GEORGE BENJAMIN FLINT, druggist at the northwest corner of Broadway and Twelfth streets, Oakland, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, August 28, 1846, a son of Simeon and Rebecca (Pollard) Flint, and grandson of Benjamin, a son of Benjamin, a son of William, a son of Thomas, a son of Thomas Flint. The last named, who was the original immigrant, is believed to have come from Wales about 1640, and is known from contemporary records to have been one of the first settlers of Salem village, now Peabody, Massachusetts. His name first appears “of record” in 1650, but his brother William is mentioned in 1642, and it is conjectured that they came together. Thomas Flint is on record under the date of September 18, 1654, as purchaser of “150 acres lying within the bounds of Salem;” and subsequently, January 1, 1662, he purchased a tract containing fifty acres. This homestead was still in possession of one of his descendants in 1860. His wife bore the name of Ann, and they had four sons and two daughters. He died April 15, 1663.
Thomas Flint, born about 1645, the oldest child of Thomas and Ann Flint, inherited a part of his father’s farm and became owner of other lands in Essex and Middlesex counties by purchase at intervals from 1664 to 1702. He was by trade a carpenter, and the builder of the first meeting-house in Salem village. He was engaged in “King Philip’s war,” and in the expedition against the Narrgansetts in 1675, and is known as “Captain Thomas Flint.” He was twice married, --- first May 22, 1666, to Hannah Moulton, who died March 30, 1673, leaving a daughter and a son. September 15, 1674, the Captain married Mary Dounton, and had five sons and four daughters. He died May 24, 1721, aged about seventy-six years. William, the sixth child and the fourth son of Captain Thomas Flint, was born July 17 1685, and married to Abigail Nichols, April 30, 1713. He farmed “a parcel of land containing about six-score acres,” given by his father through “natural affection,” March 22, 1720, and is known as “Deacon Flint, of North Reading,“ having been chosen to that office in the precinct church, June 28, 1727. He had six sons and three daughters, and died October 2, 1736.
Benjamin Flint, born December 26, 1728, a son of Deacon William and Abigail (Nichols) Flint, was a lieutenant in the “old French war,” and was engaged in the expedition to Crown Point in 1755. He was twice married: first, to Peggy Sawyer, June 17, 1775, and they had two sons and one daughter; and February 18, 1762, he married Rachel Upton, by whom he had five daughters and four sons. He was chiefly a farmer of North Reading, and the date of his death is unknown; but his youngest child was born December 31, 1779. Benjamin Flint, born April 8, 1757, the oldest child of Lieutenant Benjamin and Peggy (Sawyer) Flint, was a soldier of the Revolution , and settled on a farm in Swansea, New Hampshire. He was twice married, April 20, 1774, he wedded Mary Swain, and they had six sons and four daughters; and his next marriage was to Eunice Stowell, by whom he had one daughter and three sons. He died January 18, 1829.
Simeon Flint, born in Winchester, New Hampshire, January 18, 1817, the youngest child of Benjamin and Eunice (Stowell) Flint, learned the trade of mason, and in mature life was a builder, a manufacturer of sewer pipe and a dealer in various kinds of building materials at Salem, Massachusetts. He was married November 26, 1845, to Ellen Rebecca Pollard, who was born in Hallowell, Maine, June 9, 1822, a daughter of George and Rebecca (Punchard) Pollard. They had seven children, namely: George B., the subject of this sketch; Charles Henry, born May 30, 1848; Edward Winchester, August 27, 1850; Albert Stowell, September 12, 1853; William Cornelian, September 10, 1855; Mary Ellen, September 18, 1857; Arthur Poland, February 11, 1860. The father died July 16, 1876, but the mother is still living.
Mr. George B. Flint, whose name heads this sketch, received his education in the public schools of Salem, including a course in the high school, which he left in his sixteenth year to go to sea, shipping “before the mast” in 1862, in a full-rigged Boston ship engaged in the East India trade. In December, 1863, he arrived in San Francisco from Hong Kong, and soon afterward became a drug clerk in the drug store of his uncle, Charles P. Pollard, of Marysville, with whom he remained four and a half years. In 1868 he made a trip to the East, and on his return settled in this city as a clerk in the drug store of E. P. Sanford, in September, 1868. In 1872 he became a member of the firm of Sanford, Kelsey & Co., and while so engaged took occasion to follow a professional course in the Pharmaceutical College of San Francisco. In 1878 Mr. Kelsey and he sold their interests to the senior partner, and under the style of Kelsey & Flint purchased a drug store at the corner of Broadway and Eleventh streets, afterward removing to No. 1073 Broadway. In 1885 they moved to the present location, No. 1101 Broadway, corner of Twelfth street, and in 1887 Mr. Flint bought out his partner’s interest, continuing the business alone, under the style of George B. Flint
For several years Mr. Flint took an active interest in the local military organizations, being a member of the Oakland Light Cavalry from a few weeks after its organization, and its First Lieutenant when attached to the Fifth Regiment, Second Brigade, N. G. C., as Company F., of which he became Captain, holding that rank until his withdrawal through pressure of professional business in 1886 He is a member of University Lodge, No. 144, I. O. O. F.
In Oakland, August 24, 1887, Mr. Flint married Miss Abbie L. De Golia, who was born in Placerville, California, April 15, 1859, a daughter of Darwin and Lavinia W. (Baldwin) De Golia. The father, a grandson of the original immigrant De Golia, came to California in the early ‘50s from the region of Lake Champlain, New York, followed mining for some time in California and Nevada. He afterward published a newspaper, and still later was engaged as a contractor and builder at Placerville, where he was married in 1855. He moved with his family to Oakland in 1873, and died in 1888, at the age of sixty-nine years. The mother, who was born in Ohio, a daughter of David and Lavinia (Wheeler) Baldwin, came across the plains in 1854 or 1855. She died in October, 1887, aged fifty-eight years. Grandfather Baldwin lived to the age of eighty-four. Mrs. Flint has three brothers living, viz.: Darwin C., an attorney at Waterville, Washington; George E., an attorney residing in Oakland; and Edwin B., an underwriter of San Francisco.
Mr. and Mrs. George B. Flint have one child, Arthur De Golia Flint, born July 30, 1890. Albert S. Flint, the only surviving brother of George B., is a graduate of Harvard University and has developed a special interest in astronomy. After graduation he spent one year each at the observatories of Princeton and Cincinnati, about seventeen years at the United States Naval Observatory at Washington, District of Columbia, and is now Assistant Astronomer at the observatory of the University at Madison, Wisconsin.
Transcribed by Dorene Paterson.
Source: "The Bay of San Francisco," Vol. 2, pages 154-156, Lewis Publishing Co., 1892.
© 2005 Dorene Paterson.