William Preston Phelps (1848–1917), known as "the Painter of the Monadnock", was an American landscape painter born on the family farm near Chesham, in what is now the Pottersville section of Dublin, New Hampshire on March 6, 1848 to mother Mary Phelps and father Jayson Phelps.
Preston", as he was known, grew up helping out on the very active family farm, where his father in his spare time, liked to paint, build furniture and musical instruments. Preston drew constantly, when he wasn't tending the animals or mowing the fields. His father recognized the financial benefits of talents, as he too painted houses as extra income, and sent William on to the thriving mill city of Lowell, Massachusetts to work for the sign painter Jeduthan Kittredge at the age of 14.
While engaged as a sign painter in Lowell, Phelps created paintings on canvas on the side. All the while, he fell in love with the boss's daughter, Anna Marie. At the age of 20, in 1868 he married Anna, and a year later he opened his own sign painting company on the same street as his father-in-law's business. On August 21, 1871 in Lowell, the young couple had a daughter named Ina Kittredge Phelps.