Dear Uncle Gib reader, one of the things I've tried to avoid with this historical information column is not to duplicate stories done in the past. This time I'm going to ask you to forgive me as I give the story of the other woman who won the contest sponsored by the Chronicle for the Oldest Resident. If you remember last week the article said the contest was a tie. The other award winner was “Aunt” Zilpha Flynn. Her story was shared in a column printed in the Chronicle in February 2014; however, it will be shared again here.
CENTENNIAL CHRONICLE. OLD RESIDENT LETTER. (From Crossville Chronicle, May 26, 1915.) Lantana, Tenn., May 11, 1915. Editor, Chronicle: In compliance with a recent request in the Chronicle I send you the following article. The subject of this sketch, Zilpha Flynn, was the daughter of John and Carah Wyatt and was born in Buncumb County, North Carolina, July 7, 1825, and is therefore 90 years of age. In 1826 her parents emigrated from North Carolina to Tennessee and settled in what is now Meigs County, then the Cherokee purchase.
In 1830 they moved to Crossville, then a city of two families, namely, William Gibson and John Narramore. Mrs. Flynn, then being five years old, has lived in this county ever since, has never been out of the county in her life except four times in her life, making her residence here 85 years July 7.
In 1833 her parents moved to the farm now owned by Riley Wyatt and lived there until she was 20 years of age, when she met and married R. L. Flynn, a native mountaineer. Mrs. Flynn and her husband settled seven miles north of her old home, and has lived there ever since, until the death of Mr. Flynn, which occurred nine years ago.
To this union there were born nine children, thirty-four grandchildren, forty-seven great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. Since the death of Mr. Flynn she has continued to live with her youngest son at the old Flynn homestead.
Mr. Flynn was a man of great strength, tall and slender and was a noted hunter and at the time of his marriage, aside from a small crop cultivated in the summer and a few head of stock, lived chiefly by his gun, as game at that time was plentiful in this country.
Mrs. Flynn, having lived in this county ever since, has seen all the progress of the county, from the shop made hoe and bull-tongue plow, which cultivated a few acres, to the modern farm machinery which cultivates our nice farms. She has seen the change in society from almost semi-savage state to the good society which we now enjoy, From the log meeting house, without any floor, which was used also for school purposes, to the splendid church and school buildings which we now have, and as she with her husband lived through the Civil War, of course she has witnessed many sad and solemn scenes.
More to come next week.