By Brett Nolan

Following in the footsteps of his parents, Theodore J. Flynn took ownership of the store and lived in the residence above it. One could buy gas, feed, hardware and general goods at this corner store. Under Theodore Flynn’s leadership, the shop continued to be known as an institution for the area and a meeting place for many.

Flynn never went to high school because his father needed him to help run the store, but that didn’t stop him from realizing the business potential in Mandarin. As the small community grew, he knew he needed to find bigger space. In 1958, he built a new store on San Jose Boulevard and Westberry Road. There, his business flourished as Flynn’s Ace Hardware and Feed Company.

Have questions about your medicare benefits? Call a SHINE volunteer.

Theodore Flynn was known to run an excellent business in both locations. He knew almost everyone in the community, but would commonly forget customers’ names. He would write the car models on receipts to identify customers, and it was up to his daughter, Wanda, to remember their names to charge the correct account. All of Flynn’s children worked in his store to keep it going. Flynn retired when he was 75 in 1973 and handed it over to his son Ronnie, who eventually sold the business. Theodore died in 1989 at the age of 77.

Theodore Flynn spent his entire life working for the betterment of Mandarin. During WWII, he was the captain of the Mandarin Volunteer Police. He served on the Mandarin Volunteer Fire Department and helped represent Mandarin during Jacksonville’s consolidation efforts in the late 1960s. Flynn was the president of the Mandarin Athletic Association (MAA) and president of the Mandarin Cemetery. Flynn was always quick to cook up “wonderful fried chicken” dinners to benefit local organizations like the Loretto School, the Church of our Saviour, the MAA, and more — time and time again.

The stories behind the house at the corner of Loretto and Flynn embodies what every Mandarinite should strive to be — neighborly. It is important that we carry on the torch — the kindness and generosity Theodore Flynn showed towards Mandarin — for generations to come. His former store reminds us of the importance of getting involved in our community. Many saw Theodore Flynn as a great influence for them to do so, and today, let this historic house remind you to do the same.

(Note: Most of the information for this article was taken from news interviews with Theodore Flynn.)

Brett Nolan is a volunteer with the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society. Visit to learn more about Mandarin’s history.


Photo courtesy Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

The Flynn store, pictured as it looks today.


  • Ackerman Urology We specialize in Prostate health, sexual health, bladder health, and Kidney health
  • Smiles by Glenos & Hadfic Orthodontists
  • Pavers concrete and more Free estimates
  • Snip's Tree and stump service over 25 years experience
  • Quality Eye care 25+ years of experience
  • Staverman Hearing Centers Hear loud and clear
  • Westminster Woods on Julington creek. Live well. Be Happy
  • Ackerman cancer center. We're here for your cancer treatment
  • Have questions about your medicare benefits? Call a SHINE volunteer.
  • Prudential Financial Planning Services with Andrew Laino
  • Vote for Dr. Erick Aguilar Republican candidate U.S. House Fl 4th district
  • Academy of Dance Open House & Registration August 19th and 20th 3pm to 6pm Classes start August 24th! Ballet, Pointem Jazz, Hip Hop Contemporary, Modern, Lyrical, Music Theatre, Vocal
  • Affordable Water
  • DIscount up to 30% Jim Register state farm agent
  • Nemetz Dental Associates! Your new smile awaits!
  • Havana Printing and office supply Call us today for all your cutome printing needs
  • Future home loans. North Florida's Premier Mortgage Expert Ryan Proffitt
  • Wild Birds Unlimited Nature shop. Have you watered your birds lately?
  • Legends of Real Estate call Kim Kessler
  • Harbor Chase Independent & Assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Immerse yourself in a rewarding community that enriches your body, mind, and soul.
  • Dont Forget to vote for John Turner School Board member
  • Lori Hershey for School Board, District 7. A school system we can all believe in.
  • Matt Schellenberg. Dependable Leadership for these challenging Times. School Board District 7
  • Concrete Works! Free Estimates, driveways, Patios, Walkways, Concrete removal, Driveway extension, Pavers
  • Family Remodeling Contractors! Bath, Kitchen &ADA Remodeling
  • Mobile Notary Service. 15 years experience, 24 hour services
  • River Garden Senior Services, However and whenever you need us we're here
  • Starlight Gymnastics! Our #1 priority is your children!
  • Sugar Bear Antique Mall Summer spectacular sale July 10th-12th
  • Baptist Health, Great tools for motherhood
  • A Green Cleaner, Free pickup and delivery to your home!
  • Luxury living and compassionate care come together at starling. Welcome Home.
  • Alive Credit Union Start banking healthier today!
  • Clara's Tidbits Now in Mandarin!
  • Brian E. Floro DMD, PA Dental services
  • JR Dental General, Specialty and Dental lab
  • Support community journalism! Subscribe to the Mandarin Newsline today!
  • Railing Chiropractic & Acupuncture
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our may issue!
  • HarborChase independent & assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Your safety and peace of mind is always our Top Priority
  • Smart Choice Medical healthcare membership! No VoPay, No Deductibles, No Hassles
  • Havana Printing 904-447-5021