Great Grandfather John Flynn

by Alan Dodd

The first story I heard of grandpa Flynn was that he came to Canada from Ireland in the early 1800's. As the distance from Ireland to Montreal is much shorter and the fare is cheaper, a lot of Irish came over this way. They would stay in Canada until they got enough money to come to New York. They were called two-boat Irish by some of their countrymen and were not considered high class.

While in Canada, he met and married Jane Duncan, a Scotch woman, and some of their older children may have been born there. He came to New York and lived there for awhile and while visiting his cousins, the Dodds in Squash Hollow in New Milford, found that the next farm was for sale, bough it and moved there with his family. In a few years he bought another farm at the southern enterance to Squash Hollow and bordering on the Housatonic River. When Grandfather Dodd died, he bought his farm and used three farms.

He was a hard worker and a progressive farmer. He had the first silo in New Milford and the first horse-drawn corn harvester. He had the only steam powered mill in town. He had mills for grinding corn and sawing lumber, which he used to make ties for the railroad as well as other lumber. The engine was also used to run a threshing machine, shingle saw and for sawing stove wood, chopping corn and many other farm jobs.

When he was in his late middle age, I don't know his exact age, while bringing home some young stock that had pastured on Long Mountain, one would not cross the covered bridge. He got a rope and tried to lead her but she dragged him and broke his hip. The medicine at that time being what it was, he never was able to work again. My memory of him is as an old man with a white beard who walked with two canes.

When he was an old man, he sold the farm to his son, John II and bought a farm and orange grove in Winter Garden, Florida, where he lived until he died. He is buried in the Gaylord Cemetery.

He has a great grandson named John Flynn, so the name still goes on.

He had eight children, one died as a child. They were Thomas, James, Ann, Sanford, Margaret, John, Jenny and James. The first James died as a child and they must have named the last one after him.


©1998 Alan Dodd