher and writer.  She was a woman who traveled, studied and learned new things. Opal traveled to the Holy Lands which was important because of her religious beliefs.  She also visited Switzerland and enjoyed the Alps. 

Mrs. J. Oscar Phillips became interested in genealogy and study of family lineage and started writing in the 1950's.  During the 1960's, Opal and her husband, J. Oscar Phillips, recorded all the names of people buried in Warrick County cemeteries.  After the cemeteries, they compiled a list of marriages.  Opal completed the Phillips Family Genealogy, a book that contains more than 5,000 names of descendents.  She wrote a three volume documentary of Warrick County's Revolutionary War soldiers entitled "They Came to Warrick County" completing it in 1976. She believes there are at least 21 Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Warrick County.  The volumes she wrote won her first prize at the State D.A.R. and, when they were sent to the national D.A.R. competition in Washington, D.C., she received top honors. Opal was a Warrick County historian for several years. She enjoyed collecting stamps and post cards. Opal also loved to attend the social functions at the Warrick County Senior Citizens Center.  Opal lived a very exciting life. She has taught others what she has learned as a valued woman in the community and played an important role to those interested in Warrick County history.

Opal is survived by her sister Mary Ruth Barton of Citrus, Calif.; a niece, Dorothy Blackman; two nephews, William Frederick Barton and John D. Barton; and her caregivers, Argle and Dorothy of Boonville.

Funeral services were Monday, Feb 25 at Koehler Funeral Home Boonville Chapel with burial in Maple Grove Cemetery.  The Rev. Dwight Bland officiated.

Memorial contributions may be made to Main Street General Baptist Church in Boonville.