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by: Charles Young

Dorothy Stenberg Phipps -- family history and photos

Dorothy Phipps was born March 5, 1906 in College View, Nebraska. She married Oliver Phipps in Lincoln, Nebraska. Most of their 12 children were born in Colorado. About a third of the Stenberg descendants that I know about are descended from Dorothy Stenberg Phipps. In 1955 the Phipps family moved from Crestone, Colorado to a primitive farm in Northwest Arkansas. Some of the family lived there for more than a decade.
    4-Dorothy May STENBERG (1906-1985) Parents
      m.(1929) Oliver Edward PHIPPS Jr (1904-1967)
    Dorothy 1956
    Dorothy
    5-Harold PHIPPS (1929-1929)
    5-Helen Marie PHIPPS (1931-1996)
    5-Charles Edward PHIPPS (1932- )
    5-Fredrick "Fred" Weston PHIPPS (1933- )
    5-Warren Franklin PHIPPS (1935- )
    5-Gerald Alfred PHIPPS (1936- )
    5-Laverne "Vern" Alvin PHIPPS (1937- )
    5-Noble "Lee" Leroy PHIPPS (1940- )
    5-Gloria Ilene PHIPPS (1941- )
    5-Kendal Eugene PHIPPS (1942-1965)
    5-Lilly Gay PHIPPS (1945- )
    5-Willie Ray PHIPPS (1945-1945)
    5-Valerie Faith PHIPPS (1948-1987)

Dorothy with her mother  
Dorothy Phipps and her mother Ida Stenberg about 1957
I have fond memories of spending a week or 2 at the farm in the summers when I was young. As the Phipps children grew up, they left the farm, and eventually Oliver and Dorothy also left. Then a few years after everyone had left, 2 of the boys came back to the farm for a time. Most of the farm is still intact although the house and cabins are long gone. The farm is owned by a trust administered by the Phipps family.

Idabel Stenberg Farr wrote:
"Dorothy and Oliver met in Boulder where both grew up, moved to the Crestone area and moved back to Boulder at least once. When their growing family went back to Crestone the last time they lived on eighty acres on Rito Alto. Oliver made mining claims in this area. Rito Alto is the name of a creek about seven miles from Crestone. To drive to it on available roads in the mid or late-Thirties, you would travel about twenty miles. All of the roads out of any town were "primitive" meaning any road is better than no road.

In 1943 Oliver sold this property and moved his family to one and a half acres which was half a mile from Crestone. A major factor of the move was that the children had to go to school. This is where my parents and I visited them so often.

The family had a year-round stream flowing through their yard and took Colorado's beautiful scenery very much for granted. Surviving the elements was taken for granted too. Warren says the weather was cold when it snowed and colder when it didn't.

Dorothy (my Aunt Dot) was a devoted wife and mother and a spiritual person who passed on her convictions to her children. Most of her life was lived in very primitive living conditions compared to the way Kent and I grew up—and Kent and I grew up with electricity but not with in-door plumbing. Of Dorothy's fourteen children, twelve lived to adulthood. After Oliver's death in 1967 she married John A. Ewing (Pat).

A family friend, Charles "Toy" Wilson Jr., told us in 1992 of meeting Dorothy when she was a teen-ager and what an attractive young girl she was. He was eighty-five then and was quite vivid and verbal in his recollections."

It is mostly Dorothy's children, grandchildren, and etc. who get together about once a year for a reunion. These reunions have been held in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Other Stenberg descendants are welcome. Dorothy's cousin, Mina Young, and her descendants have attended some of these.


In 1996, Eileen Balli wrote a touching story about a probably unrelated Phipps family who lived in Texas and later Oklahoma. You can read it here.
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