Reading Time: 4 minutes
Some corrections have been made for the sake of accuracy.
The following is an excerpt from the Brown City Centennial Book (1976)
At the organization of Sanilac County, the Township of Lexington ran from Lake Huron to Lapeer County on the west and included the present townships of Lexington, Buel, Elk, and Flynn. In 1855 Buel township was organized and set off from Buel and included Elk and Flynn. Up to this time, some lumbering had been done in this area and a lumber company had taken up some land.
In the summer of 1855, William Fitch took up land in Section 36 of what is now Flynn and settled on the banks of Elk Creek. Thomas Flynn came later that summer and bought part of the Fitch land, returned to Lexington for the winter but returned with his family (the first in the township) in the Spring of ‘56.
William McGregor also came about this time and settled on Section 23. Richard Nichol came soon afterward and took up 160 acres on Section 36. Nichol did not remain here at this time because he was a United States government employee during the Civil War and led a very exciting life. He was present at Ford’s Theater when President Lincoln was assassinated and was drafted into a posse to chase Booth, the assassin. Later in 1868, he was Superintendent of a railroad in Nebraska and wrote home hair-raising tales of his encounters with the Indians. He brought home a Sioux scalp to add impetus to his tales.
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I found this interesting information on FindAGrave.com. After reading, I contacted the author of this post, who is a descendant of the Flynn family via Ruth Ellen Flynn Hook. He gave me permission to re-publish this information and informed me that he got his information from a relative who has since passed.
William Henry “a.k.a. Thomas Flynn” Ellington
Birth: Sep. 15, 1815, England
Death: Oct. 14, 1872
William Henry Ellington ran away on 24 May 1829 from the English Army because he was indentured to serve the rest of his life in the Army. He set sail from Plymouth, England on 24 of May 1829; after 9 weeks and 2 days on the ship, he landed in Pickering, Ontario, Canada. Arriving in Canada, he changed his name to Thomas Flynn. He lived there until the fall of 1855. He moved and settled in Lexington, Sanilac County, Michigan. Shortly afterward he moved to Omard Township section 36, which is now Flynn Township. He met Rachel Boothby’s parents on the ship coming to America and he and Rachel married shortly afterward.
He was the first man buried in Peck Cemetery (Elk Township Cemetery). In 1855 Thomas bought part of William Fitch’s land and returned the following spring with his family. They were the first family to live in the township section 36. Fitch moved out of the area shortly afterward. Thomas Flynn remained until his death.
In January 1858 Ruth Ellen Flynn was born she was the first white child born in the area. The house she was born in is still standing; one mile north of Peck and Melvin roads. In 1869 township elections were held in the home of Thomas Flynn and he was elected supervisor.
Thomas and Rachel had 12 other children, 8 of them born in Michigan, including Ruth Ellen.