Among the capable, enterprising and successful business men of Lewiston is to be mentioned the industrious and skillful tradesman whose name appears above, and who has since 1885 operated a first class tailor shop in Lewiston, where he is now doing a thriving business, being highly respected and in good standing. John J. was born in Austria, near Prague, on November 1, 1856, being the son of John and Anna (Borovec) Philipi. The father was a weaver, born near Prague and died aged fifty, in 1870. The mother was also born in the same place in 1830, and she is now living in Washington. Her parents, Tony and Anna Borovec, both died in Portland.

Our subject was educated in Austria, then was bound out to a tailor in 1870, serving four years, at the expiration of which time he came to the West Indies, thence via Panama to San Francisco and Portland, whither his mother and three brothers had preceded him the year previous. He worked for a time at his trade, then returned to San Francisco, working for a few months and then enlisting in the regular army, Company D, First Cavalry. In 1877 he was sent to Nez Perces to assist in quelling the Indians and he participated in a number of engagements. He then returned to the Golden Gate and was transferred to the Twenty-first, Company K, under Captain Downie, being company tailor, and in 1882 he was honorably discharged at Vancouver. He opened a tailor shop and did well there until 1885, when he came to Lewiston and engaged in the tailoring business here, where he has wrought with a winning hand since that time, being one of the substantial and leading business men of the city. In 1897 Mr. Philipi took a homestead on the Nez Perces reservation and proved up on it recently, having a fine farm, well improved.

The marriage of Mr. Philipi and Miss Fannie, daughter of Martins M. and Fannie Podamy, natives of Austria and immigrants to America in 1871, was solemnized in Portland, on May 22, 1882, and to them four children have been born, Ida, Chester, Allie and Lela. Mrs. Philipi has four sisters, of whom three are now living, Mary Connasek, Anna Bonty and Josie Kiten. Mr. Philipi has three brothers, Joseph, Anton and Henry.

Mr. Philipi is a member of the Maccabees, while he and his family are Catholics. Mr. Philipi is a Democrat and active in political matters. In addition to his farm he has a fine business in Lewiston and has conducted his financial matters in a becoming and wise manner. He is a member of the Pioneer Association and is really one of the builders of the County, having labored faithfully in all his ways.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903