Dr. Phillips first comes to Florida intending to enter the cattle business but instead purchases a citrus grove near Satsuma. The grove is wiped out in the Great Freeze of 1894-1895 and Dr. Phillips returns to Lebanon, Tennessee to practice medicine. In 1897, Dr. Phillips returns to Florida and purchases land in Kissimmee with the intent of raising cattle. Dr. Phillips also later purchases a citrus grove on Big Sand Lake. Over the next two decades, Dr. Phillips acquires thousands of acres of citrus groves across Central Florida.