Solano County

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The life-size statue of St. Vincent Ferrer, dedicated to the late Philip B. Lynch (II) and standing in the churchyard of the parish of St. Vincent Ferrer at Vallejo, is an enduring memorial of Mr. Lynch's services to this community and a continual tribute to the high esteem in which he was held. As a merchant, as a lawyer, as a banker and as chief executive of the city of his birth, Mr. Lynch was in a position to render fine service and never neglected any oportunity to do so. Thus, at the time of his sudden and tragic death in 1921, he left a good memory, a memory that ever will be kept green here, for his efforts in behalf of the community were such as to find a permanent place in the enduring annals of this favored section of California.

The late Philip B. Lynch (II) was a native son of Vallejo and his useful life was spent here. He was born June 28, 1871, and was thus not quite fifty years of age at the time of his death, which occurred February 10, 1921, as a result of injuries received in an automobile accident while returning to his home in Vallejo from Salinas; but in that less than half a century of life he had crowded much of accomplishment and had come to be accounted one of the most substantial citizens of this section of the .state. Mr. Lynch was a son of Philip B. and Mary Ann (Ryan) Lynch, the latter of whom died in 1896. Philip B. Lynch (I), a New Yorker and in his generation a forceful personal factor in the development of the earlier interests of Vallejo, was one of the real pioneers of California, for he was a member of the party that accompanied General John C. Fremont here in 1847. When in the next year gold was discovered at Sutter's mills he took part in operations in the mining region, and when he had accumulated eight thousand dollars he returned to New York with the expectation of turning this sum to good account in a business way. The investments he made turned out disastrously, however, and in 1859 he returned to California and opened a grocery store at Vallejo. This was the beginning of the extensive Lynch interests in this city, now being carried on in the third generation by Philip B. Lynch (III), grandson of the pioneer. Among the realty interests developed at Vallejo by the senior Philip B. Lynch was the erection of the Lynch block at the corner of Georgia and Santa Clara streets, and there he continued to carry on his business as a grocer until his death in 1897, the year following the death of his wife.

The junior Philip B. Lynch supplemented the training received in the schools of Vallejo by a course in Santa Clara College and after his graduation therefrom in 1889 became engaged in business with his father at Vallejo, a mutually agreeable relation that was maintained until the senior Lynch's death in 1897, after which the surviving member of the firm continued to carry on the business alone for about five years, or until his sale of the store in 1903 to Herman Soloman. Mr. Lynch then took up the study of law, a profession in which he had taken an interest from the days of his boyhood, and under the preceptorship of the law firm of Keogh & Olds at San Francisco was prepared for admission to the bar. He was admitted to the bar June 24, 1907, and was thereafter engaged in practice, with offices at Vallejo, also having a professional connection with William H. Morrissey, a prominent attorney of San Francisco, with offices in the Liberty Bank building, at No. 948 Market street, and he became one of the best known lawyers in this section of the state. He continued the development of the realty interests left him by his father, adding thereto by the erection of several other buildings about town, included among these being the handsome residence erected for his family at the corner of Louisiana and Sonoma streets, one of the most attractive dwellings in the city.

Mr. Lynch was an active democrat and was for years recognized as one of the leaders of that party in Solano county and in this district. During the late '90s he was a member of the board of town trustees and after the city charter was adopted served a term (1902-4) as mayor of the city, in that capacity rendering a distinctive service in behalf of the city. In addition to his realty interests he had other interests of a substantial character, including a place on the directorate of the First National Bank of Vallejo, and he was one of the city's foremost business men as well as one of the county's leading lawyers. An earnest and devoted member of the Roman Catholic church, his generous contributions to the support of St. Vincent Ferrer parish at Vallejo were helpful in promoting the affairs of that growing parish, and his charities in other directions were equally generous and praiseworthy. Mr. Lynch was an active and influential member of the local council of the Knights of Columbus and of the local parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West, was a member of the Vallejo Yachting and Rowing Club and of the Young Men's Institute and was also affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

On October 26, 1898, Philip B. Lynch (II) was united in marriage to Miss Mary Margaret Clyne, a daughter of the late James and Mary (Don Ion) Clyne, of Benicia, who, with her son, Philip B. Lynch (III), survives. There was another child born to this union, a daughter, Mary, who died in infancy. Since the death of her husband Mrs. Lynch has continued to make her home at Vallejo, residing at No. 1402 Sonoma street in the hand some home her husband took so much pleasure in erecting for his family. The son, the third Philip B. Lynch, who was born August 15, 1903, was graduated from Santa Clara University and is now (1925) taking a post graduate course in law with the expectation of following his father's profession and becoming established in practice at Vallejo, the third of his line and name thus to become actively and influentially identified with the interests of that city.

History of Solano County, California By Marguerite Hunt and Napa County, California By Harry Lawrence Gunn. From Their Earliest Settlement To The Present Time. Chicago. S.J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1926. 883 pages.

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This page was last updated 28 Oct 2007

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