Edward Flanagan was born in County Roscommon, Ireland on July 13, 1886. As a young man Flanagan wanted to be a priest. Father Flanagan moved to America in the 1910s. His first parish was in O’Neill, Nebraska. His second one was in Omaha, Nebraska.
Father Flanagan developed an understanding for the boys and young men who were orphaned by society. He realized that children who were neglected often turned to crime. A guiding principle came from working with these young men. He realized that all boys needed love to be productive citizens. That was why Father Flanagan turned his energy to caring for boys who were neglected.
Father Flanagan explains his principles.
From Boys Town Hall of History, Nebraska
In 1916, Father Flanagan opened the Workingman’s Hotel in Omaha, a place for homeless young men to live while they looked for work.