Benjamin K. Phelps
He was the only child of the Rev. Dudley Phelps (1797–1849), a Congregational clergyman, and Ann (Kinsman) Phelps (1808–1834). He attended Andover Theologigal Seminary, and graduated from Yale College in 1853. Then he studied law in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire and Westchester County, New York, and was admitted to the bar in 1855 in Poughkeepsie, New York. In 1856, he removed to New York City and practiced law there in partnership with his Yale classmate Sherman W. Knevals (1832–1908).
In October 1857, Phelps married Hannah M. Catlin, a daughter of Lt. Gov. Julius Catlin, and they had three children.
From 1866 to 1870, Phelps was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In 1869, he was sent to North Carolina to take charge of the proceedings against the officers of the USS Hornet, charged with a violation of the Neutrality laws.
In 1872, he formed a new law firm "Arthur, Phelps, Knevals & Ransom" with Chester A. Arthur, his old partner Knevals, and Rastus S. Ransom (1839–1914, Surrogate of New York 1887-93).
In October 1880, Phelps became ill, and never fully recovered. His wife died on December 21, and Phelps himself died nine days later of "internal hemorrhage" at his residence at 101 West 47th Street. Phelps was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery (Bronx, New York).
- Vital Records of Haverhill, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (death of Ann K. Phelps, page 460)
- SKETCHES OF THE NOMINEES in NYT on October 13, 1875
- A BRIGHT CAREER ENDED; DEATH OF DISTRICT ATTORNEY BENJAMIN K. PHELPS in NYT on December 31, 1880
- FUNERAL OF BENJAMIN K. PHELPS in NYT on January 3, 1881
Samuel B. Garvin
|New York County District Attorney
Daniel G. Rollins