What’s in a Name: Miss Belle Phipps

phipps card

Isabelle “Belle” Phipps was born on February 10, 1859 in Independence (now Butler), Ohio.  She was the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Teeter) Phipps and the great-granddaughter of Revolutionary War Veteran Samuel Phipps, Sr.  Samuel Phipps, Sr. and his wife, Mary, moved to a farm in Butler, Ohio around 1815.  Being one of the original land purchasers, he bought the northeast ¼ of section 30 in Worthington Township, 160 acres, for $262.40.  Samuel died January 5, 1841 at the age of 105.  According to a Sons of the American Revolution membership application by Francis Phipps, Samuel “is buried in the extreme southwest corner of section 18, Worthington Twp., on a farm … owned by Walter Mishey, but originally part of the Samuel Phipps Sr. Tract.”  Looking at the 1856 map of Richland County and the 1940 Richland County Plat Map it appears Samuel bought the southwest corner of section 17 and is buried in the “extreme southwest” of that section.  In 1937, Clark M. Garber applied for a headstone for Samuel Phipps Sr.  The stone sits today on the roadside on US Route 97 and Highland Dr. next to the “Thanks for Visiting Butler” sign.


1856 Map of Worthington Township, in the red box is the property of S. Phipps

phipps stone

Samuel Phipps Sr. headstone on US Route 97 (from googlemaps.com)


Application for headstone for Samuel Phipps Sr.

There is no date on the grade card above, but it would most likely be from the 1870’s.  This would be around the same time the village of Independence changed its name to Butler.  Isabelle was living with her parents in 1880, according to the US Census, and on June 6, 1882 Isabelle married Elmer E. Plank.  Isabelle and Elmer had one son Walter L. Plank, born October 29, 1882.  Sadly Isabelle died just three years later on September 30, 1885.  According to her obituary, she died from the effects of a severe case of typho-malaria fever.  She was only 26 years old.

phipps plank

Belle Phipps and Elmer Plank Marriage Affidavit

It appears Elmer never remarried and, according to Census reports, continued to live with Isabelle’s family.  Elmer died on August 20, 1927.  Their son, Walter, was a rural letter carrier in Butler for 28 years until he was forced to retire due to health.  He died December 16, 1949.

1910 census

1910 Census


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