This collection contains the journals and cash books of J.W. Phillips, who ran a nursery business in central Illinois.
Phillips, a "tree agent" from Washington, Illinois, and later Peoria, Illinois, sold fruit trees and other products from his nursery. He recorded personal and financial information in the journals and cash books, giving insight into the operations of his business.
The Illinois Historical Survey, the predecessor of the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, purchased this collection from Paul North in December of 1954.