History of Community

In 1881, James "Scotty" Philip moved his ranch to the mouth of the Grindstone Creek along the Bad River. The ranch site was near the present day location of Philip & served as the home base of Scotty’s ranch operations for many years.

While Scotty operated this ranch site, he & neighbor Dan Powell established a post office. This post office was named Philip after him & was later moved into the new town bearing his name.

Scotty then met a man named Pete Dupree who managed to catch five buffalo calves during the last big hunt on the Grand River in 1881. After Pete’s death, he decided to prevent the extinction of the buffalo & purchased the herd from Dupree’s estate.

Often, this herd of buffalo could be seen grazing along the banks of the Missouri River. In time, this herd would grow to nearly a thousand animals, which was, at that time, the largest in the world. This herd would later stock national and state parks throughout the United States. Shortly after Scotty died, Custer State Park purchased 36 head. This herd thrived in the park & was used to stock other parks & refugees.

The township of Philip was established in 1907 & became a municipality in 1908.
James (Scotty) Philip also gave name to the school’s mascot, “Philip Scotties”.


James "Scotty" Philip - The Buffalo King