Born: 19 May 1874 in Cwmsyfiog, Wales
Died: 8 March 1937 in Provo, Utah, USA
While there is little information about Rees’ life available online, here are a couple of obituaries regarding his unfortunate death.
From the “Salt Lake Tribune” Friday 12 Mar 1937 (BYU film SA37 #38, p. 17):
“Obituary, Crash Victim’s Services Held: Special to the Tribune. Castle Gate–Funeral services were conducted here Thursday at 6 p.m. for Reese Phillips, 62, who died Monday at the Aird hospital in Provo of injuries suffered in an automobile accident early Sunday in Orem. Bishop W. B. Stapley officiated. Burial will be at Spanish Fork Friday under direction of the Thomas-Deseret mortuary of Price. Mr. Phillips, an employee of the Utah Fuel company, had resided in Castlegate for the last 35 years, coming here from Idaho. Surviving are six sons and daughters, Reese J. Phillips, Rock Springs, Wyo.; Wilford Phillips, Mrs. Len Larsen [Catherine Jane], Mrs. Dwane Long [Annabell], Mrs. Thomas Bendall [Lydia] , all of Castlegate, and Mrs. W. A. Pulsipher [Naomi] of Provo; three brothers and sisters, Benjamin Phillips, Harren, Ill.; Henry Phillips and Mrs. Thomas Widner, Salt Lake City.”
From the “Provo Daily Herald” Monday 8 Mar 1937 (BYU film P94#52 pages 1, 8):
Pedestrians Meet Death on Highway. Three silent bodies today mutely bore testimony to one of the most disastrous weekends in Utah county’s motoring history. The dead: Mrs. Mell Allspack, 40, Payson, widow. Elmer Hardy, 50 Payson war veteran. Reese Phillips, 63, Castle Gate. Their deaths brought the county’s death toll from accidental causes for the year to six. . . . Phillips died at an early hour this morning in the Aird hospital where he had been taken after being hit at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, while walking on the state highway in Orem one block north of Provo canyon road turnoff. Visitor in Provo– Phillips had been visiting with his daughter, Mrs. W. A. Pulsipher of Provo, and was driving his car northward, according to his daughter, when he encountered motor trouble. It was while he was on his way to secure aid that the accident which lead to his death occurred. He was hit by a car driven by Henry Brown, 25-year-old American Fork resident, who told Deputy Sheriff George Loveless that Phillips was practically in the middle of the road when he saw him. He attempted to turn out but Phillips stepped directly onto the car’s path, Brown said. Brown rushed the injured man to Aird hospital. Officers held that death was accidental and Brown was absolved of all blame.
Mr. Phillips was born in Wales May 19, 1874, the son of John and Anna Evans Phillips. He came to America when ten years old, settling in Pennsylvania until his departure for Utah in 1900, where he was a Utah Fuel company employee. He married Martha Evans June 20, 1901, in Salt Lake City. He is survived by two sons, Reese Jr. of Rock Springs, Wyoming, and Wilford of Castle Gate and four daughters, Mrs. Len Larson, Mrs. Duane Long, and Mrs. Thomas Bendall, Castle Gate and Mrs. Pulsipher of Provo. Nineteen grandchild and one great grandchild survive besides a brother and sister of Mr. Phillips, Mrs. Thomas Widener of Salt Lake City and Ben Phillips of Harren, Illinois. Funeral services will be in Castle Gate, with burial in Spanish Fork [Utah].
His Utah death certificate also attests to the accident.
Rees had seven older siblings, all of them born in Wales. They were: William, John, Benjamin, David, Elizabeth, Henry and Esther.
It is known that Rees had received his ordnances in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptized on 2 August 1903. On 14 March 1914 he was ordained an Elder by David O. McKay while in the Pleasant Valley Ward in Utah. He received his endowment and was sealed to his parents, by proxy, in the Manti Temple on 14 January 1938 and 23 November 1976, respectively.
He married Martha Evans on 20 June 1901 in Salt Lake, Utah and together they had six children: Annabell, Evan, Lydia, Reese, Naomi and Wilford. Pictured above is Rees with Martha and Martha’s children from a previous marriage.
His parents were John Phillips (born on 16 March 1831) and Hannah Evans (12 April 1829-11 September 1897).
Like other men of his time, Rees signed up for the World War I military draft. Based on the information provided, he was a healthy man with dark brown hair and eyes. On these same cards, he also lists his profession as being a farmer.