The Adams County Fair Remembers Leslie and Mary Phillips
Leslie, the son of Kyle and Geneva Phillips, purchased his first registered jersey, Fauvic Fairy Cherry Blossom, from Funk Jerseys in 1932. He was only 10 years old. Ninety years later, her genetics are still present in his daughter’s herd.
Leslie Phillips, age 10 with Fauvic Fairy Cherry Blossom
After serving in the Pacific during World War II, Leslie returned home to his wife Mary and the family farm in Pike County. In 1957, the family moved to Clayton, Ill. That year, they began showing at the Adams County Fair and the family has not missed a year since except for the Covid-19 cancellation. All his children (Duane, Donald, Dennis, and Donna) showed as did his grandchildren. Leslie showed every year until his death in 2013. At every fair until her death in 2008, Mary sat in the bleachers watching and supporting her family. Though never showing herself, she was always there sometime even with a pitchfork in her hand. 2023 will be the 66th year at least one member of the family has shown Jerseys at the Adams County Fair.
Leslie and Wheaties Supreme and Grand Champion
But, more than showing, the family has also mentored many 4-H children through showing and care of cattle. Leslie was a 4-H leader for over 25 years where he helped numerous 4-H children exhibit various projects as well as encouraging and teaching his own children.
Leslie with Erin (granddaughter) and children Donna, Denny, Donald and Duane with their Champion Display
Currently, Duane breeds, raises calves, and shows at Adams County and Illinois State Fairs while Donna has a registered Jersey farm in Wisconsin where half the herd can trace their origins back to that farm in Clayton including several that trace back to that first 4-H calf. The registered herd that began in 1932 grew to have several champions, production awards, and there have been 8 bulls placed in stud.
Mary and Leslie Phillips on September 13, 1997 at Donna and Dan’s wedding.