Timothy Guy Phelps

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Timothy Guy Phelps
Timothy Guy Phelps.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1861 – March 3, 1863
Preceded by John C. Burch
Succeeded by Cornelius Cole
Personal details
Born (1824-12-20)December 20, 1824
Oxford, New York
Died June 11, 1899(1899-06-11) (aged 74)
near San Carlos, California

Timothy Guy Phelps (December 20, 1824 – June 11, 1899) was an American politician, businessman and government official. He was the first president of the Southern Pacific Railroad from 1865 until 1868 and saw the railroad build its first tracks south of San Francisco, California.

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Phelps was born in Oxford, New York, and completed preparatory schooling there and then moved to New York City in 1845 where he worked in mercantile for a short time, then returned to Chenango County to study law.[1] As soon as word of the mid-century gold finds in California reached New York, Phelps took a boat to the west coast.[2] He arrived in California, via Panama, in December 1849 and he moved to Tuolumne County, California where he tried his hand at mining.[3] Failing to find a fortune in gold, he moved to San Francisco to resume a career in the mercantile.[4]

Career[edit]

Phelps' business losses were substantial in the great fire of 1851, but Phelps rebuilt and soon recovered his loss.[citation needed] It was during this period of recovery that he purchased 3,500 acres (14 km²) of land in what is now San Mateo County, California.[citation needed] He used the land for farming and soon decided to make the area, now the city of San Carlos, his home.[citation needed]

Living in San Carlos, in 1851 Phelps became involved in the local vigilance committee in an effort to uphold the law.[citation needed]

Following a failed state assembly bid in 1854, Phelps was elected to the California State Assembly in 1855 and served until 1857 as the first Republican from San Francisco and San Mateo Counties.[5] During his term, he served on the first Grand Jury on August 1, 1856.[citation needed] He then was served in the California State Senate from 1858 to 1861 when we was elected to the 37th United States Congress where he served from March 4, 1861 until March 3, 1863.[6]

His next job was in real estate until 1870 when he became the customs collector for the port of San Francisco (until 1872).[7] In 1875 he again ran for Governor of California, and he was again defeated, by William Irwin.[8]

He also served as regent of the University of California at Berkeley.[9]

Personal life[edit]

He met and married Sophronia J. Jewell, of Guilford, New York in 1853. He died at age 75 on June 11, 1899 near San Carlos, California after he was struck by two boys on a tandem bicycle.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Phelps, Timothy Guy. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  2. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Phelps, Timothy Guy. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  3. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Phelps, Timothy Guy. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  4. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Phelps, Timothy Guy. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  5. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Phelps, Timothy Guy. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  6. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Phelps, Timothy Guy. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  7. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Phelps, Timothy Guy. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  8. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Phelps, Timothy Guy. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  9. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Phelps, Timothy Guy. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  10. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Phelps, Timothy Guy. Retrieved August 1, 2014.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John C. Burch
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's at-large congressional district

1861–1863
Succeeded by
Cornelius Cole