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FLINT Brothers


Pirney and Ann (Elson) Flint’s second child and eldest son was born 27 Feb 1862. He was named in honor of his (up to that time) bachelor uncle, Robert G Flint Jr. The elder Robert reacted positively in a Jun 1862 letter—

“I recd your kind letter of April 20 th and was glad to hear from you all particular of that other Robt G Flint. take care of him and his Mother untill I can see them. . . .”1

I have little information about Robert III’s growing up in Canada. He is mentioned is several of his uncle Robert’s letters. When he was ten years old his father had apparently given him some beekeeping responsibility—

“. . . Your report of your orchard is very gratifying and, could you devout More time to it, the results would be still greater. . . . I think you idea of Not taking any crops off it will be the Means of Making it a great success, and your bees work well together and Robert being able to Manage a swarm is a good deal of help to you. I wish him to Master the business, so that when I come he can show Me all about it. . . .”2

It does not seem that Uncle Robert ever got into beekeeping. At least, under “bees” in the 1880 census agricultural schedule for his ranch, both “honey” and “wax” are blank. In a Nov 1876 letter Robert advised his brother Pirney to ensure that young Robert got an education—

“. . . I am well pleased to hear that R.G.Flint is stout in health and a good worker. I wish he had our trade, but time anough. give him as good an English education as you Can. . . .”3

Possibly Pirney was dragging his feet about his son’s schooling, because Robert mentioned it further—

“. . . Send R.G. to School; do not neglect it! give the boy a Chance! . . .”4
“. . . let Robt go to School!”5

The extent and details of Robert III’s education are unknown.

“. . . [He] was reared and educated in his northern home. . . .”6

In 1883 he traveled to California, perhaps at his uncle’s invitation.

“At the age of twenty-one years R. G. Flint located on the Nacinimento [sic] ranch, which was a large one, and represented a large responsibility. At first a farm hand, he rapidly arose in the confidence of the management, and after serving as foreman creditably maintained the position of manager. Thus he remained with the ranch for thirteen years, acquiring in the meantime a wide knowledge of ranching affairs in the west. . . .”7
“. . . Three years after going to work on the Nacimiento Ranch, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States (1886). At one time, he owned 660 acres on the Nacimiento River. . . .”8

According to the 1900 census, Robert III and his wife Anna (Davis) Flint (1862–1933) had been married for 8 years; that would put their marriage about 1892. She was the daughter of George (1816–1891) and Alecia (Sumner) Davis (1830–1913). George was from New York State; Alecia was from Mississippi. George had come west as a trapper and worked for Hudson’s Bay Company in Oregon under Kit Carson;9 He is said to have been a lieutenant in the regiment of John C Frémont, and an employee of Captain Sutter at Sutter’s Fort.10 In 1843 George and Alecia were married by Captain Sutter. George was 27; she was 13. They “are said to have been the first ‘American’ couple to have been married in California”.11

It seems likely that R G III managed Rancho Nacimiento after R G Jr’s death, during the settlement of the estate and until Robert Jr’s son George came of age and assumed ownership. R G III and Anna had a daughter, Anna Ethel Flint, their only child, born at Rancho Nacimiento, in Dec 1894. As reported in the preceding section, “The Ranching and Later Careers of Robert’s Sons”, after R G Jr died, and Rancho Nacimiento was inherited by George, George and R G III had a falling out in 1895–96. About that time the ranch was sold and the Flint cousins went their separate ways.

“There was some news about the other Flints. Peter and Robert, in the July 20, 1895 issue of the Paso Robles Record. ‘Flint & Flint have moved their meat into the Spencer building which has lately been fitted up for that purpose, and Chas. Theriet has moved his jewelry store into a room in the same building.’ The same paper informed readers, on October 5, 1895, that ‘R. G. Flint has purchased his brother’s interest in the meat market, while Pete has purchased the Withrow blacksmith shop.’”12
"San Miguel in the 1890's was a flourishing and prosperous town. It had three hotels, two livery stables, three blacksmith shops, five churches including the famous San Miguel Mission, 10 saloons or drinking emporiums where good old whiskey could be had at 10 cents a drink. And there were two houses behind high board fences where we children weree told 'bad women' lived.
"To the east, the fertile rolling hills and valleys yielded tons and tons of wheat and barley. To the west, thousands of head of cattle fattened on the luscious ranges. Everyone seemed to prosper. . . ."13

In an 1898 California Voter Register we learn that R G Flint, 35, butcher of San Miguel had blue eyes, the left one of which was blind. We also learn that he was 5 ft 10½ inches (tall for that era) had a “medium complexion” and “dark” hair and had been naturalized on 12 May 1886 by the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.

In the 1900 census R G was a farmer of San Miguel and his farm was owned but mortgaged. Also in the household (besides wife and child) was Robert’s brother Peter, 30, who supplied “farm labor”. Neighbors were the Wright family, whose son Eli, 19 in 1900, would one day manage Rancho Nacimiento for a later owner.

“. . . At the present time [1903] he owns, but leases, the [butcher] shop and slaughter yard. . . . he is engaged in loaning money, and in looking after his many interests in the town and county. . . . Mr. Flint is interested to some extent in quick silver mining. . . .”14

In the 1910 census, Robert has his “own income” and his house in San Luis Obispo is owned free and clear. Peter has his own house also free and clear and is working as an engineer at a flour mill. Peter’s older sister, Charlotte Flint, 45, lives with him.

In a 1912 San Luis Obispo City Directory Robert was living at 1312 Broad. He also operated a cigar store at 733 Higuera in partnership with a William Davidson.

According to the 1920 census, Robert and Anna resided at Bradley, Monterey Co, where he practiced “general farming”. The Flints were listed next to Everett “Hoey”, 22. This is surely the Everett John Hoy who married their daughter, Anna Ethel Flint, sometime after 1919. (He is listed as “single” on his 1919 WWI draft card.) Anna Ethel’s whereabouts in the 1920 census are unknown.

In 1930 the Flints were back at 1312 Broad, San Luis Obispo, where they owned their house worth $4000 and they had a radio. Robert had no occupation.

Robert and Anna, born in the same year—1862—also died in the same year—1933—at the ages of 71, she in February, he in October. Both are buried in San Luis Cemetery, San Luis Obispo.


1 Flint, R (1862).

2 Flint, R (1872).

3 Flint, R (1876).

4 Flint, R (1878).

5 Flint, R (1879).

6 Guinn (1903), "R G Flint" biography.

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7 Ibid.

8 Ohles (1997), p 126.

9 Morrison & Haydon (1917), p 349–351.
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10 “Daughter of Pioneers Dies in this City” (obituary of R G III and Anna's daughter, Anna Ethel [Flint] Hoy [1894–1941]). Santa Cruz Sentinel, Fri, 1 Aug 1941, p 5, c 1.

11 Ohles (1997), p 127.

12 Ibid, p 130.

13 Stanley (1976), p 1.

14 Guinn (1903).

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