Walter Phillips emigrated from Cornwall England in late 1860s, settling first in Jefferson Township New Jersey. He was an iron ore miner, working in various mines of western NJ. In 1882, he was part of a surveying group sent by the investors of the Eastern Tennessee/Western North Carolina railroad then being built to Cranberry North Carolina.
He moved with his family to Cranberry and was a foreman with the Cranberry Iron & Coal Co. (a division of the Eastern Tennessee/Western North Carolina Railroad) from 1882-1887.
He died Nov 1, 1877 and is buried in the cemetary off Rt 19E behind the old Cranberry High School. His widow Mary died in 1889 in Cranberry and his buried next to him. Their six orphaned children then returned to live with Mary's relatives in New Jersey in Dec. of 1889.