Oliver Phelps was born in Old Simsbury, Connecticut on December 12th, 1779. Early in his life he worked in the United States as a contractor, but then later relocated to the city of St. Catharines in Canada West. Once in St. Catharines, Phelps established himself as a successful local businessman by making key investments in trade industries.
Oliver Phelps was one of the original contractors who helped build the first Welland Canal and its intricate system of 34 locks. He was also instrumental in helping to construct the First Presbyterian Church of St. Catharines. Phelps is responsible for naming Court and Geneva Streets in a part of town where he and William H. Merritt owned and leased most of the land to the local Black community. Oliver Phelps died on May 4th, 1851.
*Phelps Family 929.2 Phe (St. Catharines Centennial Library)