Jerry E. Flint (1840-1909)
Jeremiah “Jerry” Eliphalet Flint was born March 4, 1840, in Eden (Lamoille County), Vermont, and died May 3, 1909, in Warren (Marshall County), Minnesota, having left River Falls for good in June of 1902.
Jerry served in Company G of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry/Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War—the Hudson City Guards—from April 22, 1861, to May 28, 1866. He was promoted first to corporal, then sergeant, to 2nd lieutenant on May 24, 1864, and to first lieutenant on February 25, 1865.
Many of his Civil War letters that he wrote to his mother and his brother, Phineas, in River Falls are preserved in the Jerry E. Flint Papers, River Falls Mss BN, in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Following are two obituaries that appear in The River Falls Journal. Although not credited, the second one appears to originally have been from a Wheaton, Minnesota, newspaper.
From the May 6, 1909, issue of The River Falls Journal:
Jeremiah E. Flint, best known to his friends as “Jerry,” was born in Eden, Vermont, March 4th, 1840. Longfellow says:—
“There is no death! what seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but the suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call death.”
On the morning of May 3d, 1909, Jerry heard and answered the summons to enter that “life elysian.”
In 1854 Jerry with his widowed mother, one brother and a sister, came with a large circle of relatives to River Falls. Here he lived until the opening of the Civil War, when he was among the first to respond to Abraham Lincoln’s call for men. He enlisted in the 4th Wisconsin Infantry, which was very soon mounted and became the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry. Jerry served as a soldier in this Regiment during the five years of war.
On his return, he lived with his mother, until her death in 1872, since which time his home in River Falls has been with his cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Pratt
Thirteen years he was our genial Postmaster. His business interests in the West have taken him away many times, for months, but when he was at home, it was always River Falls.
He was ever ready—a ” tower of strength”—tender and true, to his friends in trouble.
Christ said to his disciples: ” I have called you friends,” as though there could be no higher name given them. There are many who have called Jerry friend, and in all these various circles, in which he has moved, he will be missed.
The once large circle of relatives are ” gathering homeward one by one.”
To-day we laid our friend to rest under the flag he loved so well and under the flowers placed by loving hands.
The night cometh; when next we meet, it will be “Good Morning.”
River Falls, May 5th, 1909
From the May 13, 1909, issue of The River Falls Journal:
Jeremiah E. Flint Dead
To the many who have been associated with Jerry Flint in either a social or business way during the many years he has been indentified [sic] with this section of the state, the news of his death was a message that brought the deepest sorrow. Death came to him suddenly at Warren, Minn., where he had gone to look after property interests. About one year ago, while he was here in Wheaton, Mr. Flint suffered a slight stoke of paralysis, and although he afterwards regained sufficient strength to travel about, his intimate friends could observe that he was steadily failing and that death might come at any moment and without warning, as reports here state that it did. Mr. Flint passed the greater part of his life at River Falls, Wisconsin. He enlisted there at the opening of the rebellion and fought bravely all through the war, returning to River Falls again when mustered out. About twenty years ago he became interested in real estate in the vicinity of Wheaton and since then has made his home here much of the time.
No man lives who can say that Jerry Flint ever wilfully or knowingly wronged him. His sense of justice and his regard for truth and honesty were such that no circumstances could induce him to avail himself of an opportunity to secure an unfair advantage in any transaction. His integrity was not the result of a fixed rule, but was a trait of character implanted in him by nature, and dishonesty or trickery were repulsive to him. In his breast beat a kind, noble heart and his attitude toward his fellow men was charity for all and malice toward none. He was a good, patriotic citizen who sought for and advocated the best things in life, who despised hypocrisy and whose good deeds were performed in a manner to attract the last possible attention. His life was one that any young man might well pattern after, and his death brings sincere regret to the many who so highly prized his friendship.
Search the Minnesota Veterans Graves Registration Index, which includes only those soldiers buried in Minnesota (so it does not include Jerry). “The veterans grave registration program in Minnesota began in 1927 when the Adjutant General was given the duty of maintaining a registry of veterans’ graves in Minnesota. In 1947 the burden of registry was placed on the embalming and funeral services, which were required to send information to the Department of Veterans Affair.” The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) have a national database of burials of Union Civil War soldiers. “The SUVCW National Graves Registration Project was established in 1996. Since then, hundreds of dedicated people from within and without our Order have graciously devoted thousands of hours of their time and energy visiting cemeteries, recording, verifying, researching and entering the final resting places of Civil War veterans.” Jerry is listed in this database; he is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in River Falls.