father edward j flanagan
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Father edward j. flanagan

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Father edward j. flanagan. 1886-1948. Birthplace. I was born in Roscommon Ireland on July 13 th 1886. I lived in Ireland until 1904 when I made my journey to America. Immigration. I came to America in 1904. I came to study. Became a citizen in 1919. Maryland.

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  • I was born in Roscommon Ireland on July 13th 1886.
  • I lived in Ireland until 1904 when I made my journey to America.
  • I came to America in 1904.
  • I came to study.
  • Became a citizen in 1919.

Starting in 1904 I lived and studied in Maryland at St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg. Where in 1906 I received a bachelor of arts degree and in 1908 I received a master of arts degree.

new york
New York

I continued my studies at St. Josephs seminary in New York for a couple years. Then I traveled to Italy and Austria to become an ordained Priest.


I became an ordained priest in 1912 at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

My first Parrish was in O’Neil Nebraska as an assistant Pastor


I am a Catholic which is a very common faith in Ireland.

boystown beginnings
Boystown beginnings

I borrowed $90 to pay the rent on a boarding house that became Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys. I welcomed all boys, regardless of their race or religion. By the spring, 100 boys were living at the Home.


In 1921, I purchased Overlook Farm on the outskirts of Omaha Nebraska and moved Boys’ Home there. In time, the Home became known as the Village of Boys Town. By the 1930s, hundreds of boys lived at the Village which grew to include a school, dormitories and administration buildings. The boys elected their own government which included a mayor, council and commissioners. In 1936, the community became an official village in the state of Nebraska.

boystown the movie
Boystown the movie

Boys Town became internationally known with the help of the 1938 movie, “Boys Town.”I was portrayed by Spencer Tracy who won an academy award. Which he donated to me.

presidential recognition
Presidential Recognition

After World War II, President Truman asked me to travel to Asia and Europe to attend discussions about children left orphaned and displaced by the war.

the end
The end

I died of a heart attack in Berlin Germany on May 15th1948