This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The Phillips/Goodell/Kaufman family in Los Angeles, California

Thomas Burroughs Phillips and Ellen (Harrington) of New Richmond Wisconsin, my great-great grandfather and grandmother, had twelve children. In 1897, my great-grandmother Mae (Phillips) married my great-grandfather George Hoeper and they went off to begin their lives in Minnesota. In 1894 her brother Ira married Louise Cayo, and that is the story that I would like to follow today. The reason that I find "Uncle Ira" (that's him in the picture at left) so fascinating is that he created what I like to call the "Los Angeles branch" of the Phillips family. But, like all families, it gets a little complicated. I will tell you what I know.

Ira and Louise were married in Wisconsin. About twenty years later Louise moved to Oregon without Ira. The rest of the story follows their daughter Verna -

Verna Phillips (Goodell)
Verna Phillips was living with her mother in Portland while Ira stayed in Wisconsin - apparently the family was split with some children with Verna's mother and some with Ira. Verna trained as a seamstress, while she was attending high school, where she met Hugh Goodell.  They both completed high school then eloped to Seattle.  Verna was from a Catholic family and Hugh was not - a conflict that necessitated them eloping.  Hugh and Verna soon migrated from Seattle to Bainbridge Island.  This was during the waning years of World War I and Hugh found work with the Hall Bros. Shipyard, on Bainbridge Island, Washington. While on Bainbridge Island, Jack, their first son, was born.  Following the end of the war, Hugh followed the lumber industry and went down the coast to Brookings, California, where their second son, Stanley, was born.  While in Brookings, Verna established herself as quite the seamstress - repairing clothing for the lumber workers who would come into town.  She held their boots (necessary for their livelihood) as collateral until they would pay their bill.  It was 1925, when Hugh and Verna, with $5,000 in their pocket and a Model T, relocated to Los Angeles.  Some of her siblings already resided there and one can only surmise that is the reason they went to L.A.

Upon arrival, they lived in a small apartment building in Pasadena, which Verna managed.  Hugh took a job with the Railroad/American Express.  At that particular time, American Express was part of the Railroad. They moved to Venice, CA, where Margaret was born. Verna continued to be a seamstress, supplementing their income.  They were not in Venice long before they moved back to Pasadena, renting a small house across the street from the apartment building Verna had once managed.  Eventually, they bought their house in Pasadena where Verna and Hugh spent the remainder of their lives.

Harvey Kaufman
Marian Phillips
So, exactly who arrived in Los Angeles first is not known. The point is that most of Ira and Louise's children did. One one of Ira's other daughters, Marian Phillips, married Harvey Kaufman, who was an electrician for the movie studios in the 1920s.

So, that's how the Phillips family came to Los Angeles.


Image at the top of this post: Ira Phillips
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