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Dr. Philip Phillips

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Dr. Philip Phillips
Philip Phillips, who would later be known simply as "Doc," was born on January 27, 1874, in Memphis, Tennessee. Born to French...
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Dr. Phillips Legacies, Fall 2006 and 2007

Long synonymous with central Florida, the Dr. Phillips name has had a philanthropic and economic presence in the community since the turn of the 20th century. Once considered the largest citrus producer in the world, the Dr. Phillips companies share a rich history spanning several generations; culminating in the establishment of two distinct funding organizations, The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips Inc., perhaps best known for their support of central Florida community programs through specialized grant funding. From page 1 of The Dr. Phillips Legacy in Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 1, Fall 2006 and Volume 2, Fall 2007.

Born on the 27th of March 1902 in Lebanon, Tennessee, Howard Phillips represents the family's triumphant march into the second half of the 20th century and the solidification of the Phillips name as a force in central Florida philanthropy. Harvard educated, temperate, a man of many interests, Howard Phillips was charged with carrying on his father's legacy...  from page 2  of The Dr. Phillips Legacy. VIEW.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)    

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.

 

 


Dr. P. Phillips & Sons, Inc. Map of Grove Properties: Sand Lake Area, 1953

Dr. P. Phillips & Sons, Inc. Map of Grove Properties: Sand Lake Area, Dr. Phillips, Florida, October 15, 1953.

 

Map courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Archives.


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 3, Spring 2008

The first edition of the Dr. Phillips Legacies newsletter explored the events that brought the well-known Dr. Phillips name to the Central Florida community. The second edition shared the enrichments to the community that were a result of the Phillips family's dedication to the arts, culminating in the naming of The Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center.

The next step of this 100-year journey - so deeply intertwined with the development of Central Florida as we know it today - will explore the Phillips family's history in the citrus business. At one time, the Dr. Phillips Citrus Co. was the largest citrus producer in the world. The company's innovative processing and packing practices were the first to sell more than 100 million oranges in one year.

Dr. Phillips contributed to establishing Central Florida as a recognized leader for the nation's citrus and produced registered trademarks such as Dr. Phillips, Two Brothers, Zest, Tri Juice, Palestine, Right-O'-Way, Harem, Fairvilla, Del Ora, Sealedgold, Commander, Tippecanoe and Woodpecker. It all began because Doc Phillips had an eye for opportunity in the unpopulated lands of Central Florida. From page one of  Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 3, Spring 2008.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 4, Fall 2008

When Doc Phillips first arrived in Central Florida, it's hard to imagine that he could have foreseen the tremendous success he would
enjoy in the citrus business. Rising above the hardships imposed by Florida's fickle weather and by a country enduring the Great Depression and World Wars, Doc Phillips persevered.

Through hard work and a keen instinct for business, Doc Phillips and his son, Howard, became leaders of the citrus business in the state of Florida. Seeing there was a larger market to serve beyond Florida, they later flourished through the application of innovative technologies in growing, processing and distributing citrus.

Improving the Product in a "Flash" After diversifying his business, and expanding the reach of Florida citrus, Doc Phillips continued his leadership of the citrus industry by establishing a canning plant at the corner of Orange Avenue and Princeton Street. Creating
a patented innovation called "flash" pasteurization, his citrus company was the first to produce juice without the...

Continued on page 2 of Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 4, Fall 2008.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 5, Spring 2009

As a citrus pioneer, Doc Phillips quickly came to understand that the citrus industry was very cyclical. Part of the year was hectic with the demands of the industry including planting and harvesting and part was very slow. As a result, good employees who were kept on staff during the busy times were let go during the slow times. Doc recognized that he was losing talented people during these downturns and was determined to find a way to keep them employed all year.

Doc decided to solve this problem by having his company construct commercial and industrial buildings on existing properties that would not grow citrus, and also construct new buildings on other properties that had been acquired to support the citrus business. This construction would provide employment opportunities for citrus workers in the slow times and the completed buildings would be leased out to provide additional income to the company.

In the early 1920s Dr. Phillips Inc. began the business of building and leasing commercial and industrial buildings on its properties. One of the first to be built was the Dr. Phillips Theater, in what is now downtown Orlando...

Continued on page 2 of Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 5, Spring 2009.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 6, Fall 2009

Dr. Phillips Area — the First Master-Planned Community in Central Florida The past five issues of Legacies have detailed the history of Doc Phillips' citrus empire, the family's love of the arts and its wise transition to commercial real estate.The income from Dr. Phillips Charities' real estate and other investments today is used to provide funding and support to numerous nonprofit organizations in the local community, serving the needs of tens of thousands of children and families annually. This installment will focus on the southwest area of Orange County that came to be known as "Dr. Phillips, Florida."

The Dr. Phillips area, which in the first half of the 20th century was home to Doc's thousands of acres of citrus holdings, is now a bustling master-planned community, boasting unparalleled amenities and public facilities for its residents. But how did Doc's citrus groves become the vibrant Dr. Phillips community of today?

A little history ...

In the 1920s, Doc first built a modern packing house, a fertilizer plant and a post office in the area. Later, in the 1940s, Doc sought the help of a Jacksonville planner to produce a blueprint for the further development of the community, which he envisioned as a small village for 5,000 centered around agricultural enterprises.

From page one of Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 6, Fall 2009.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 7, Spring 2010

Two Brothers: Howard and Walter Phillips' Roles in the Dr. Phillips Legacy Doc and Della Phillips had two sons - Howard and Walter. We will follow the lives of these two brothers in a series of articles in this and future issues, covering their personal interests and their involvement in the growth of the family business.

Howard was born on March 27, 1902, in Lebanon, Tennessee; Walter, on November 27, 1905, in Kissimmee, Florida. In 1907, the family moved from Osceola County to Lake Mann, just west of Downtown Orlando. As youngsters, the brothers walked several miles each day to their elementary school in Beardall Park, which today is the site of SunTrust Center.

In 1910, the family moved to a new home at Orlando's 135 Lucerne Circle. The home, with its grand columns and distinctive tower, served as the base for frequent social and cultural activities, most of which revolved around music. Growing up, not only were the Phillips' sons educated in the social graces and exposed to the culture and music of the day, they also were taught responsibility through household duties assigned to them. These lessons would last a lifetime. Although no longer owned by the Phillips family, the home has survived and today is on the prestigious U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Continued on page 2 of Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 7, Spring 2010.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 8, Spring 2011

Our last newsletter began with a series of stories about the two sons of Doc and Della Phillips; Howard the eldest, and Walter the youngest. While both sons worked together for the Dr. Phillips companies for many years, Walter's interest in the companies ended when Howard purchased his brother's interest in 1948. Howard continued to lead the Dr. Phillips companies until his death in 1979. This begins his story.

Howard was born March 27, 1902, in Lebanon, Tennessee. His formative years were spent growing up in the family home on Lake Lucerne while attending school in what many longtime Central Florida residents will remember as the Beardall Park area. Throughout Howard's early education Doc and Della enlisted in-residence, full-time French and music tutors to teach the cultural arts and humanities studies that were so important to them.

As Howard's language skills and musical talents grew, he settled on the violin and was trained by Professor Newell who, at the time, conducted the orchestra in Central Florida. Later, as Howard continued showing proficiency on the violin, he was trained by Dr. Julia Allen who began the first Symphony Orchestra in Florida.

As a testament to Howard's talent on the violin, he was asked to perform with the Symphony Orchestra and did so playing Haydn's "Surprise Symphony." Howard did this at such a young age that he was still wearing "knickers" at the time of his performance.

Continued on page 2  of Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 8, Spring 2011.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.

 


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 9, Fall 2011

We concluded the last issue of Legacies with Howard Phillips having graduated from Harvard and contemplating his future. Before him stood a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to manage the prestigious New York Theater Guild, as well as an opportunity to join his father in the citrus business. Howard's love of the performing arts and his strong family commitments made this a very difficult  decision, but in the end Howard chose to return to Orlando to join his father's business.

Howard's first year with the Dr. Phillips Companies was a challenging one. It was 1924, and the Florida citrus industry was struggling and needed new opportunities to sell their products. Expansion into new markets was difficult due to a perception that Florida fruit was inferior to California fruit. This perception resulted in the northern market simply not accepting Florida fruit.

To address this challenge, one of the first and most important assignments Howard received from his father was to open up new markets ... specifically targeting the states of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. So Howard, a recent Harvard graduate, devised a risky plan, rolled up his sleeves and traveled north on the railways ... with fully loaded box cars of fresh oranges and grapefruit, determined to change perceptions and the marketplace.
 

Continued on page 2 of Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 9, Fall 2011.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.

 


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 10, Spring 2012

As was concluded in the last Legacy article, after more than 60 years as a pioneer and leader in the citrus industry, Dr. Phillips sold the agricultural portion of his business to Minute Maid in 1954. Only the properties dedicated to the citrus business were included in the sale; all other properties were retained. He then directed that these remaining properties, if suitable for such use, be developed into commercial and industrial real estate investments. After the sale was concluded, Dr. Phillips retired and turned over the leadership of the family business, now focused on the retained real estate holdings, to his son Howard. The surviving company, Diversified Services Inc., later became Dr. Phillips Inc. (referenced herein as the Dr. Phillips Company).

Before transitioning out of citrus and into real estate, Howard Phillips made sure that all grove workers and managers from the family business had the opportunity to be employed by Minute Maid in its new operations in Florida. Such concern for the welfare of good employees was a Phillips family tradition. In fact, with the citrus business being seasonal, keeping good employees working for him year-round was the primary motivation for Dr. Phillips to develop a secondary business of building and leasing commercial and industrial buildings on his non-agricultural properties.

While still in the citrus business, Dr. Phillips trained his best employees in the construction trades and in the early 1920s began constructing a number of commercial and industrial buildings for lease. One of the first to be built was the...

Continued on page 2 of Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 10, Spring 2012.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 11, Spring 2013

The planned development of the Dr. Phillips Community came about as a direct result of initiatives taken by Dr. Phillips. In the early 1950s, the concept of zoning or long-range land planning was almost non-existent in Central Florida. It was during this timeframe that Dr. Phillips initiated the creation of a "master plan" for the community of Dr. Phillips.

Dr. Phillips envisioned this community to be a first-class, full-service community where residents could live, work and play; all with support services necessary to sustain a premier quality of life. To plan for the orderly development of this community, Dr. Phillips hired a "land-use planner" from Jacksonville, Florida, named George Simmons. Together with Howard Phillips, their collaborative efforts resulted in the "Simmons" plan allowing for approximately 5,000 residents and designating areas for commercial, industrial and residential use. At the time of its creation, the Dr. Phillips Community plan was a very progressive and innovative concept.

Ten years later, in 1960, the first contract signed under the "Simmons" plan was the Bay Hill community, which featured spacious residential lots and an adjoining championship golf course. The property owned by The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation contained approximately 648 acres. Bay Hill represented everything that supported the standards of the new Dr. Phillips Community; providing an area in which to live, work and play and attracting family residences by restricting homebuilders to a "density" of no more than two homes per acre.

In the 1960s, when Bay Hill was being developed, it was located in a very isolated and undeveloped section of West Orange County: Dr. Phillips, Florida. In order for Bay Hill to be a quality residential community, it required city-type services and utilities, prompting Dr. Phillips to establish Dr. Phillips Utilities.

Continued on page 2 of Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 11, Spring 2013.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 12, Spring 2015

Our last newsletter concluded with an overview of the beginnings of the planned community now known as the prestigious Dr. Phillips area. The development of Bay Hill on land owned by Dr. Phillips was the first implementation of the master " land use " planning that had been completed in the middle 1950's. Prior to that time, the Dr. Phillips area consisted primarily of orange groves.

With the residential growth of the Dr. Phillips area, Dr. Phillips understood that a comprehensive and controlled growth plan was necessary to maintain the integrity of the community. The first step was creating the Dr. Phillip Utilities, which provided quality community-wide water and sewer service. Prior to Dr. Phillips' involvement, every home built in the area had to provide for its own water and waste disposal with varying degrees of efficiency.

Dr. Phillips then built a five-mile long sewer pressure main beginning at the master lift station located next to the eighteenth tee of Bay Hill. Potable water lines were also designed and installed to comply with a study done for Dr. Phillips by Watson and Company for the entire community.

Also at that time, there were no shopping facilities located in the Dr. Phillips area. The first Bay Hill residents had to drive miles to purchase even the most basic groceries or gasoline. In response to this need, Dr. Phillips built what is now known as the Village Center housing the first convenience store and gas station in the area. The Village Center is still owned and managed by Dr. Phillips.

So as not to create an aesthetic eyesore, the gas station was designed to "hide" the pumps. Today it remains as the only gas station permitted on Dr. Phillips properties.

Also at the time of this development, the Dr. Phillips community had no fire protection other than the Forestry Service. Orange County had just...  

Continued on page 2 of  Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 12, Spring 2015.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies  courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 13, Summer 2015

The Tampa Daily Times, Saturday, April 8, 1939,

Dr. Phillips Co. Stands for American Ideals, Free Institutions and Endeavor: Efficiency of Operation, Welfare of Employes Part of Firm's Policy

Striking proof that "The American Way" is the best way can be found in the widespread and diverse operations of the Dr. P. Phillips Co. at Orlando. The Dr. Phillips Company is an organization which in itself typifies efficiency from the beginning to the end of its operations, yet spares nothing in the interests of the welfare of the more than 1500 employes who produce the products that have established it as a leader in the Florida Citrus industry. Headed by Dr. P. Phillips, a pioneer citrus grower, the organization carries on all of its operations "The American Way" in every sense of the expression.

                                                            Liberal Reforms.
Dr. Phillips himself holds an idealistic belief in the principles of free American institutions and freedom of endeavor that borders on the fanatic. It is encouraging in these days of dictatorships and suppression of personal liberties to find a man who so ardently defends his country's institutions. His reforms and liberal thinking on employee relations have established Dr. Phillips as one of the most liberal of Florida's citrus leaders. His concern over the welfare of the employes who depend on him for a livelihood has gained a far flung reputation for friendly employe relations for the world's largest individual grower of grapefruit, oranges, tangerines. An American flag that waves valiantly over every spot of his property where more than 10 of his employes congregate daily, typifies his patriotism and love of free ideals.

                                                                        Practical.
Despite his idealism, there is nothing impractical in the makeup of this man who has founded one of the largest organizations in the citrus industry. There is no waste in his organization. Nothing is thrown away. The executives of the company believe that everything connected with citrus fruit has a purpose and they have utilized the resources of the company's laboratories to discover some means of converting every part of the fruit from seed to peeling into numbers of worthwhile products. The Dr. Phillips Company is a complete unit "from seed to shelves," self-sustaining in most of its departments. With more than 5000 acres of fruit-bearing citrus trees under cultivation, the organization operates its own nursery. Here the infant trees are grown from the seed until they are ready for transplanting to one of the new Phillips groves, which constantly are being added to the already extensive acreage...

Article written about Dr. P. Phillips by The Tampa Times dated April 8, 1939 continued on page 2 of Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 13, Summer 2015.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.


Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 14, Spring 2016

Dr. Phillips Charities is distinguished as Central Florida legacy. This issue takes us from a rich past, to an exciting present and future. Every day our journey forward reflects the story that began with Dr. P. Phillips being the largest citrus producer in the world at the turn of the 20th century. The true honor of his name now lisein the work of nonprofit organizations supported by our grants which help fulfill their missions. 

From page one of Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 14, Spring 2016.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.

 


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