Stephen Henry Phillips Double House

This lovely double house was built in 1890 in Salem, Mass.

In 1893, Reverend J.P. Franks of Grace Episcopal Church lived on the right side, while Stephen Henry Phillips, his wife, Margaret and their children lived on the left.

Phillips was a lawyer and descendent of one of Salem’s oldest families. He served as attorney general of Massachusetts and the Kingdom of Hawaii. The Phillips family lived in Hawaii in 1873, when their son Stephen Willard Phillips was born. By the time James Duncan Phillips was born two years later, they had moved to San Francisco.

After several years, the family came to Massachusetts, living Haverhill (home of Margaret’s family), North Adams and Danvers.

The Phillips sons became prominent members of the Salem community. Stephen (1873-1955) was an attorney and historian, active in civic and charitable organizations. He was instrumental in the Essex Institute (now the Peabody Essex Museum) acquiring the Pierce-Nichols, Gardiner-Pingree and Andrew Safford houses.

James Duncan Phillips became a local historian, and author of many books and articles about Salem.

The elder Stephen Phillips died April 8,1897, but Margaret Phillips remained there as owner until at least 1911.

Reverend Franks continued to occupy the other side, but only Mrs. Phillips was listed as owner on the atlases.

By 1930, Thomas H. Billings, pastor of the First Unitarian Church, occupied the Phillips side. He was followed in 1950 by a professor, and in 1970 by a lawyer, who may have had his office in the house.

The Franks family occupied their side until at least 1950, but the house continued to be associated with Grace Church into the 1970s, when the occupant was assistant rector Gerald W. Porter. The double house remains in residential use to the present.

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