John was the son of John Phillips and Catherine O'Riley. He was a farmer. John passed away at the County Home in Perry Township, Iowa, of dilation of the heart.
John married Hannah O'Donnell Oct. 9, 1895. Hannah was born May 1862 in Ireland and died Feb. 27, 1902 in Butler Township, Iowa, of Bright's disease. John and Hannah had a baby who was stillborn Sept. 1896 and is buried in Duggan, Iowa. They also adopted a daughter, Mary Sweney who was born March 1897. John and Hannah adopted Marie from the St. Mary's Orphanage in Dubuque, Iowa in August of 1898. She had been there since June of that year after her birth mother was committed to a state hospital. Following Hannah's death, Marie returned to the orphanage in April of 1903. After leaving St. Mary's again in August of 1904 (possibly adpoted by a family in Allamakee County, Iowa), she was reunited with her birth parents (Dan and Maggie Sweeney of Mason City, Iowa) by the 1910 Federal Census.
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