Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

March 4, 2014

County bids farewell to "Aunt Zilpha" Flynn

By Old Uncle Gibb
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — “Oldest Woman in County Dead,” the Chronicle story reported. “Aunt Zilpha” Flynn, Lifelong Resident, Dies at Age of 101 Years. Ezylphia Wyatt Flynn had celebrated her birthday on July 7, 1926, at her home in Flynn's Cove.

It had been the custom for several years for many relatives and friends to meet at her home and enjoy a bountiful dinner in honor of her birthday. She looked forward to these occasions with great pleasure. In less than five months she would have been 102, and was thought to be the oldest person living in Cumberland County at her death.

She was born in Bumcomb County, North Carolina, and came here as a small child. She never saw a train until she was more than 75 years of age. Her life had been one of quiet and loving service for others. She was much loved by all who knew her kindly nature and cheery temperament.

At one time she recalled that 32 Union soldiers came to their home for the night, while they were running the Underground Railroad. She fed them by putting on the wash kettle full of meat and baking dozens of pones of corn bread. The next morning her husband, Richard, took the men on to the next station in Fentress County.

The Chronicle offered a free newpspaer subscription for life to the oldest person in the county. When all the submissions were received, she was the oldest and received the paper free for more than ten years.

She died at her home in Flynn's Cove 12 miles south of Crossville, Sunday, Feb. 20, 1927, from something similar to flu and advanced age. For some days it had been known that she was sick and probably on her death bed as her advanced age and reduced vitality precluded the hope of her recovery. The remains were laid to rest Tuesday in the Flynn Graveyard attended by relattives and friends. Rev. J. V. Wright conducted the funeral services at the home.

For more than 15 years she had lived with her youngest son, Phillip Flynn, who was single. She was the mother of nine children, four sons and five daughters, all of whom are dead, except for two, these being T. S. Flynn of Castleford, Idaho, and Phillip Flynn, with whom she lived.

Many of their descendants still live in Cumberland County.  Of Anut Zilpha's sons, William L. Flynn, married Emily Martin, and they had 12 children. Abraham L. married first, Frances Martin and had four children, and second, Lou Miller and had two children. Thomas married Flora Brown and they had eight children.

The Flynn family has always been especially prominent in that section of the county and has weilded no small influence all over the county. They are industrious, law abiding, and worthy people and enjoy the confidence and respect generally of all who knew them. Next week we will look at some other Union supporters in and around Cumberland County.