PHELPS: James Francis, s/o Elihu and Margaret CRUIKSHANKS, m Lucinda TYRRELL and Jennett FINCH, farmer and lumberman
The history of Davenport and its leading citizens contains no name which awakens a feeling of more sincere respect and honest regard than that of James Francis PHELPS, who, in the years of his connection with the city, came to be recognized as an influential factor in business circles and also as one whose efforts in other directions were of far-reaching and beneficial import.
He was born October 6, 1821, at Schroon, Essex, New York. The public school system of that state afforded him his educational privileges and his experiences in youth were those of agricultural life, for he remained upon his father's farm until thirty years of age. Thinking to find broader opportunities in different business lines, he then removed to West Troy and engaged in the lumber business. From that time until his death he was identified with the lumber trade save for a brief period. He continued to make his home in the Empire state until 1876, when he removed to Middlebury, Vermont, settling on a farm with the hope that the experiences of outdoor life might prove beneficial to his health, which had become impaired. The year 1885 witnessed his arrival in Davenport, where he retained his residence until his demise. Since first embarking in the lumber business he retained his interest in the business and became a prominent representative of the lumber trade in this section of the country. He was a leading stockholder in the Lindsey & PHELPS Lumber Company and also in the Cloquet Lumber Company of Cloquet, Minnesota. In business affairs his judgment was sound, his sagacity keen and his enterprise unfailing, and in the years of an active career he won substantial success, his record being that of a man whose course in business affairs measured up at all times to the full standard of honorable, upright manhood.
At Schroon, New York, in 1848, Mr. PHELPS was united in marriage to Miss Lucinda TYRRELL, and unto them was born a son, A. T. PHELPS, who is now Cashier of the National Bank of Watervliet, New York. The wife and mother
died April 5, 1853, and on the 20th of December, 1854, Mr. PHELPS married Miss Jeanette FINCH. Oakdale Cemetery records it as Jennette.
Mr. PHELPS attended and supported the Methodist church. He was a man of high ideals, progressive in citizenship and ready at all times to give loyal support to those projects and movements which are intended for the betterment of the community. He traveled extensively, finding great pleasure in visiting points of scenic and historic interest, especially in his own country. His attachment for America was one of the deep-rooted interests of his life, his love of country being the expression of an unfaltering patriotism.
He continued his residence in Davenport until his death, which occurred April 3, 1906, and was the occasion of deep regret to many who knew and honored him. The physical and moral life were intensely vital in him and the ringing response which his character gave to every test made him a man honored and respected wherever known and most of all where best known. While he won for himself a substantial and creditable position in business circles, he also applied his knowledge and working powers to wider and more impersonal interests in which the general public was largely the beneficiary.