Alexander County

Biography - Almanzer Phelps

ALMANZER O. PHELPS, artist, Cairo, Ill., a native of Natchez, Miss., was born on the 6th of October, 1842, soon after which date, the parents, Clark L. and Pascalena (Paul) Phelps, removed to Muscatine, Iowa, where he was reared and educated. The father was born near Hartford, Conn., in 1816, where he resided until grown to manhood, going thence to Natchez, where he married Miss Pascalena Paul. She was born in Natchez in 1819. though of French ancestry, and died in Muscatine, Iowa, on the 12th of June, 1880. The father in early life was an extensive trader and speculator, and later in life was engaged in the interest of steam boating, being for thirty years the Captain and owner of a steamboat on the Upper Mississippi and tributaries. He is still living and a resident of Cairo, Ill. He reared a family of seven children, of whom Lorenzo A. is the eldest, and subject the second. Two sons and one daughter — Charles F., Joseph P. and Nancy C. Phelps, are residents of Muscatine, Iowa; one son and daughter, Clark L. and Flora Phelps, are deceased. A. O. Phelps began life as an engineer and became a regularly licensed engineer on river and ocean steamers, but becoming wearied of this life determined to turn his attention to photography, for which the family appear to develop a natural fitness, the four brothers being each skilled artists. He came to Cairo, Ill., in 1876, and at once engaged in this work, and now has two galleries, one on Eighth street, and one on Sixth street, under the management of his brother, L. A. Phelps. They are prepared to execute all kinds of artistic work coming within the range of their profession. A. O. Phelps was married in Quincy, Ill., on the 15th of August, 1868, to Miss Ella Vance, daughter of John and Mary (Kreel) Vance, the former deceased, the latter of Keokuk, Iowa. She was born at Steubenville, Ohio, on the 11th of May, 1853. They have one son, viz.: Almanzer O. Phelps, Jr., born in Muscatine, Iowa, on the 11th of July, 1871. Lorenzo A. Phelps was born in Natchez, Miss., on June 11, 1840, was educated in Muscatine, Iowa, and spent his early life as pilot on the Upper Mississippi River. He began the trade of photographer in 1871, at which he engaged in Muscatine until coming to Cairo in the fall of 1881. He was married in Muscatine, on the 16th of October, 1874, to Miss Lillian S. Perkins, daughter of Capt. T. P. Perkins, a well-known steamboat man and owner of the vessel "Mongolia," which burned several years since at St. Louis, Mo. Both the father and mother — Annie Perkins — were natives of New England, and are now deceased. She was born in St. Louis, September 29, 1855. They have a family consisting of Lillian A., born August 8, 1875; Frederick L., born February 22, 1877; Ada P., born October 18, 1878, and Frank S. Phelps, born December 22, 1881. Mr. L. A. Phelps is a member of the American Legion of Honor and one of the board of managers of the Widow's and Orphan's Mutual Aid Society. The grandfather on the mother's side was Paul Pascaline a relative and body guard to Napoleon Bonaparte, after whose defeat he fled to the United States, dropping the name Pascaline, and was afterward known as Mr. Paul.

Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 36-37.

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