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Seth Sexton Phelps
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Birth: Apr. 5, 1840
New York, USA
Death: Mar. 11, 1884
Saint Mary
Waseca County
Minnesota, USA

S. S. Phelps was a native of the State of New York, and was born April 5, 1840. He was the son of John and Nancy Phelps, the former a native of Connecticut, the latter of New York... In the spring of 1865 S. S. Phelps came to Waseca County from Portage County, Wis., and purchased a farm on section 11, St. Mary Township, where his family reside, but that year spent part of the time in Owatonna and the balance in Portage County, whither he had returned. In the spring of 1866 he built a house on this place on the site of the present splendid mansion. The first house was but 12 x 14 feet in size, and in this the family lived, two small additions being built in the meantime, until their new residence was built. This latter was erected by Mr. Phelps during the year 1869, and is one of the finest in the county, having cost $11,000. It is a brick-veneered structure, 40 x 47 feet on the ground, two stories and a half with the foundation and trimmings of cut Kasota stone, and is fitted with all the modern conveniences. The same year he put up a residence on a place he owned in Blue Earth County, near Eagle Lake, at a cost of $1,400 and another near Janesville at a cost of $1,000. Mr. Phelps was a large land-holder, at one time owning some 2,200 acres of land in this and Blue Earth Counties. In 1867 when the railroad had reached Waseca, Mr. Phelps took a contract to haul all the freight from that point to St. Peter, Mankato and New Ulm, and this he held until the road had reached those points, having from four to ten teams engaged. He had also a contract with the railroad company to furnish them with 60,000 cords of wood, and purchased machinery to saw it with, which business he pursued for seven years. He fitted up seven small saws run by horse power and one large one which cost $1,200, run by steam. These with the boarding car were arranged to move along the track and operated all the way from Madison, Wis., to St. Peter and New Ulm. After his large expense the company began burning coal, so that Mr. Phelps sustained heavy losses, having to sell his machinery at a great sacrifice. Mr. Phelps was one of the enterprising men that have so materially helped to build up Waseca County, and a man that united great energy of character with rare business ability. October 13, 1861, Mr. Phelps and Elspa Sutherland were united in marriage. She is a native of New Brunswick, born July 8, 1842. They were the parents of six children...Mr. Phelps met his death on the evening of the 11th of March, 1884, while crossing the railroad track about a mile west of Waseca. He was driving his team home, and while on the track was struck by the engine and instantly killed. His body lies in Woodville cemetery. Thus was cut off in the prime of life one of the most active business men of this county...
---History of Steele & Waseca Counties, publ. 1887


S. S. Phelps was a prominent citizen of this county during his life time. He was born in the state of New York, April 5, 1840. He was the son of John and Nancy Phelps and was reared on their farm. When Seth S., first came West, he lived near Portage in Wisconsin. He and Miss Elspa Sutherland were married there October 13, 1861. In 1865 Mr. Phelps visited Waseca county and purchased land where the family residence now stands. He then returned to Wisconsin to settle up his business. He moved hither with his family in 1866. In 1867 he became a railroad contractor and hauled freight from Waseca to Mankato, St. Peter and New Ulm. He also had the contract for distributing ties along the railroad track as the road bed was completed west from Waseca. In 1869 he took a contract to furnish a very large quantity of wood for the W. & St. P., railroad company. This business he followed for six or seven years. He put up a number of wood sawing machines and kept a boarding car for the accommodation of his workmen. His large and convenient farm residence, now occupied by his widow, was built by him in 1869, and cost about $10,000. The death of Mr. Phelps caused a sensation all along the line of the C. & N. W. Railway in Minnesota. On the 11th of March 1884, he had been in Waseca on business and started to drive home late in the afternoon. As he reached the crossing of the C. & N. Railway just west of Waseca, he was struck by an engine and instantly killed, cut off in the prime of life. He left surviving him his wife, two daughters and two sons...
---Child's History of Waseca County, publ. 1905

 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John French Phelps (1809 - 1877)
  Nancy Mary Phelps (1813 - 1896)
 
 Spouse:
  Elspa Philena Sutherland Phelps (1842 - 1922)
 
 Children:
  Ellen Elspa Phelps Fitch (1864 - 1928)*
  Nancy Hannah Phelps Henderson (1868 - 1921)*
  Seth John Phelps (1870 - 1880)*
  George Robert Phelps (1873 - 1958)*
  Jessie Elvira Phelps (1875 - 1889)*
  Joseph Dewitt Phelps (1876 - 1944)*
 
 Sibling:
  Seth Sexton Phelps (1840 - 1884)
  William Wells Phelps (1844 - 1894)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Woodville Cemetery
Waseca
Waseca County
Minnesota, USA
 
Maintained by: Donna Fostveit
Originally Created by: Chloé
Record added: Jan 25, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 64692081
Seth Sexton Phelps
Added by: Donna Fostveit
 
Seth Sexton Phelps
Added by: Mike Linnihan
 
Seth Sexton Phelps
Added by: Mike Linnihan
 
 
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- Chloé
 Added: Aug. 20, 2013
 
 
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