The Lincoln Land Company, a subsidiary of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (now the Burlington Northern), created the major towns of Amherst, Holyoke, Haxtun, and Paoli in 1887 when the railroad built through this prairie region. Following its formation in 1889, Phillips produced wheat, grain corn, hay, pinto beans, barley, and live-stock. The tiny town of Amherst boasts the largest grain elevator (1945–1946, with additions) in northeastern Colorado. Like most high plains counties, Phillips has lost population and gained relatively little new construction since World War II. Roughly half of the 4,000 residents live in the county seat of Holyoke. That town, thanks to one man's foresight and generosity, has become a model community.
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