The Doe Network: International Center for Unidentified & Missing Persons
Case File: David Laurie Phillips - 1472DMKS

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Phillips Headstone Headstone
Phillips circa 1883; Phillip's monument

David Laurie Phillips

  • Case Classification: Missing
  • Missing Since: June 4-10, 1883
  • Location Last Seen: Salina, Saline County, Kansas
  • Physical Description
    ** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.

  • Date of Birth: August 21 or 27, 1837
  • Age at Time of Disappearance: 46 years old
  • Race: White
  • Gender: Male
  • Height at Time of Disappearance: Unknown
  • Weight at Time of Disappearance: Unknown
  • Hair Color: Dark
  • Eye Color: Light blue or gray.
  • Alias(s) / Nickname(s): Unknown
  • Distinguishing Marks/Features: He wore a beard and mustache.
  • Dentals: Not availble.
  • Fingerprints: Not availble.
  • DNA: Unknown
  • Clothing & Personal Items
  • Clothing: Unknown
  • Jewelry: Unknown
  • Additional Personal Items: Unknown
  • Circumstances of Disappearance

    David Laurie Phillips was a carpenter and cabinent maker by trade and a member of the Salina Town Company, a company who founded Salina, Kansas. He was born in Scotland and immigrated to the United Sates in 1858.

    Mr. Phillips was last seen traveling by train from Kansas to visit his nephew, Dr. William A. Phillips, at his home in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Phillips sent a telegram to Dr. Phillips from Las Vegas, New Mexico, and again from Yuma, Arizona.

    When the train arrived in Los Angeles, David Phillips was not on it. A passenger on the train - a young man - gave Dr. Phillips an urgent message. He stated that David had acted incoherently at the Yuma station and when the train made a brief stop at Volcano Springs, California (now Mundo, CA), at about 1 A.M. on June 10, 1883, the road master saw David Phillips leap off as the train was pulling away. The road master reported that Mr. Phillips had "neither hat, shoes, nor coat."

    Other sources indicate that Mr. Phillips became ill, possibly from a migraine, and became delirious from the heat. According to witnesses, he struck a passenger with a bucket, jumped off the train, and ran into the desert. Other sources stated that he claimed to have been robbed.

    Search parties looked in the areas for weeks but David Phillips was never located. His family erected a monument in his memory in Gypsum Hill Cemetery in Salina, Kansas, which is engraved with "So he died there and the Lord buried him in the Valley but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day."

    The original missing persons report cannot be found. Some sources list his date of disappearance as June 8, 1883 or June 4, 1883.

    Investigating Agency(s)
    If you have any information about this case please contact;

  • Agency Name: Saline County Sheriff's Office
  • Agency Contact Person:
  • Agency Phone Number: 785-826-6500

  • Agency Case Number: Unknown
  • NCIC Case Number: Unknown
  • NamUs Case Number: Not listed
  • Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    Information Source(s)
  • Keely Denning
  • Salina Founding Fathers by Gary Demuth
  • Cemetery Tour
  • Wikipedia: Mundo, California
  • Salina's Historic Downtown by Mary Clement Douglass (p. 10)

  • Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index

    Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team

    Added: Prior to 2011; Last Updated: 1/11/15 By: BR / Missing Persons Coordinator

    To submit an update to this case file, click here.

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