Minnie was the second youngest child of Charles Henry and Adaline Manship. Vicksburg (Minnie) Manship was born June 8, 1862, one of two daughters born during the Civil War. In 1884, Minnie married William Lewis Phelps in a morning ceremony held at the Manship House. They had two children, Lee Manship Phelps, and Dudley Gordon Phelps. By 1900, Minnie was widowed, and moved back to the Manship House with her two sons. The 1900 census lists Minnie as a 38 year old widow, occupation dressmaker. Minnie learned Braille, and was employed at the School for the Blind as a Braille teacher. She was widely known for her beaten biscuits and would take orders for them.