Jesse S. Phillips

Dies At Home In Bronxville

Submitted by William A. Greene - 2005

Jesse S. Phillips, 83, former State Superintendent on Insurance and a New York City lawyer and insurance executive for many years died at his home in Bronxville Saturday morning, November 6, 1954.

Mr. Phillips was appointed State Superintendent of Insurance in 1915 by Gov. Charles S. Whitman and remained in that office until 1921, serving under Gov. Whitman, Gov. Alfred E. Smith and Gov. Nathan L. Miller.

Mr. Phillips was born in Independence, N.Y., the son if Peter and Elizabeth Snyder Phillips.  He attended Andover Union School and on graduation went to the University of Michigan Law School, where he graduated in 1893.  He also held an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Alfred University conferred in 1949.

After leaving college Mr. Phillips practiced law in Andover and Hornell.  He was a member of the State Assembly from Allegany County form 1901 to 1911 and in 1915 was a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention.

While serving as State Superintendent of Insurance he was President of the National Convention of Insurance Commissioners in 1916 and 1917.

In 1921 he became general manager and counsel of the National Bond of Casualty and Surety Underwriters.

Mr. Phillips became President of the Great American Indemnity Company in 1926 and continued in that capacity until 1933, when he was named Chairman of the Board.  He retired in 1950, but retained his directorship in that company, in the subsidiary Great American Insurance Company, and in several affiliated firms.

Mr. Phillips was also active in the banking business in Andover, being a director and also serving sometime as President of the Burrows National Bank and upon the merger of the Burrow National Bank and the Andover State Banks to form the Andover National Bank was named a director of the Andover National Bank in which capacity he has since served.

He was a member of Andover Lodge No. 558 F. & A. M.., and in 1948 was presented a 50 year medal form the Grand Lodge.  He was a member of the Siwanoy and Westchester Country Clubs, The National Republican Club and the American and New York State Bar Associations.  He was a former member of the Consistory of the Dutch Reformed Church in Bronxville and longtime member of the Cedar Knolls Colony.

Mr. Phillips first wife, the former Mary T. Cannon of Andover died in 1939 and in July 1944 he married Emily M. Rosebery, who survives.  Also surviving is a daughter, Mary, now Mrs. John Galloway, a son Francis W. Phillips both of Scarsdale, N. Y. and five grandchildren.

Funeral services were held in Bronxville Monday afternoon, November 8th, at the Dutch Reformed church of which Mr. Phillips was devoted member and was widely attended by friend’s and acquaintances including a large delegation of Insurance executives and business associates of Mr. Phillips.

Interment was in the Phillips family mausoleum in Kensico Cemetery, Westchester County N. Y.

F. W. Burrows of Andover and B. C. DeWitt of Hornell attended the services from this vicinity.