Obit: Flynn, James #2 (1841 - 1915)

Contact: Ann Stevens

Surnames: Flynn, Allison, Sturdevant, Youmans, Budge, Rourke, Darlington, McKay, Colman

----Source: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/11/1915

Flynn, James (24 DEC 1841 – 3 Nov 1915)

James Flynn died on Wednesday of last week at the hospital at Rochester. He had undergone an operation for gall stones and was apparently getting along nicely, but he suffered a set-back and death came shortly after. Mr. Flynn was one of the pioneer railroad men of the country and was the oldest engineer on the Northwestern in point of years of service. He was born in Great Barrington, Mass., on Dec. 24, 1841. He came with his parents to Janesville when he was a small boy and at the age of 18 years started his career as a locomotive engineer. During his service as an engineer he underwent a varied experience and the story of his life has many thrilling tales. He was an engineer on the Burlington at the time of the great strike and often told of his experiences through the country over-ridden by the James boys. In 1861 he drew the first train on the Santa Fe over the Rocky Mountains, on this trip working for 114 continuous hours. In the Civil War he was an engineer on a troop train and drew the soldiers from place to place. During his years as an engineer he worked on the Santa Fe, the Burlington, the Northwestern and the Omaha, the latter road since 1882. He served 54 years of continuous service as a locomotive engineer and was one of the first engineers to draw trains on the branch through Neillsville. He was a traveling engineer for several years and then came to Neillsville to take the engine on the trip between this city and Merrillan and continued here until the branch was put through. He then served many years on the run between Altoona and Marshfield on the midnight passenger. He retired from active life three years ago and took up his residence at Merrillan.

Mr. Flynn was married Nov. 10, 1869 to Ruane Allison and to this union six children were born, but four of whom survive their parents. They are Mrs. C.R. Sturdevant and Mrs. G.C. Youmans of this city, Floyd Flynn of Eau Claire and Arthur Flynn of Sioux Falls, S.D. Mrs. Flynn died on Sept. 26, 1897. On Oct. 18, 1899, Mr. Flynn was married to Miss Jennie Budge, who survives him. He is also survived by two sisters, Mrs. Mary Rourke of Denver and Mrs. Herbert Darlington of La Grange, Ill.

Mr. Flynn was a man who was beloved by all who knew him and among his fellow workmen was held in especially high esteem. He was kindly and charitable and his life was memorable in brightening the paths of others for he gave charity with a free hand and true friendship to all who sought it. At the funeral Sunday 115 trainmen came over from Merrillan on a special train to do homage to their departed brother. Mr. Flynn was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the society of 30 Year Service Veterans.

Deceased was buried here last Sunday afternoon, services being conducted at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C.R. Sturdevant. Albert McKay, chaplain of the brotherhood read the brotherhood service and Rev. Colman delivered a short address and offered a prayer at the grave.

Among the railroad officials who [remainder of article unavailable for transcription]



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