Many Central Florida residents and visitors are constantly seeing the name “Dr. Phillips”. From the suburb, to a performing arts center, to the name of a street and beyond, this name is all around the Orlando area. What some may not know, however, is the rich history of who Dr. Phillips was and how the suburb came to be.
Thankfully, Mr. Clean Can has done some research, and has gathered some interesting information that will have you wanting to drink a glass of orange juice and then head over to visit the Dr. Phillips area!
The Man Behind the Name
In the late 1800’s, a man by the name of Dr. Philip Phillips visited Satsuma, Florida with the intention to buy an orange grove. He was able to do just that, but unfortunately something very un-Florida-like happened, a frost (noted as one of the worst in the history of Florida) destroyed all the trees in his grove. Discouraged from the freeze, Dr. Phillips left for a while and headed back home to Tennessee. He didn’t stay away for too long though, in 1902 he returned, but to the Central Florida area! He found success here after purchasing multiple orange groves and made the decision to move his family here permanently.
Dr. Phillips is known in history as having a key role in helping us be able to enjoy a nice glass of orange juice in the morning. Before his invention of “flash” pasteurization, many were drinking orange juice from a can, which could be unpleasant due to the metallic taste the can would leave behind in the juice. Thanks to Dr. Phillips’ invention of “flash” pasteurization, which helps increase the shelf life of many products we use today, everyone was able to enjoy their delicious orange juice without the not-so-delicious taste of the can!
A Great Philanthropist
Aside from his great strides in the orange business, Dr. Phillips is also known for his incredible charitable efforts and philanthropic nature. He helped with the creation of the Dr. Phillips Memorial Hospital when he realized that the African American residents of Central Florida were not receiving the proper health care they deserved.
Along with this, he donated millions of dollars to charities and social services, and then in 1953, the Dr. P. Phillips Foundation was established to help with many of the charitable needs of Central Florida. Through the charitable organizations associated with Dr. Phillips, almost $200 million has been made and used to help those that need it most in the community!
How the Community Was Formed
Dr. Phillips’ plan was to create a community centered around his orange groves. To accomplish this task, he hired a planner to create the blueprint for a community where people could live, work, and play. In 1954, Dr. Phillips sold his citrus operations, but kept the undeveloped land in southwest Orange County. Some of this land was later sold and developed into residential neighborhood.
On April 18, 1959, Dr. Philip Phillips passed away, but his son Howard proceeded to update his father’s plans for the ideal community. At the time, Orange County was not able to fulfull the needs of planning the Dr. Phillips area, so Howard Phillips retained an outside land planning firm from California to develop a master plan for an 18 square mile area. This area, now known as Doctor Phillips, was the first master-planned community in Central Florida!
Gone, But Not Forgotten
While Doctor Philip Phillips may not be with us today, he has certainly left behind a beautiful community and the continuation of his charitable efforts. In fact, all the Phillips’ family holdings were left to be used for charity.
So, next time you find yourself in the Dr. Phillips area, or even just when you take a sip of ice-cold orange juice in the morning, be sure to think of Dr. Philip Phillips and all of the great strides he made for not only Central Florida, but the world!