Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jesse Palmer Flint

Flint Avenue in Port Coquitlam is named after Jesse P. Flint, although he did not own the land upon which it is located; portions of Flint Avenue are the trail that he built to access his property.
Jesse Palmer Flint, received a Dominion Government Crown Grant for Lot 479, Tp39 Sec.1 Group 1 for 156 acres on the 15th of May 1900, he appears to have been homesteading the land from 1887 onward; although he was in the 1891 Census enumerated as living in Coquitlam and farming. Jesse is listed as living in Coquitlam until 1908, but his biography states he left in 1902 to live in Vancouver; my guess is he sold his property in Coquitlam and invested it in the rooming house in Vancouver where he lived the rest of his days.

   Born in April 1860,(23 April, 1863 in his biography) Jesse passed away in Vancouver on the 14th of June 1929 at the age of 66.
Jesse was born in England,(Ontario according to his biography) and is found in the 1881 census, working as a laborer in Gosfield, Essex, Ontario.

   In between the 1881 and 1891 census Jesse appears to have come to the Coast, and settled in Coquitlam, on his land grant.
On the 16th of May 1911 in Vancouver, Jesse married Elspeth Anne Spence, who was born in Scotland in February 1873, and immigrated to Canada in 1909.

   At that time Jesse bought or had built possibly in 1907 the "Jesse P. Flint Rooming House" a rooming house at 1514 Powell Street,(Note 1.) Vancouver and lived nearby at 1547 Powell Street,(Note 2.), living there until Jesse passed away in 1929, when she sold it and moved out, she is next found in 1932 living at 1715 Woodland Drive, Elspeth passed away on the 15th of June 1947 in Vancouver at the age of 73 years.

(Note 1.)      Jesse is listed as living there in 1905, in 1907 a new building mentioned.
Called the J.P. Flint Rooming from 1909 to 1920 in the directories. Today in 2011 the site is a gas station. the lot also appears to have had a collection of buildings "cabins" in its past life
See this Xcel file which lists the businesses and residents of the 1500 block of Powell Street from 1904 to 1940 for further details.

(Note 2.)     In 1909 Mrs.T.C. McKenelley running a rooming house at 1547 Powell, the following year Jesse is listed as living there, this became his residence. In 1926 to 1931 aptly named as the Woodland House, since it is on the corner of Woodland Drive and Powell Street; vacant in 1933, J. Walker living there in 1934. Today in 2011 the site is a car storage lot.
See this Xcel file which lists the businesses and residents of the 1500 block of Powell Street from 1904 to 1940 for further details.

 Note: Most of these dates come from the directories; so the dates could be wrong by a year.

 Jesse P. Flint owned 1514 Powell Street, and probably other lots in the 1500 block of Powell St.
This image was created from: Goad's atlas of the city of Vancouver,Volume Two, December 1912. Which contains insurance maps, that can be very useful to researchers. Volume One
Other early maps of the area are available at Canada Archives 
and Geoscan (which is primarily geological maps, and you need to be somewhat specific in the searches)

 Here is 1500 block of Powell Street in April 2009

 The present day location of the Flint property.

Article about him in the;
B.C. from the earliest times to the present, Biographical Volume IV (1914) pages 1073-4

     Jesse P. Flint, living retired in Vancouver after many years of close identification with the up-building, growth and development of Port Coquitlam and the surrounding districts of British Columbia, was born in Essex, Ontario, on the 23d of April, 1863.
     As a very young child he was left an orphan,(See note) and was adopted into first one family and then another, acquiring in his childhood a very limited education in the public schools of his native community. 
     At the age of twenty-one he began earning his own livelihood, working for a few years in the United States and in eastern Canada. During this time he saved a considerable sum of money and with it came west to British Columbia, locating on the present site of Port Coquitlam in 1887.
    He found here a wilderness which stretched for miles in every direction, broken here and there by the scattered habitations of the few white people who had come to the vicinity. Mr. Flint worked for a time on the ranches and also homesteaded from the government land lying one mile from the junction of what is now known as the Flint road. During the winter months he contracted to clear land and also spent a great deal of his time improving his own place, operating upon it for a time his own logging camp. He proved title to his land and, seeing the steady and rapid rise in property values, was one of the first to subdivide his farm into twenty acre tracts.

     He disposed of all of his holdings, selling at nine dollars per acre land now worth about one thousand dollars. Mr. Flint continued to reside in Port Coquitlam for some years thereafter, witnessing practically the entire development of the city and bearing an active and honorable part in the work of progress. About the year 1902, having accumulated through his own ability and well directed efforts a substantial fortune, he retired from active life and came to Vancouver, where he has since resided.
    He has invested extensively in city real estate and, being an expert judge of land values, these investments have proven extremely profitable.

    He is fond of athletics and spends a great many of his leisure hours in outdoor sports. His political allegiance is given to the conservative party, and while a resident of Port Coquitlam he served as a member of the city council, discharging his duties in a capable, energetic and far-sighted way, his influence being always on the side of reform and progress. The period of leisure and rest from the active cares of life which he now enjoys is well deserved, for it was won by unremitting industry and well directed work in former years.

note:   1871 Census of Canada for Gosfield, Essex County, Ontario, finds four others named Flint, but no J.P.Flint, all appear to have been under the care of other families. They are: Arthur Flint age 15; Charles Flint age 18; Elizabeth Flint age 13, and Mary Flint age 6. These children were born in England and the USA. A coincidence maybe, but Arthur Flint's parent were Stephen Flint and Isabella Palmer,(Palmer was Jesse's middle name.)

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