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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Little River County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Ralph E. Phelps. During a professional career of over thirty-four years Mr. Phelps has become a successful attorney, and justly deserves the eulogisms bestowed upon him by his legal brethren. He was born December 26, 1833, in Virginia, being a son of Hugh L. and Mary (Edgerton) Phelps, both natives of Virginia the latter being the daughter of McConnel and Mary (Maxwell) Edgerton, who were born in Scotland. The Phelps family have been residents of Virginia since 1680, and the grandfather and great grandfather of our subject were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. The father, a planter by occupation, passed his life in his native State, and there he received his final summons, in 1862, his death being followed four years later by that of his wife. They were the parents of two children: Florence and Ralph E. The latter attained his growth in his native State, and there received his education. At the age of eighteen years he commenced reading law, and soon after his twenty-first birthday he was admitted to the bar. In 1855 he went to California, and was occupied there in mining and practicing law, and in 1857 was made a member of the Legislature, and was also prosecuting attorney for the Sixteenth Judicial District during 1858-59, when he returned to Virginia, and in April, 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate States Army, joining Company A, Fourth Virginia Cavalry, in which he served as captain until the surrender, in April, 1865, participating in all the engagements in the campaign of Virginia. He was married in 1864 to Miss Mary Strather, a native of Virginia, and they became the parents of one child, Mary (now the wife of James Cantrell). They are both prominent members of the Episcopal Church, and are deeply interested in all religious matters, and socially, Mr. Phelps belongs to the I. O. O. F. He is the owner of a fine farm of 400 acres, and is numbered among the substantial and enterprising residents of this county.

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This family biography is one of 38 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Little River County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Little River County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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