Obituary: The Coshocton Tribune Jan.4,1964
Services for Pedro E. Flores, 67, of 222 Vines St., who died Friday in County Memorial Hospital will be conducted at the Gibson and Bontrager Funeral Home by Dr. Russell Hoy Monday at 1:30 pm. Burial will be at the South Lawn Cemetery.
Calling hours at the funeral home will be 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 pm Sunday and until time of service Monday.
He was born in the Philippine Islands April 26, 1896, and was married June 6, 1931, to Edria Myers, who survives.
Mr. Flores, a salesman for the Yo-Yo Co., introduced Yo-Yo's in the United States in September 1928. He lived in Coshocton 21 years.
Surviving besides the widow are a stepson Delmar Walters of Warren, Michigan and 3 step Grandchildren.
First American yo-yo maker had Coshocton ties
Jul. 21, 2013
Carole Etchells Cross
Someday, when you have nothing more important to do, take a walk through South Lawn Cemetery here and look for Section K, Lot 2.
There you'll find Pedro Edralin Flores, owner of the first yo-yo manufacturing company in the U.S. Flores was responsible for leading this child's toy, popularized in the states in the 1920s, to worldwide popularity.
According to the American Yo-Yo Association's Hall of Fame, Flores is the father of the modern yo-yo. And according to Lucky Meisenheimer, author of "Lucky's Collectors Guide to 20th Century Yo-Yos," Flores contributed three important events in the yo-yo industry.
First, he popularized the toy, that is believed to have originated in China about 1000 B.C. Pictures of yo-yos have been found in Greece as well as in Asia as far back as about 2500 B.C.
Second, Flores modified the yo-yo so the string looped around the axle instead of being attached to it, allowing the yo-yo to spin. Third, the invention led to creative tricks and games, and that in turn led to yo-yo contests and events scheduled across the country. The popularity reached its peak worldwide in the 1960s.
But let's go back in time and learn a little about this little known figure who was born in Vintar, Ilocos Norte, in the Phillipines, and immigrated to the United States. Flores' obituary in the Coshocton Tribune states he died in Coshocton County in December 1963.
Born on April 26, 1896, Flores married Edria Myers on June 6, 1931. He lived in Coshoeton for 28 years. The Tribune goes on to state he was survived by his wife; a stepson, Delmar Walters, of Warren Michigan; and three step-grandchildren.
In the 1940 census, Flores, was a councilman in District Nine in Los Angeles County, Calif. Flores' draft card for World War II, indicates he was living with his father-in-law, Arthur Myers, in Canton.
Flores studied law at the University of California-Berkeley and Hastings College of Law in Santa Barbara. For some reason, he didn't complete his degree. Perhaps he was looking for partners to develop his dream.
In any event, on June 9, 1928, he applied and received a certificate to conduct business for the Yo-Yo Manufacturing Co. in downtown Santa Barbara, Calif., in the historic Granada Building on State Street.
Flores made one dozen yo-yos by hand and started selling them in the neighborhood. Four months later, he sold 2,000 yo-yos. On July 22, 1930, he registered the trademark Flores Yo-Yo and attracted two financiers, James and Daniel Stone, of Los Angeles.
Now that Pedro had investors, he bought machinery for two more factories. Four months later, 300,000 yo-yos were produced per day by more than 600 workers.
The American Yo-Yo Association Newsletter in 1997 stated Flores sold his interest in his yo-yo companies to Donald Duncan Sr. for a sum greater than $250,000, which during the Depression was a fortune.
Duncan named his purchase the Duncan Yo-Yo Co. The company's profile online states Duncan introduced the loop slip-string, but the Museum of Yo-Yo History says that is a myth: "The slip string, credited to Duncan was part of Flores yo-yos BEFORE he sold them to Duncan."
Flores' wife, Edria Beatrice Myers Walters Flores Bainter, died at age 93 on April 12, 2002 at Hill Crest North Nursing Home in Knoxville, Tenn. Born Oct. 11, 1908, in Coshocton, she moved to Canton at age 3. She played the piano and in later years worked in a dress shop until she retired at 73.
Mrs. Flores moved to West Knoxville in 1987 from New Philadelphia. Her father, Arthur Myers, was born in 1886 in New Philadelphia. Her grandfather, Lewis Myers, was born in 1846 and is buried in Waggoner Cemetery in Coshocton County. I found a marriage certificate for Edria in West Virginia stating she married Delmar Walters in 1927.
So if you find Flores' grave there in South Lawn Cemetery — right here in Coshocton County — remember that he was instrumental in introducing the yo-yo craze to America. Who says you can't learn anything from dead people?
Carole Etchells Cross writes this column for the Coshocton Tribune. She is a member of the Coshocton County Genealogy Society, which meets from 7:30 to 9 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month in the basement of the Coshocton Public Library. For more information, visit www.coshoctongenealogy.org.
Edria Beatrice Myers Bainter
1908–2002 (m. 1931)
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