Van Buren County
Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
This gentleman is the son of Alexander H. Phelps, who came from Parkman, Ohio, in 1841, and settled, with his
family, in the village of Lawrence, Van Buren Co, Mich. He built a saw mill, and for a few years was engaged in
the milling business with his brother, Nelson Phelps, and Harrison Balfour. He was also, in connection with the
mill, engaged in the mercantile business. Both he and his wife were natives of Ohio. Mr. Phelps lived in Lawrence
until his death, which occurred March 1, 1878, and his wife is now living in that village. They were the parents
of ten children, six sons and four daughters, who are all living, except two sons.
Henry P. Phelps, of Hartford, was born in Lawrence, April 7, 1842. At the age of twenty he left home, and enlisted
in a regiment of sharpshooters, the 66th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was with Sherman in his various campaigns.
He was taken prisoner near Dallas, Miss., and about three months afterwards was released on parole, but was not
exchanged until about eight months from the time ho was captured. At Peach Tree Creek, Ga., on the 22d of July,
1864, he was wounded,—the day being that on which the gallant McPherson was killed. Mr. Phelps remained in the
service two years and eleven months, and in the winter of 1865—66, after his discharge, attended the Eastman Business
College, at Chicago. In the spring of 1866 he entered the store of H. M. Marshall, at Lawrence, and remained with
him a year and a half, after which he engaged in the mercantile business at Hartford, in partnership with his brother,
William A. Phelps. The firm was continued about two years, during which time a branch store was established at
Keeler. H. P. Phelps finally purchased his brother’s interest in the business, and continued at Hartford, while
the latter assumed entire charge of the store at Keeler. In September, 1879, Henry Phelps sold his establishment
to Charles P. Young, who erected the fine three-story brick store he now occupies.
Sept. 29, 1869, Mr. Phelps was married to Jennie Smiley, daughter of Mitchell S. Smiley, who was originally from
Maryland, and who settled in Arlington township, Van Baron Co., in 1851. Mrs. Phelps was born in South Avon, Livingston
Co., N. V., Sept. 25, 1849. Politically, Mr. Phelps is a Republican, and has been assessor of his townS ship. He
has also been interested to some extent in improvements in the village of Hartford, and is now engaged in the real
estate and loan business at that place.
History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.