Philips Family

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(6) Daniel Dwyer Philips

Daniel Dwyer Philips is a son of William Duncan Philips

Daniel Dwyer Philips
bn 29 Dec 1842 in Davidson County TN
died 1 Aug 1911 in Davidson County TN
buried Calvary Cemetery, Nashville, Davidson County, TN
married Mary Elizabeth Finn 20 Nov 1868

Above photo is from the book "Southern by the Grace of God", by Michael Andrew Grissom, Page 267, with the inscription:
Nashville, Tennessee
ca. 1861. A Confederate soldier, Lt. Daniel Dwyer Philips, of the 1st Tennessee Artillery.

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Daniel and Mary Elizabeth had the following children:
Daniel Dwyer Philips (1869 - ?)
Laurence Philips (1873-1906)
William Duncan Philips (1875-1927)
Mary Elizabeth Philips Williams (1878-1936)

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The below sketch on Daniel Dwyer Philips appeared in a 1911 issue of the Confederate Veteran's Magazine.

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Daniel Dwyer Philips, familiarly known to his intimates in the drug trade as "Uncle Dan," died after a brief illness at his home near Nashville, Tennessee, on August 1st. He was born not far from there in 1842 and at the age of fifteen entered the wholesale drug firm of Berry & Demoville, of Nashville, the title of which was in later years changed to the present one of Berry. Demoville & Co. With the exception of four years in the Confederate Army, where he attained the rank of captain, Mr. Philips remained with the same firm during his business life, being admitted to partnership in 1869 and at the time of his death was head of the house. He was much liked by his employes and business associates and was twice elected a vice-president of the National Wholesale Drugists' Association, besides occupying many other positions of trust.

Source: Practical druggist and and pharmaceutical review, vol. 29.  Google books online.


Daniel Dwyer Philips, for many years well known in the wholesale drug trade, died at his home in Silverdene, near Nashville, Tenn., August 1, after a brief illness.

Mr. Philips was born near the city of Nashville, December 29, 1842, and was educated in the schools in the vicinity of his home. At the age of fifteen he entered the employ of the wholesale drug house of Berry  Demoville,- the name of which was afterward changed toBerry, Demoville & Co.,  of which he was head at the time of his death; With the exception of four years, during which he served in the Confederate Army, he remained with the same house, having been admitted to partnership in 1869.

Mr. Philip twice served as vice-president of the National Wholesale Druggists' Association, first at the meeting held in Montreal in 1892, and second at the meeting held in New York in 1894. He was also elected a member of the Board of Control of the National Wholesale Druggists' Association in 1894 and again in 1898. In 1891 he was elected president of the Southern Drug Association, which was subsequently disbanded and the present Southern Drug Club formed, with the affairs of which he has always been prominently connected. He was also a member of the National Board of Trade and other commercial organizations.

Mr. Philips is survived by his widow, a son, who is connected with Berry, Demoville & Co.,  and a married daughter.

Source: The National Druggist; Vol. 41; google books online. 

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The above obituary says that Daniel died at his home at Silverdene.  Read more below about this old mansion.

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Our city in ruins:  Silverdene
by Lyda Phillips
Nashville Scene
3 December 2009
Probably the most imminently endangered historic property in Nashville is Silverdene (931 Main St. in East Nashville), a white frame neo-classical home that dates from the 1860s. It is half-burned, boarded up, its porch shelters the homeless, and its once sprawling 600-acre grounds are now reduced to a weed-choked lot crammed in among the auto body shops, liquor stores and little brick houses.

Lawrence Finn, an Irishman, retired to then rural Edgefield in the mid-19th century and built the stately columned mansion in imitation of Andrew Jackson's Hermitage. Finn lived at Silverdene until his death in 1881. By 1908 his son-in-law had subdivided the estate into dozens of lots in East Nashville's first wave of suburbanization, before the fire of 1916. From 1926 until 1967, according to Historic Nashville, Silverdene was a tourist inn and later sank even lower and became the home of Main Street Salvage.

When the house became vacant a few years ago, the homeless moved in and it was seriously damaged by fire, probably started by vagrants trying to keep warm. Dan Brown calls it "demolition by neglect."

Yet according to David Price, even in its current state of dilapidation Silverdene could be restored and renovated for housing, offices or other commercial purposes. "I'm one who thinks if a building is standing, it could be preserved," Price says.

Preservationists are trying to work with the owner to buy time for the salvation of this significant Nashville landmark. Otherwise it will go the way of other East Nashville mansions such as Lockeland House, razed by the city to build Lockeland School, or Edgewood near today's 12th Street, which was torn down in 1962 to build an 18-unit apartment house. Saddest of all was Evergreen Place on Gallatin Road and Briley Parkway, which was illegally torn down overnight in a notorious 2005 "midnight demolition" by then owner Robert N. Moore Jr., even as preservationists worked to save it.

Silverdene is "right on the bubble," Pat McIntyre tells the Scene. However, he too insists it could be saved and returned to useful life as an office building or other commercial purpose because of the "structural integrity in these old houses."

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Of course, Daniel Dwyer Philips is the son-in-law who lived in Silverdene after Lawrence Finn died and subdivided and sold of much of the land. 
13 Oct 2010
Channel 5 News
Silverdene, East Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A once stately East Nashville mansion now ravaged by fire, neglect, and vandals will soon meet the business end of a bulldozer.

Three years of discussion wasn't enough to save historic Silverdene. The 1860's mansion built to mimic The Hermitage became a refuge for squatters following a fire in 2006.

A demolition permit has been acquired, but before the wrecking ball starts swinging, the Tennessee State Museum says they'll salvage some historical parts of the building like intricate woodwork and the grand staircase.

 In 2009 Silverdene was named as one of Nashville's most endangered historic properties.

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You can watch the demolition of the Silverdene mansion in the Channel 4 news video below.


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Mary Elizabeth Finn's father, Lawrence Finn, who was born in Aughrim Parish of County Galway Ireland on 4 September 1832, had died on 26 June 1881.  Her mother, Elizabeth Clay Duvall had died in 1893.  All of their children, Ignatius Augustine, Lawrence Ignatius, Xavier Fenelon, and Theresa Ann had died by 1857 leaving Mary Elizabeth Finn the only heir to their large estate.

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On 12 Feb 1913, two years before she died on 17 Jan 1915, Mary Elizabeth Finn wrote her will leaving everything she owned to her children William Duncan Phillips and Mary Elizbeth Philips.  Her husband, Daniel Dwyer Philips, had died on 1 Aug 1911 and their children Daniel Dwyer Philips and Laurence Finn Philips were both deceased.
It's interesting to note that Mary Elizabeth Philips was married to Robert Percy Williams (1877-1931).  He is the son of John Maxey Williams (1833-1917) and Mary Burton (1841-1925).  John Maxey Williams is a son of Josiah Frederick Williams (1786-1851) and Margaret "Peggy" Thomas Philips (1799-1844), a great aunt of Mary Elizabeth Philips.