The Shelby Museum Of History
Recorders of Shelby Pictorial History

Early Shelby Photographers and their Photographs

Miss J. Flint
(c. 1862? to c. 1868?)

Courtesy of private collector

Who was Miss J. Flint ?
Many of the earliest Shelby photographers are a bit of a mystery today.
In reviewing the records, it is difficult to determine any one resource that will
reliably reveal those members of our community who were photographers. Until
directories were in use, newspapers were a prime source of information about
the happenings (business and private sector) in our local area. Legal records might
contain evidence of business activities (partnerships or incorporations ) and
courthouse land records may provide clues to the transfer of business properties.
Census records may sometimes yield "photographer" or "artist" as an occupation
entry and thereby alert the researcher to the possibility this may be a
"person of interest" in the field of photography.
However, an existing picture with the photographer's identifying labeling
provides direct evidence that the photographer did in fact exist and practiced
their trade in our area. Assuming that such a photograph exists, sometimes
there is little or no additional evidence that connects that identified individual
to the profession of photography.
Such is the case with Miss J. Flint. The photo exists, but additional evidence
is circumstantial only.

Courtesy of private collector
(photo c. mid 1860s)
This photograph of three young ladies appears to have been taken (based on clothing and the
materials and construction of the photograph) in the mid 1860s. The identifying stamp on
the reverse of the photo mount seems to support this date. This is the only "Miss J. Flint"
photograph we have seen at this time (February, 2008),


Miss J. Flint was most probably Julia A. Flint, a daughter of Owen and Nancy Flint.
Julia's parents were married on June 6, 1823 in Mansfield, Ohio. Julia's mother Nancy
may have been a Dealin, a Dibble, or a Phelps, depending on the source. The 1820
and 1830 censuses show no Dibbles or Dealin families living in the area; however, there
were several Phelps families in Richland County during that period. Owen Flint's mother
was a Phelps, so there may have been some confusion caused by that fact.
Owen Flint came to Richland County from Hartford, Connecticut in 1819. Nancy was born in
Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania and her family moved to Richland County in 1819 as well.
In 1825, Owen purchased a tract of land in the city of Mansfield, Ohio and the Flint family
had grown with the addition of their first child, a daughter, Mary Ann.
The 1830 census finds the family living in Washington Twp. Richland County. Owen and Nancy's
family now consists of two daughters and a son (Mary Ann, Marie and James). The 1840
census reveals a family of one son and six daughters.
Julia Flint was one of at least 8 children in what seems to have become a rather loosely arranged
family. In 1850 Julia (age 16) was living with the Avery and Marie Denison family in Plymouth
Twp., Richland County, Ohio. Julia's older sister Marie had married Avery Denison in 1847.
Julia's parents were living in LaGrange Co., Indiana. Owen Flint listed his occupation as "sawyer".
The 1860 census finds Julia Flint now living in LaGrange County, Indiana with the Otis Newton
family. Julia's mother, Nancy Flint, was living in Butler, Ohio with another daughter, Esther, and
son-in-law, Isaac White, a cabinet maker. In 1860, Avery and Marie Denison were living in Wayne
Twp., Noble County, Indiana with their three children: Wellington L., Frank A., and Ida.L.
In addition, Laurence Flint (age 60) carpenter, also born in Connecticut lives here. Owen Flint has
not been located in the 1860 census.
By 1870 the three Denison children were living in Troy Twp., Miami County, Ohio with Sarah
A. Denison (age 37 - born in Ohio) as well as Julia's younger sister, Louisa Flint (age 32 - born
in Ohio). There is evidence suggesting that Sarah A. Denison was also a Flint.
Both Julia Flint Coltman's parents passed away in Shelby, Ohio: Owen in 1874 and Nancy in 1879.
They are both probably buried (without a marker) in Oakland Cemetery in lots in the White family
section where their daughters, Esther Flint White and Louisa Flint, are buried.


Joseph (born 1795) and Mary Shepherd (born 1792) Coltman moved with their two sons -
George (born 1816) and Samuel (born 1818) - from Virginia to Richland County shortly
after 1820. Joseph was a miller by trade and soon constructed a mill along the
Blackfork River south of the village that became Shelby on what is now Stiving Road.
The mill was located across the road from the present Coltman cemetery. Their family
continued to grow and eventually numbered at least nine children.
In 1850 Samuel Coltman "sawyer" was living with the Henry Shepherd family, Henry
Shepherd was born in Virginia and came to Richland County at about the same time
as the Coltmans. It very possible that Henry Shepherd is Samuel Coltman's mother's
brother. On July 14, 1851 Samuel married Mary Ann Wetz, a daughter of his neighbors
Christian and Mary Wetz. Samuel and Mary Ann were the parents of Araminta (born 1852)
and Alice Mary (born c. 1858).
Advertisements in the 1859 "Shelby Pioneer" newspaper indicate that Samuel Coltman
was a dealer in "groceries and provisions". By the 1860 census, Samuel and family are
living in Shelby and along with his father is a "Saloon keeper". Mary Ann Wetz Coltman
passed away c. 1863.
Samuel married Julia A. Flint in 1867 and continued his business career in
Shelby as a hotel keeper. In 1875 their only child, Josephine Coltman, was born to
Samuel and Julia. She was to be their only child. In 1880 Samuel was still in business
in Shelby listing his occupation as a "Saloon keeper".
Samuel died in 1892 and Julia lived on in Shelby where in 1900 she and daughter
Josephine were running a boarding house on Third Street. In the 1920 Census
Julia and Josephine (who never married) are still living at 15 Third Street where
Julia died in 1923. Samuel and Julia are buried at the Oakland Cemetery in Shelby.
At this time the evidence strongly indicates that Miss J. Flint, photographist, was
Julia A. Flint Coltman, There were not many "Flint" families living in Richland
County during this period and none with an unmarried daughter whose name
began with the letter "J", with the exception of Owen and Nancy Flint.

Additional proof (Oct. 2009)

A notice appearing in the February 6th, 1868 issue of the Shelby Chronicle
newspaper indicates that Miss Flint will be selling her "Galery" including stock,
fixtures, and good will. This seems to serve notice that Miss Flint will be
closing her photography studio with all inquiries going to S. Coltman. Samuel
Coltman was Julia A. Flint's new husband and this seems to prove that Miss
Flint the photographer was the new Mrs. Samuel Coltman..

Additional Images (Feb. 2012)
Louise Shoemaker, a member of our local Richland County - Shelby Chapter of the
Ohio Genealogical Society and a great-grandniece of Julia Flint Coltman and her
brother-in-law, Court Roth provided the following pictures:

The photo on the left of Julia A. Flint Coltman and her only child Josephine, was taken
by Frederick Smith in 1890. Julia would have been age 56 years and Josephine 15.
The photo of Josephine on the right was taken by William C. Bryant in 1895.
Louise menti0ned: "The picture of young Josephine Coltman captured her sweetness
which I remember was part of who she was even into her later years."
Josephine Coltman died April 5, 1961 and is buried at the Oakland Cemetery in Shelby.
Thank you Louise and Court for sharing your photos.
We will be searching for additional Miss. J. Flint photos. If you can help us with this quest
please contact us at the museum.
If you have questions or if you would like more information, please contact :
The Shelby Museum of History
% Sally Maier
76 Raymond Ave.
Shelby, Ohio 44875
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