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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Springfield in Greene County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Mary Whitney Phelps

1812-1878

 
 
Mary Whitney Phelps Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, April 5, 2021
1. Mary Whitney Phelps Marker
Front side
Inscription.  Born to a sea captain in Portland, Maine, this energetic redhead was orphaned at a young age when her father died at sea and her mother died soon thereafter.

Mary wed John Smith Phelps, a young lawyer, in Simsbury, Connecticut, in 1837. The couple settled in Springfield, Missouri, the same year. During John's prolonged absences as a statesman, Mary bore the major responsibility for farm management and dedicated herself to operating local schools.

During the Civil War, May not only collected and transported supplies to Union armies at the battles of Wilson's Creek and Pea Ridge, she also nursed wounded and dying soldiers. When she learned that General Nathaniel Lyon's body had been abandoned in Springfield after the Battle of Wilson's Creek, she made arrangements for a coffin and concealed the body until relatives arrived from Connecticut to claim it.

In 1866, the United States Congress recognized Mary's services during the Civil War and awarded her $20,000. She continued working with area orphanages and started a new school that ultimately served 250 orphaned children by 1868.

When the war ended,
Mary Whitney Phelps Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, April 5, 2021
2. Mary Whitney Phelps Marker
Reverse side
Click or scan to see
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Mary became associated with the Confederate Burial Association. The association brought the remains of the Confederate soldiers who died at Wilson's Creek to a new Confederate Cemetery adjoining the Springfield National Cemetery. She also became a member of the National Woman Suffrage Association, serving as a vice president in 1869.

Mary Whitney Phelps is buried beside John in the Phelps' plot at Hazelwood Cemetery in Springfield, Missouri.
 
Erected 2012 by the Mary Whitney Phelps Tent No. 2 Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkEducationWar, US CivilWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1837.
 
Location. 37° 11.324′ N, 93° 16.927′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Missouri, in Greene County. Marker is at the intersection of East Brookside Drive and South Virginia Avenue, on the left when traveling east on East Brookside Drive. Marker is located at Phelps Grove Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 950 E Brookside Dr, Springfield MO 65807, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John Smith Phelps / Phelps Homesite (here, next to this marker); Maple Park Gazebo (approx. ¾ mile away); Battle of Springfield (approx. 0.8 miles away);
Mary Whitney Phelps Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, April 5, 2021
3. Mary Whitney Phelps Marker
Marker is at the south end of Phelps Grove Park.
Kickapoo Indian Village (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Springfield (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Day House (approx. 1.2 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Springfield (approx. 1.2 miles away); Wilshire Apartments (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 13, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 13, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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May. 11, 2021