Philip A. "Gustus" Lotterhos was born in Crystal Springs (Copiah County), Mississippi, in August 1881. He was the second son of
Augustus and Magdelena Lieb Lotterhos, who were married in May 1876 and had six children -- Frederick Charles (Fritz), Philip Augustus (Gustus), Evelyn (died in infancy), George, Edith, and Julius.
The Lotterhos family originated from Bobanthal, Rhine Pfaltz, Germany. In April 1859, Philip's father, Augustus, left his homeland with other members of his immediate family and traveled to the United
States, arriving in New Orleans in June 1859. Augustus settled in Crystal Springs, Mississippi in January 1860 and set up a confectionery and grocery store in the town. Following the American Civil War, in
which three of his brothers were killed, Augustus expanded the family business into a general merchandise store, selling dry goods, hardware, and farm supplies. The Lotterhos family was influential in the
vegetable growing industry, developing new growing techniques and introducing modernized transportation methods. The family also gained prominence as the largest shipper of tomatoes in the United States, at
Instead of entering the family business, Philip left Mississippi to attend college in Clarksville (Montgomery County), Tennessee. Following graduation he became an Indian missionary, and
served as a minister throughout the state in the early years of the twentieth century. No other information concerning the life and activities of Philip Augustus Lotterhos is available.