|Birth: ||Aug. 1, 1845|
East Feliciana Parish
|Death: ||Jun. 7, 1936|
Flavia Henietta Flynn was born in Clinton, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana 1 August 1936. Her father was Isaac Taylor Flynn [1817-ca1883] and mother was Amanda Martha Pipes [1827-1874]. Both were born in Louisiana. She grew up in a large and relatively well-to-do family especially prior to the Civil War. Her father was a planter of some wealth. She likely had a good childhood but little is known about it. On 22 January 1869 she married a local man, Eugene Franklin Bunch, in East Feliciana, Louisiana. He had been born in Mississippi in 1843, but moved to Louisiana with his family at a young age before 1860. He had served in a Louisiana unit during the Civil War, but little is known about him in the period from 1865 to 1869 except it is believed that he attended a Commercial College in New Orleans. He was a school teacher in Washington Parish at the time of the marriage. He was described by contemporaries as a tall man [six foot, three], well-educated, well-mannered, good-humored, and well-liked. He apparently had a gift for gab. He also came from a large family that was relatively well off during his childhood. He also had a dark side. He was described as having a drinking problem, and a mania for gambling. This did create some negative problems for him in Louisiana, and may have had something to do with his decision to relocate and start a new life in the early 1870s. Flavia and Eugene in the period 1870-1873 moved to Dexter, a small town in the northeast corner of Cooke County, Texas where they settled. It is unsure how they come to select this town, but likely there were friends/relatives there already. Eugene tried a little farming and taught school at first to make a living. He likely wanted something more substantial than this. In 1876, he ran for the position of Cooke County Clerk and was elected for a two year-term. The family then moved to the county seat of Gainesville and acquired some property north of town closeby. He ran for this position twice more, in 1878 and 1880 and was re-elected. During his time as county clerk, he also did some land speculation and real estate business on the side. Some rumors begin circulating that he was using his inside access and knowledge to help his side business, and he had began to visit the gambling houses in Ft Worth and Dallas and had an wandering eye for the ladies. It was reported that Flavia would ride her horse to the Courthouse every day at quitting time to insure that he came straight home and to ride with him. A child, Theodore C Bunch [ called T C] named after Eugene's oldest brother was born 24 August 1875 soon after they arrived in Cooke County. This would be the only child of this marriage. Eugene had reformed his drinking problem after coming to Texas, but his mania for gambling had returned. Because of his life style, he began to have debt problems. His public image in the area had began to erode. His marriage had began also to suffer. He also began to have legal problems. By December 1883, one of Flavia's sisters, Amanda Minerva Flynn had arrived in Cooke County and was living with them. Apparently, her father had passed away by this time because she had been living with him in 1880. Amanda may have inherited some money since she loaned $1000 to Eugene and others for a business venture. She never got her money back. This likely caused some friction in the marriage. In November 1884, Eugene decided to ran for Cooke County Clerk again. However, since his reputation had taken a hit, he lost the election. Flavia and Eugene had a serious quarrel and he left for Wichita Falls, Texas where he dabbled in real estate and edited a local newspaper for a while. He rarely returned home to see his wife and child, and for all practical purposes he forsook the family. Flavis would say later in her divorce petition in Dallas in 1889, that after March 1886, she or the child received no support from him. Flavia and T.C. moved to Dallas ca November 1886. During the period 1887-1888 Eugene continued to be listed in Gainesville as a real estate agent, but this likely was for appearances only. Amanda married Henry C Wilkerson in November 1886, and Flavia and T. C. home burned in Gainesville. She received a small insurance settlement on it, and they left for Dallas. This would be the last time that Flavia or T. C. ever saw Eugene. Eugene became involved in forged land documents, and reports about him being involved in stage and train robberies were circulated. His last legitimate real estate transaction was completed in 1887 when he sold his homestead in Cooke County. He was first identified as a train robber in November 1888. There is no record of his activities from December 1888 to February 1892. He likely was on the run and moving around during this period. On 20 May 1889, Flavia filed for divorce in Dallas County, Texas and the court in a hearing on 17 February 1890 granted a divorce in which she got custody of the teenage son and was to pay all the expenses associated with the divorce. She even had to pay $25 to hire a lawyer to represent the interests of her husband who did not bother to show up for the hearing. In the petition to the court, she made no mention of his outlaw deeds, only that he had abandoned her and the child and failed to support them. Flavia and TC made a home in a small house on Crutchfield Street, and she worked as a private school teacher and T C got a job as a newspaper carrier. T C lived with his mother until 1897 when he married a local girl Johnie Norris whose father coincidently had been killed in the line of duty in Sulphur Springs, Texas while acting as city marshal in 1879. His widow with several minor children had moved to Dallas to seek employment. T C would work at several jobs in the Dallas area before eventually moving to Bowie, in Montague County, then to Arlington, then to Ft Worth where he worked in his own business and then as a traveling salesman for a drug company there. By 1900 Flavia had sold her little home on Crutchfield and moved in with her sister on 7th Street in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. Amanda husband died in 1904 leaving her with several children to support. T C died of an appendicitis surgery infection in Ft Worth in 1909 leaving a widow and three minor children. His widow sent two of her girls to California by 1910 to live with one of her sisters, and kept the boy with her and worked in Dallas for a year before moving to California to live the rest of her life. Flavia and Amanda would always live together for the rest of their lives on 7th Street. The house where they lived still stands. Flavia died on Sunday 7 June 1936 at her home on the day that the Texas Centennial opened at Fair Park in Dallas. A month later, Amanda died in the same house and they are buried next to each other in Oakland Cemetery and share a common grave marker. For some reason, Amanda's husband Henry C Wilkerson was buried in Greenwood Cemetery on the other side of Dallas.
The following obit ran in the Dallas Morning News at Flavia's death:
Mrs Flavia H Flynn Bunch Obit
Dallas Morning News: 8 June 1936
"Mrs Flavia H Bunch, Charity Worker Dies-
Mrs Flavia H Bunch, 90, resident of Dallas 60 years, who along with many other charitable activities reared 17 orphaned children, died Sunday at her home 812 7th Street, Oak Cliff. She was the wife of the late Eugine Bunch who served a number of years as District Clerk at Gainesville, Cooke Co, Texas prior to this death.
Following her removal to Dallas in 1876, Mrs Bunch conducted a private school for a number of years.
Surviving her are a sister, Mrs Amanda Wilkerson, Dallas, and three grandchildren. Funeral services will be conducted at 1030 AM Monday at Bower Funeral Home, 3000 Maple, by the Rev. C L Dealey. Burial will be in Oakland Cemetery."
On 12 May 1932, at the age of 85, in a odd incident, Flavia filed an application for a Confederate Pension in Dallas County, Texas based on the war service of her ex-husband in the Civil War. In this application she swears that she was never divorced from him and continued as a faithful wife until his death and referred to herself as the widow and that she had never remarried. In this application she also states erroneously that her husband died in 1878? There is no record that this application was approved by the state. Perhaps her memory was not as sound as it once had been. It is also interesting to note that all through the years from the time she first arrived in Dallas in 1886 or so, she referred to herself in the Dallas city directory as the widow of Eugene F Bunch. This was even after she was divorced and during his outlaw years. However, this was a different era, and appearances were important for a woman in those days. I can find no record that she had any reluctance to list her husband's name with hers in the City directory, or that she or anyone else ever mentioned her husband being an outlaw with one exception. That being when her husband was finally killed in a shootout with law enforcement in Louisiana on 21 August 1892, and a reporter was sent to bring her the news and to get a statement from her. She stated only that she "deplored his misspent life on account of her son." This story was carried in the New Orleans Picayune on 23 August 1892. After the notorious death of her ex-husband, she continued to live for 44 more years as a respected member of the Dallas community. It apparently was not held against her by her peers and neighbors.
[Bio provided by C. B. Mays.]
Isaac Taylor Flynn (1820 - 1895)
Amanda Martha Pipes Flynn (1827 - 1874)
Eugene F. Bunch (1843 - 1892)
Theodore C Bunch (1874 - 1909)*
Flavia Henrietta Flynn Bunch (1845 - 1936)
John Culbertson Flynn (1848 - 1850)*
David Washington Flynn (1850 - 1853)*
Ada Kearney Flynn Huey (1851 - 1913)*
Eudora Flynn Felps (1858 - 1918)*
Plot: Section 1, Lot 57
Created by: Barbara Ware
Record added: May 16, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52438305