Alabama Secretaries of State

Ellis Phelan


Secretary of State: 1882-1885


Ellis Phelan, lawyer, Secretary of State, was born August 11, 1843, in Marion, and died August 5, 1897, in Waterbury, Conn.; son of Judge John D. and Mary Anne (Harris) Phelan. He was educated in the schools of his community and graduated from the University of Alabama. He entered the Confederate army, as a captain in the 45th regiment Alabama volunteers; and was major when wounded in the battle of Atlanta. After the close of the war he studied law and was admitted to practice.


During the adminstration of Gov. Edward O'Neal, he was Secretary of State, for two terms. He removed to Birmingham and was prominent in the early development of that city. He was clerk of the house of representatives of Alabama, 1870-77. About 1890, he was elected circuit judge, which position he resigned to resume his practice of law. He was a Democrat; and an Episcopalian. Married: (1) in 1870, to Amy Hawkins of Elyton; (2) in 1884, to Mary Frisbil of Waterbury. Last residence: Waterbury, Conn.


Own, Thomas McAdory. Dictionary of Alabama Biography. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1921, iv, 1355.