The First Article in a Series Profiling
Flint ANd Genesee County's Rich Literary Tradition
Flint and Genesee County is famous for a variety of things: cars, coneys, athletes, and music. In fact, the arts also loom large in the area’s legend. But among the arts, writing and writers are often left out of the conversation. That's an almost unforgivable omission, because the art of writing is among the Flint area’s greatest gifts to the humanities.
Indeed, books by Flint authors have covered the broad spectrum of American history and interaction for well over 100 years. But this literary gift isn’t just relegated to Flint-based or birthed authors. Rather, books about Flint and Flint people also factor in to the equation to craft a rich mosaic of expression exemplified by written words.
This experience includes a vast palette of genres including the obvious one - books, but also poetry, screenwriting, and music. Some of this has found its audience locally, others have had national appeal, and in other cases international attention. As a result, the work has gained notice for its skill, and diversity of topic and author.
Author Arthur Jerome Eddy is the first in a series of features in The Citizen we will be running in 2021, highlighting the unique contributions of Flint area writers, and those who have written about Flint.
by Gary L. Fisher, Vice President, Genesee County Historical Society
Arthur Jerome Eddy
Arthur Jerome Eddy (November 5, 1859 - July 21, 1920)
Author, Attorney, Art Critic, Art Collector
At the turn of the century, Flintstone Arthur Jerome Eddy was one of the first to author a book about the invention that would soon make Flint world renowned: the automobile. In 1902, his book "Two Thousand Miles in an Automobile" was published. The book described how he set a record traveling by car from Chicago to Boston and back again in 1901. Writing under the nom de plume of A. Chauffeur, the story told the tale of his trip in a Winton Motor Carriage Company car.
On A different Car Ride, during a visit to flint
The same year he published his travelogue, during a visit home to see his family, Eddy was tooling around Flint in a Panhard, and offered a ride to his very young cousin, Margery Durant. Margery rushed home to share her exhilarating experience with her father. None too pleased, he berated her for taking her life in to her own hands with such a foolish action as taking a car ride. Her father, Eddy’s cousin by marriage, was William C. "Billy" Durant. Later changing his mind on the topic of car rides, Durant went on to save Buick, invent AC Spark Plug, Chevrolet, Frigidaire and General Motors.