From glass plate negative
University of Washington, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
He was born in Jackson, Michigan. By 1900 he had moved with his family to Chattanooga.
Newspaper articles noted his singing talent.
At age 25, in 1903, Will set off to New York to tour in the first of several comic opera company performances including “A Girl from Dixie”.
Amazingly, Will appears in a surviving photo from a 1904 performance at the Grand Opera House in Seattle.
Appearance in other performances between 1906 - 1916 include: Sybil, The Girl from Utah, The Count of Luxembourg, and My Lady's Maid.
"Mr. Will Hobart leaves Friday for New York City to join the "Girl from Dixie" company."
"Will Hobart is another Chattanoogan boy who has made his way up near the top of the comic opera musical comedy ladder. He is now with 'The Red Feather,' and before joining this company was a member of the cast of 'The Strollers'"
Fred H. Phillips Jr. had an impressive and varied career. He's seen in many glass plate negatives from multiple sources. Capt. Phillips served in Company H of the U.S. Volunteers / 3rd Tennessee Volunteer Infantry. In 1898 he was stationed at Camp Dewey Nashville, and at Camp George H. Thomas at Chickamauga Park earlier the same year.
In 1905, Phillips was Vice-Principal of Chattanooga High School.
By 1917 he was a Brigadier General and Secretary of the National Rifle Association.
Evidence points to this photo being Frank T. Phillips, the brother of Fred Phillips. Frank died December 19th, 1900 at age 24 of a 'life-long chronic condition'.
His obituary states the funeral was held at his residence with pallbearers including Will Hobart and Charles G. Walline (the likely photographer).
Other evidence proves this photo was taken at 704 E. 3rd Street, the Phillips residence. It's even possible this was taken on the day of the funeral.
Born in Jackson, Michigan. His father, who worked in the wholesale business, moved the family to Chattanooga by 1894. As early as 1895, he was listed in newspaper articles as a 'well known singer (tenor)'.
Dr. Cooper Holtzclaw (1861-1929) was one of the most popular physicians in Chattanooga, practicing medicine here for 45 years. He was instrumental in the establishment of Erlanger Hospital. Cator Street was renamed Holtzclaw Ave. by public vote of citizens living in that area in 1920.
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