Some months back, you
corresponded with my brother, Gordon, about our great,great uncle, "Scotty"
Philip. He recently forwarded your message (above) to me, and suggested I
might get in touch with you about what we know of Scotty. I have pasted in
a bit of his story below, which I composed as a "provenance" as we were
having some antique Sioux artifacts appraised:
James "Scotty" Philip (b. April 30, 1858)
emigrated to the United States from Dallas, Scotland in 1874 with two of his
brothers, Alexander and David. They joined their brother, George Philip, in
Victoria, Kansas, near Hays. Scotty worked farmland in Kansas for about a
year before moving north to the Dakota Territory, trying his hand at many
occupations from gold miner to courier for the U.S. Army. He married Sarah
(Sally) Larribee, who was half French, half Sioux, in 1879. Sally's sister,
Helen, was married to the Oglala chief, Crazy Horse.
Scotty acquired ranch land in what is now South
Dakota and raised cattle. His interests changed to preserving the American
bison around 1895. By 1904, he had 80 buffalo and continued to add more, the
herd numbering near 1000 at the time of his death on July 23, 1911. He and
Sally had seven children who survived infancy: Emma (b. 1881?), Olive,
Hazel, Clara, Stanley, Roderick and Annie (b. 1897).
There are three fine books about Scotty's life:
The Buffalo King: the Story of Scotty Philip by
Charles Scribner's Sons, Ltd., 1971. (This one is for juvenile audiences,
and is mildly fictionalized).
Scotty Philip: The Man Who Saved the Buffalo by Wayne C. Lee,
The Caxton Printers, Ltd., Caldwell, Idaho, 1975.
West from Fort Pierre; the Wild World of James Scotty Philip
by James Robinson, Westernlore Press, 1974 (out of print).
His brother, George Philip, was my great grandfather. He opened George
Philip Hardware in Hays, Kansas in 1894. My grandfather (George III),
father (George IV, also known as "Scotty"), and brother (George V) owned the
store in succession. It was closed in 1998, after four generations and 104
years in business. The building, on the National Register of Historic
Places, has recently been restored and is available for business. Pictures
of the store and the restoration can be seen at:
You can scroll through the pictures by clicking on the arrows at lower left.