William Abbott Phillips


William Abbott Phillips was born in 1861 in Chicago. The family moved to Evanston shortly after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. As a young man, William A. Phillips attended Evanston Public Schools and later he graduated from Northwestern University. He moved abroad to Vienna and completed a year of post-graduate work before returning to school at Northwestern University Medical School to pursue medicine. He spent the final two years of his medical training at Harvard University Medical School and graduated in 1887.


Phillips began his medical career as a general practitioner in 1889 in Evanston. He was a member of Evanston Hospital’s first staff. When he wasn’t practicing medicine, Phillips spent his free time fostering an adoration for history. He was a known collector of Indigenous relics. For a short time, he served as the curator of the Northwestern University Natural History Museum. 


William A. Phillips was a founder of the Evanston Historical Society, and served as its Vice President. Phillips passed away at his home in Evanston in 1916.

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