Lake County has its 2020 Grand and Wee Leprechauns, John Flynn and five-year-old Knox Muller to host Irish Day festivities.
Flynn and Muller will be officially introduced as the Grand and Wee Leprechaun during the Irish Days Dinner on Friday, March 13 at the Lakeview Elks Lodge organized by the Lake County Chamber of Commerce.
Annually the Grand Leprechaun is named from a list of Irish descendants. It began with Irish immigrants, oldest to the youngest; then first generation born to two Irish immigrant parents; and now to one Irish immigrant parent.
Flynn’s mother Nora (Lynch) Flynn was born in Ireland and came to the United States when she was 13 years old. Although asked to accept this honor, Nora declined; but her sister, Breda (Lynch) Flynn was the Grand Leprechaun in 2000.
John is also descended from his namesake John C. Flynn who settled in the Lakeview area in the early-1900s and had nine children including his dad Con Flynn. John C. Flynn was active in many local businesses in the area including banking, and co-founded the Bank of Lakeview. Along with ownership in mercantile stores in the Paisley, Plush, Lakeview and possibly one in Adel.
“He was a banker and involved in mercantile stores throughout the County,” said Flynn.
On the side he was involved with sheep with a business partner Dennis O’Connor, before the Taylor Grazing Act came into effect. When the Act came into effect John C. Flynn had to buy a ranch for the sheep. While John isn’t certain when the family first began to transition to cattle, he believes it was after John C. Flynn’s death and was when his father, along with his uncles, Jack and Joe Flynn had bought out the family ranch.
“He had the option of buying two ranches, the 7T in Plush or the Double 0 in Harney County and he picked the one in Plush because it was closer to Lakeview and his wife Katherine said Plush had more trees,” said Flynn.
His dad married Nora Lynch whose family owned land in Plush as well.
“When I was growing up, we were in Plush every weekend and spent all our summers there,” Flynn said.
After Flynn graduated from Lakeview High School in 1971 he graduated from Blue Mountain Community College and then attended Oregon State University. In the fall of 1973 he got a call from his dad about the chance to buy-in on a ranch in the Beatty area with his parents, and Flynn jumped at the chance. He worked for Flynn Bros. while increasing his own cattle herd until 1990 when Flynn Bros. split the ranch among Con, Jack and Joe. At that time John and his brother Neil handled the day-to-day operations of Con’s holdings and the additional ranch that John and his parents owned in Beatty.
When father Con passed in 2002, John and Neil continued as partners with their mother Nora, purchasing her share in 2014. With an untimely death of Neil in 2015, John purchased Neil’s shares from his heirs.
Flynn still runs the ranch in Plush, Beatty, a ranch leased in California with the help of his wife, Tillie, daughter Kirby, and daughter and son-in-law, Kelsie and Joe Bostwick.
Knox Muller, who attends the “Little Ones Pre-School” at the First Baptist Church in Lakeview, is the son of Todd and Nicole Muller and brother of Cade and Quinlyn. When he was told that he would be the Wee Leprechaun his initial reaction was “what does a wee leprechaun do?” He and his family live on the Westside.
Muller, will along side Flynn will lead the Irish Days Parade on Saturday, March 14. Knox loves to play with racecars, build structures with his Legos, to read, and be read to by his older siblings.
The Elks Lodge is located at 323 N. F St., Lakeview, doors open at 5 p.m. and cost of the dinner is $12.