|JOSEPH E. FLANAGAN, an intelligent, energetic and exceedingly popular young farmer of the town of Oregon, is the son of worthy Irish immigrants, who was born in the city of Stoughton, Dane county, on January 17, 1871. His parents were Martin F. and Sarah (Cunningham) Flanagan, both of whom were natives of the Emerald Isle, the father being born at Galway, November 9, 1823, and the mother at Sligo, June 24, 1832.
Tradition has it that the founder of the Flanagan family in Ireland was a Spanish officer who was taken prisoner at the time of the victory of the English over the Spanish forces in the latter part of the sixteenth century. This officer is believed to have drifted to Galway, Ireland, where he took the name of Flanagan, married and became the head of the Irish family of that name.
Martin Flanagan migrated to the United States from Canada in 1863, and coming to Wisconsin first located at Stoughton, Dane county, where he worked during the harvest time of that year for Luke Stoughton, the founder of the city that bears his name. Mr. Flanagan was then employed by the Chi. & N. W. Railroad Company on construction work, while that road was being completed into Madison, and he remained in the employ of that railroad company three years. He then took up his residence in Stoughton and was employed there as a construction foreman for twenty years, after which he sold his home there and purchased the farm in the town of Oregon, where his son, the subject of this review now resides.
When Mr. Flanagan first came to Stoughton, the site where the city now stands had only a mere cluster of small “shacks,” rude dwellings of the hardy pioneers of that locality. Oxen hitched to home-made wagons-predecessors of the twentieth century automobile-were the means of conveyance and transportation in that day, and the farmers cut their grain with the cradle and threshed it with the flail.
While a small boy in his native land, Mr. Flanagan took the temperance pledge from the Father Matthew and during his life was consistently opposed to the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage. Though never a radical political Prohibitionist, he always thought it best to leave liquor alone, as he frequently saw the effects of its baneful influence.
Although the parents of his wife reside at Dunham Flats, Canada, Mr. Flanagan and his wife were married at White Hall, N.Y., in February, 1855, and for forty-five years they traveled the path of life together, the wife dying on December 24, 1900, and the husband on September 27, 1903. Five children were born to them, the names of and facts concerning whom are given as follows: Mary A. is deceased; Simon married Miss Kittie Fitzgibbons, of Monroe, Wis., and now resides in Kansas City, Mo.; John M. married Miss Alice Lawler and resides in the town of Dunn, Dane county; Joseph E. is the subject of this review, and Kati resides with the latter on the old homestead. Joseph E. Flanagan was educated in the high school of the city of Stoughton, and remained at home during the most of the time until the death of his parents, and during the winters of 1891-2-3 he taught in the district schools. He and his sister, Katie, recently purchased the interests of the other heirs in the old homestead and live thereon.
Mr. Flanagan is a Democrat in his political belief and is a member of the Catholic Church in the village of Oregon.1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 290-291