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James Edward Flanigan
Born April 25, 1845


One of the prominent families of Washington township is that to which James Edward and the late Michael Bernard Flanigan belong. The former is one of the successful farmers of his locality, while the latter during his lifetime was one of the most influential men of the county, having been elected to the position of mayor by the citizens of Cascade and during the period of his incumbency gained a wide reputation as a man of honor, progress and high principles.
The father of these esteemed men, Michael Flanigan, was born in Ireland in 1814. In 1839 he came to the United States, and, in Maryland. New York, the next year he was married to Miss Mary Farrell, a native of County Longford, Ireland, where she was born in 1814. In 1842 he came to Jones county, Iowa, entering four hundred and forty acres of government land, where his son James Edward lives today. It was raw land at the time of purchase, but Mr. Flanigan broke it, prepared it for the reception of the seed, and lived thereon the remainder of his life, achieving no small distinction in his calling. After his advent here he entered into the spirit of the township, participated in its public affairs, rendering service of worth and value as assessor for several townships and became identified with the progress of the county. He was a democrat in his political views and a consistent member of the Catholic church, to which he gave liberal support. Three children were born to him and his wife: James Edward, the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Catherine McQuillen, of Cascade; and Michael Bernard, the late mayor of Cascade.
James Edward Flanigan was born upon the farm which he now cultivates, April 25, 1845. On it he grew to manhood, being early initiated into the work that was carried on there and assisting his father even during the years he was a pupil at the district schools. He has always devoted his time and attention to agricultural pursuits, choosing that as his vocation when he started out in life for himself. He has tilled the soil with great profit but is also interested in the stock business, feeding annually about one hundred head of cattle, seventy-five hogs and a number of horses.
Spacious as is the homestead in Washington township, Mr. Flanigan also owns four hundred acres in Dubuque county. The hardihood of the early pioneers was the foundation upon which he has built his own success, which is the result of unswerving devotion to duty, even as it appeared in the guise of the small acts of daily life, of energy and hard work united with a capacity for seeing opportunities with a wonderful foresight. His has been a life of noble endeavor and of a well reserved requital, which has won the approbation of those who have watched his progress.
In February, 1876, Mr. Flanigan wedded Miss Ann Fagan, a daughter of Thomas Fagan. Ten children have been born to the couple, of whom the following are still living: Francis Bernard, born in February, 1877; Mary, in 1879; John J., in 1881: Thomas R., in 1883; James A., in 1885; Catherine A., in 1895; and Margaret L., born in 1898. The children were educated at the parochial school at Temple Hill, while two of the sons attended a Catholic college. John Joseph is a dentist in Illinois and Francis Bernard manages his father's farm in Dubuque county. He married Miss Ellen Laney, of Jackson county. Mary is the wife of Dr. Convery, of Temple Hill.
The family are members of the Catholic church, in whose support Mr. Flanigan is always liberal. He has consistently given his support in matters of politics to the democratic party, being convinced of the value of its principles, while he has himself played no inconsiderable part in the local government, for he has been township trustee, justice of the peace and a member of the school board, besides serving in other capacities of a minor character. In short he has proved himself to be a citizen in whom his fellowman may place the highest confidence.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 440.

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