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 Allaseba Morey <I>Phelps</I> Bliss

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Allaseba Morey Phelps Bliss

  • Birth 7 Nov 1835 Solsville, Madison County, New York, USA
  • Death 27 Jul 1918 Saginaw, Saginaw County, Michigan, USA
  • Burial Saginaw, Saginaw County, Michigan, USA
  • Memorial ID 54824718

Daughter of Ambrose and Sarah Edgarton Phelps. Wife of Aaron T Bliss.

Allaseba Morey Phelps was born in Madison County, New York on November 7, 1835. After her marriage in 1868 to Civil War veteran Aaron T. Bliss, she came to Saginaw County. While her husband ran the Bliss Brothers sawmill at Zilwaukee, Allaseba ran the mill boarding house. In 1873 the couple came to Saginaw where they built a home at 1702 (1700) North Michigan Avenue. That year Aaron Bliss was surprised to find that his wife had saved $3,000 since her arrival, which enabled them to build a home. A relative who was a carpenter came to Saginaw to help with the project. While construction of the home was being finished, the couple lived in its kitchen. Allaseba supervised payments for the construction which cost forty-eight hundred dollars.

Allaseba Bliss was a charter member of the Saginaw Reading Club and in 1898-1899 became its fourteenth president. The previous year she had been vice-president. During her term as president of the Saginaw Reading Club the topic for study had been Western Asia. Ten years earlier Mrs. Bliss had been on the committee that made the first printed program for the organization.

In 1888 when Aaron T. Bliss served in the United States Congress, Allaseba went with him to Washington, DC. Allaseba Bliss also served as Michigan's first lady when her husband was elected to two terms as governor. Major Herbert E. Johnson, her husband's secretary, said of Mrs. Bliss that "No success came to Governor Bliss to which Mrs. Bliss did not contribute, and no one appreciated it or was more ready to acknowledge it than was the governor." For eight years Mrs. Bliss served as trustee of the Industrial School for Girls at Adrian, Michigan, having been appointed to that office by Governor Rich. She had been a member of the Women's Relief Corps, a group affiliated with veterans' organizations. She was elected department president for the Michigan Women's Relief Corps and was a delegate to their national conventions. Mrs. Bliss had been a founder of Saginaw General Hospital, served as director of the Home for the Friendless, and was on the YWCA board. As a member of the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, Mrs. Bliss had attended the organization's national convention at Washington, D.C. just three months prior to her death. In an interview with a newspaper reporter, Allaseba Bliss once said she "enjoyed politics" and kept busy looking after her husband. For that interview she wore a plain black silk skirt, a white shirtwaist, and two diamond rings. Allaseba Bliss liked to travel and in 1912 had visited many European cities during a five-month tour. For many years she had spent winters in the southern or western states. In her yard one found an assortment of fruits and vegetables. There was a wire arch that supported her climbing roses. The Blisses had no children of their own, but participated in the upbringing and education of some of the relatives. The couple were members of First Methodist Church.

After Governor Bliss donated land for Bliss Park, the Saginaw Reading Club held their "Peony Picnic" at that location. The peony was said to be Saginaw's official flower, and it was reported there "...was no finer display of peonies in Michigan than will be found in Bliss Park during the peony season." During her last spring on earth, Mrs. Bliss attended the picnic event and gave a speech. Afterwards the Reading Club picnic continued to be held in her honor. The Honorable Arthur Hill of Saginaw once said of Mrs. Bliss, "...may she dwell yet many years among us secure in the affection of friends and solaced by the memories of a life nobly spent." And of Allaseba Bliss and her husband, Arthur Hill remarked, " . . .all who knew their lives will remember that her heart warmed always his heart, that her hand upheld always his hand and helped him to an honored name."

Allaseba Bliss died July 27, 1918, at her residence 1702 North Michigan Avenue where she and sister-in-law May Cummiskey Bliss resided together since the deaths of their husbands. Allaseba and Aaron T. Bliss were buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Written by Anna Mae Maday, Manager, Eddy Historical & Genealogy Collection of Hoyt Public Library in Saginaw, Michigan September 2000


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  • Created by: H. A. Weinbaum III (Alex)
  • Added: 11 Jul 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 54824718
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Allaseba Morey Phelps Bliss (7 Nov 1835–27 Jul 1918), Find A Grave Memorial no. 54824718, citing Forest Lawn Cemetery, Saginaw, Saginaw County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by H. A. Weinbaum III (Alex) (contributor 46938632) .