Information on Omard and Flynn Township from the Brown City Centennial Book (1976)

Information on Omard and Flynn Township from the Brown City Centennial Book (1976)

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.

More on Omard

At this time Peck was the Post Office and Lexington was the closest transportation site. Even then contact could only be made via an irregular boat schedule. Mr. Fitch did not stay in the territory very long but Flynn, McGregor, and Nichol lived here until their death and their families still remain here.

Ruth Flynn Hook was said to be the first white child born in the township. She married at the age of 15 and then resided in the log house still standing on the Henry Slack property.
During the civil war in 1863, a schoolhouse was built. It burned in 1865 and another was built in 1867. The settlement was named Omard in honor of Omar D. Conger who was a member of Congress from 1869 to 1881. A post office was established about 1870; Purdy Jones was the final postmaster in 1904.

The first petition to organize as a township on October 16, 1868, was rejected because one petitioner was a minor, one did not live in the township, two were not citizens of the United States and one was not a freeholder of property in the township. Another petition requesting organization by the name of Flynn Township was quickly adopted.

In 1869, township elections were held in the house of Thomas Flynn in April. Thomas Flynn was elected Supervisor; Purdy Jones, Clerk; Daniel House, Treasurer’ William McGregor, Purdy Jones, Matthew J. Kolts, and Thomas Flynn, Justice of the Peace; Albert Beals, Dan House, A.W. Payne and George Webb as constables. The assessed valuation of the township in 1869 was $44,650.
Post Offices were established in Flynn Center and at Red Star about 1870. It was customary for whoever ran the general store in these settlements to be the postmaster. All post offices were discontinued in 1900 when RFD began from nearby towns.

School District No. 1 (Omard) was the first organized in 1863 and Miss Swayze was the teacher. The school building was used for church, voting place, lodge room, and for all public services. The 1867 frame building was abandoned for a cement block school in 1904. M.J. Hawes was the teacher then. The Red Star school was a fractional district and organized in 1875. Miss Emma Erwin was the teacher. The first building was replaced by another in 1889. Lane School was organized in 1882 in Section 17. Miss Annie Keena was the first teacher. South Muck school was built about 1900 with Miss Anna Potter as the first teacher. It burned in 1912 and was replaced by a brick building Poplar Point was organized in 1889 and Miss Cora Butes was the first teacher. The building was in use until the 1950’s when it was destroyed by fire.

A Methodist Society was organized in Omard in the early days with services held at Omard School. A brick church was built in 1896 and is still in use. In 1891, a Presbyterian Church was built on the southeast corner of Section 12. The building is of stone and was in use until the recent past. In 1898 a Presbyterian Church was built on the southwest corner of Section 4. The building was of brick and has been torn down. The same year a Methodist Church was built on the west side of Section 8 but in 1913, the building was sold to the United Brethren society and moved to the southeast corner of Section 18 and is still in use. With the merger of the United Brethren and Methodist churches, the building became known as the Flynn United Methodist Church. In 1971, the Fellowship Bible Church was organized and built in 1972 on Peck Road [west of] Shephard Road.

Flynn has a township park on Shephard Road which is the site for community activities, winter, and summer. Mr. and Mrs. Murray Blatt now operate the only general store in the township at Omard. In 1969, Flynn celebrated their centennial.


Sources

Murray, Shirley, and Jerry Murray. Brown City Centennial Book 1876-1976. The Centennial Book Committee, 1976.

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