PHELPS, CHARLES C. , a prominent business man of Jacksonville, Ill., carrying on an extensive dry-goods business in partnership with his brother-in-law, Samuel D. Osborne, under the firm name of Phelps & Osborne, was born at Greenfield, Franklin County, Mass., July 14, 1853, the son of Charles Benson and Louise (Cummings) Phelps, natives respectively of Greenfield, Mass., and New York City. Charles B. Phelps was, by profession, a dentist and, at different times, was engaged in the practice of his profession in Greenfield, Mass., Buffalo, N. Y., and St. Catharines, Canada West, and in each of these cities Charles C. attended school and acquired his education. At the age of fifteen years, in 1868, he visited his aunt, the late Mrs. Martha B. Day, of Jacksonville. Here he secured employment with Messrs. Grassley & Moore, grocers, with whom he remained two years, then became a clerk for Jonathan Gill, a dry-goods merchant, continuing thus for seven or eight years, when, upon the death of his employer, the business was closed. In 1880 he went to Kansas and was engaged in the drug business there for one year, returning to Jacksonville in 1881, when he engaged in his present business in partnership with S. D. Osborne. They have been associated in business since and have established a large and prosperous business in dry-goods, cloaks, ladies' suits, and similar lines. In 1883 they moved into their present capacious premises on the northeast corner of the Public Square.
Charles C. Phelps was married October 14, 1880, to Almira Osborne, daughter of Robert N. Osborne, and they have two children-Charles Howard and Helen Rebecca. Mr. Phelps is a member of the Episcopal Church, while his wife is connected with the Christian Church. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., and in politics, a Republican.
The first member of the Phelps family to come to America was "William the Emigrant," who was one of the passengers of the "Mayflower," and a citizen of Twekesbury, Gloucestershire, England. The paternal great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Rufus Phelps, was born in Northampton, Mass., March 9, 1766, and married Sybil Benson June 30, 1789. His son, the paternal grandfather of Charles C. Phelps, Col. Ansel Phelps, was born in Northampton, Mass., November 17, 1789, and married Hannah Ames July 6, 1813. He settled in Greenfield, Mass., in 1812, and was Lieutenant-Colonel and Acting Adjutant of the Vermont Militia, and in 1835 a member of the Executive Council of Massachusetts. He was a printer, publisher and editor, and for many years, or until 1847, was associated with the leading newspapers of Greenfield.
Dr. Charles Benson Phelps, the father of Charles C., was born in Greenfield, Mass., October 27, 1824, and on October 24, 1849, married Rebecca Louisa Cummings, who was the oldest child of Thomas S. and Jane (Cook) Cummings, born in New York City, September 8, 1827, and died in Buffalo, N. Y., August 6, 1859. Dr. Phelps was a dentist, in 1854 resided in New York City, and later removed to Buffalo. He died in Deerfield, Mass., May 14, 1868.