William Walter Phelps came to Teaneck in the early part of 1865. Mr. Phelps, the only son of a wealthy NYC merchant, John Jay Phelps, was born in New York in in 1839, educated at Yale, and graduated in 1860. Soon after leaving college, he married Miss Ellen Sheffield, daughter of the founder of a scientific center at Yale, Joseph E. Sheffield. Later, one Thomas B. Van Buren, of a New York politically involved family, married one Harriet Sheffield, presumably of the same Sheffield family, and "further connected the Phelps and Sheffield families" . (It is not clear by what connection Van Buren and Phelps were related.)
- Sterling, Adleine (1922) (in English). The Book of Englewood. Mayor and Council of Englewood. p. 85,87.