George F. Phillips was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Born Catholic, he was baptized into the Mormon Church by an Ogden missionary. He worked as an associate editor at the Millennial Star, which was published in England. He immigrated to Idaho in 1990 and settled in Bear Lake County. He became a teacher at Brigham Young Academy and moved on to become principal of Weber for the school year of 1893-1894. He served as principal for only one year because of political disagreements and financial problems at the school, but remained as a faculty member for a second year.