James D. Phillips St. George Academy Fund

TYPE OF FUND:  Designated                                 DATE APPROVED:  May 2017    

PURPOSE: To provide grants for the maintenance and benefit of the St. George Academy Historical Property. If funds are not needed for the Academy or if that part of the endowment is no longer possible, the donor requests the funds to be used for a Scholarship for a Tucker County graduate who is pursuing a History degree.

DISTRIBUTION: Upon the recommendation by the Grants Committee and approval by the full Board of Directors of TCF.

VARIANCE POWER:  The Fund shall be subject to the Foundation’s Asset Development Policy and specifically the Foundation’s Variance Power which states:  “If, in the judgment of the TCF Board of Directors, the restrictions and conditions of the Fund become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment, or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community, the TCF Board of Directors maintains the right to modify the terms of this fund. Tucker Community Foundation has exclusive legal control over its assets.”

FUNDING: Initial donation by Alice E. Phillips upon the death of her husband, James D. Phillips Sr.


James Dale “Jim” Phillips Sr. was born on August 30, 1930 at the family residence in Parsons, West Virginia. He was the son of Joe and Hazel Ann Plum Phillips.  On July 3, 1954 at Oakland, Maryland he married Alice Elaine Parsons. They had three children:  James Dale, Jr.; John Patrick; and Regina Dawn.

Jim was a graduate of Parsons High School Class of 1948 and inducted into the Parsons High School Hall of Fame 2005.  He was a past member of the Parsons Junior Fire Department.  His first job was delivering milk for the Holsberry Dairy as a young boy during World War II. In the summers during high school, he worked at the Phillips Brothers Sawmill in Montrose, West Virginia. He was an employee of the Parsons Tannery, Dorman Mills, Keeley Construction Company, and helped with the construction of the Kingsford Charcoal Company.

He served two years in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and with the aid of the G. I. Bill attended West Virginia University and Davis & Elkins College as a student of Forestry.  He worked for the U.S. Forest Service on a term appointment.  He ran and won the position as Sheriff of Tucker County and Treasurer 1960-1964. As the Sheriff, he acquired a bankrupt system that paid with “No Fund Checks”.  It was an area of pride for him to say at the end of his term, the County was no longer in the “red” and could pay their bills.  In 1964 Jim became a U.S. Department of Agriculture Division of the U.S. Forest Service permanent employee.  During his tenure, he worked on research projects some of which included Acid Rain Effects on the Environment at the Timber and Watershed Laboratory in Parsons.  During this time he attended many certificated courses: Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry, Chemical Analyses for Water Quality, National Atmospheric Deposition Program, Hazardous Chemicals Safety, and Numerous Chemistry courses at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia.  He retired as a Biological Laboratory Biochemistry Technician with 25 years of service. During his time with the U.S. Forest Service, his course of studies took him to numerous locations throughout the United States some of which included Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Colorado, Montana, and numerous other locations. Jim became a weather observer for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration while working for the U.S. Forest Service and continued to work for them as a weather observer with 35 years of service.  

Upon retirement with the U.S. Forest Service, he administered a pilot program involving research stations at his farm on Blackman Flats for the Harvard School of Public Health and Pollution Research under a grant funded by the Environmental Protection Agency in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

Jim was an elected member of the Tucker County Board of Education with six years of service 1970-1976 and was the Board President two of them. He participated in the dedication ceremony for the opening of the new Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School.

Jim’s passion was being a good steward for the preservation of numerous historical artifacts and historically significant buildings in Tucker County.  He was a volunteer, President, museum curator, and a Board of Director member for the Tucker County Historical Society since its inception to 2017. In 2007 he was one of 52 West Virginias honored by at the time First Lady Gayle Manchin for contributing to local historical society efforts as a West Virginia “History Hero”.

A second passion of Jim’s was farming, gardening, and providing vegetables to sell at the local farmers market.  He was an avid supporter of the Tucker County 4-H youth serving programs. He was a life-long member of the First United Methodist Church in Parsons, West Virginia and a member of the men’s breakfast group. He was a member of the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association and Post 200 of the American Legion.

He and Alice spent many hours helping the St. George Academy achieve the National Register status. The Academy’s permanent location was donated by the Parsons Family and is where Alice Parsons Phillips and many family members attended school. 

At the time of his death, he was a resident of the Blackman Flats Community. He died February 1, 2017 surrounded by family members. He was 86.