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Recorded by Romelia Gomez, Field Reporter

Sr. Carmen Flynn, a Mexican born in San Miguel, Sonora, left Mexico to come to Arizona sometime before 1880, coming to live at Fairbanks first, then at Benson. Her family, the Escoboza’s, consisted of three boys and two girls, the mother and father having died in Mexico. In San Miguel they had earned their living by tilling the soil, but this not being an especially profitable trade two of the Escoboza boys came across to the U.S. settling at Fairbanks, Arizona. The others soon followed. One of the boys had a job here as book-keeper; the other owned a train of mule-wagons, which we used to haul iron tools (fierros) to the smelter at Bisbee.

Mrs. Flynn did not come to Bisbee until after her marriage to Mr. Bernardino Flynn, around 1890. Here Mr. Flynn secured work in the smelter, as foreman of the plant where the “adobitos” of the ore were made. He had, working under him, many Mexicans, and, according to Mrs. Flynn, he was well-liked by them. The Flynns lived in a large building on Naco Rd., somewhere around the place where the fire-station now stands. They bought their water from “aguadores” who brought it to them in water-bags. Sometimes Mrs. Flynn would have to go up to the office on Main Street to protest that she hadn’t had any water delivered to her for two or three days, saying that her barrel was getting empty. The man in charge there would then tell her jokingly to pray a lot so that it would rain and there would then by plenty of water for everyone. Their fire-wood was also bought from “leneros” with their burros. Mr. Flynn always bought it by the cord.

Mrs. Flynn knows no English at all, having had no necessity for learning it, as she says, for Mr. Flynn spoke Spanish and even read and wrote it. Now she says she is sorry she didn’t learn the language, for she would get along much better if she had.

In Mexico Mrs. Flynn attended very few dances because she didn’t like them; in Bisbee, she didn’t attend any at all, going out very seldom to fiestas or community affairs. She has never gone to a movie and the only place she remembers going to was the Opera House, where she saw two or three plays (comedias) given by actors from Mexico. She has always been very reluctant to witness any scenes or occurrences like fire, accidents etc, even to the point of not coming out of her house to see an accident which occurred in front of her house on Naco Road in which two cars were wrecked. She just doesn’t like to see such things and isn’t a bit interested in them.

Mrs. Flynn says that in Sonora all the people there are Catholics; she had never know any Protestants until she came to the U.S. She gets very angry in thinking of the people who are such religious Catholics in Mexico; then come over here and don’t even go to church, preferring to go to shows and dances and yet, they call themselves Catholics. She laughs at all superstitious people and says she has never believed in such things at all. Mrs. Flynn now lives in a house right across from the church, and goes to Mass every single morning. The only reason she sold her little house on Naco Road and came to rent another one in town was to be near the church.

When the smelters were moved to Douglas the Flynns left Bisbee, and lived in Benson, Globe and Fairbanks before coming back here in 1906 Mr. Flynn then worked as foreman in the building of the railroad track until his death in 1911. He left Mrs. Flynn some money and a house of her own, so for several years she was rather well off. Now she receives some kind of a pension from the government and is 87 years of age. The Flynns never had any children. She lives all alone, going to visit her married sister in Globe once a year and staying there less than a month.

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