IAGenWeb Join Our Team

This page was last

updated on 11/23/2011


Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 747~


Homer W. Flanagan

The well known and highly esteemed gentleman whose career is briefly sketched in the following lines has devoted his life to the railway service and is now one of the trusted and honored employees of the corporation with which he has long been identified. He also stands high as a citizen and since taking up his residence at Oelwein has been prominent in the affairs of the city and active in promoting every enterprise for the public good. Homer W. Flanagan is a native of Holmes county, Ohio, and dates his birth from June 27, 1857, having first seen the light of day in the town of Millersburg, where his parents settled many years ago. His father, John Flanagan, was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and went to Ohio in his boyhood, subsequently (1869) removing from that state to Stanwood, Iowa, locating two years later at Cedar Rapids, where he still resides. He married, in Holmes County, Ohio, Ellen Spielman, whose parents were among the early inhabitants of Holmes county, her family having been represented in that part of the state since the pioneer period.

Homer W. Flanagan was a lad of twelve when his parents moved to Iowa, and from 1869 to 1871 he attended the schools of Stanwood. He finished his education at Cedar Rapids while still a youth and on laying aside his studies entered the shops of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Minnesota railway in that city to learn the painter's trade. In July, 1880, he went to Dubuque where he followed his chosen calling for one year with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway, at Oxford Junction, where he remained during the ensuing three years and eight months. Leaving that point, he entered the employ of the Chicago & Northwestern at Chicago, but after a year in that city went to Topeka, Kansas, where he spent ten months with the Santa Fe road, after which he worked sixteen months at Grand Island for the Union Pacific and in 1889 engaged with the Chicago Great Western at St. Paul, Minnesota. After a service of ten years at the latter place Mr. Flanagan came to Oelwein, Iowa, where he has resided continuously since 1899, being at this time foreman of the painting department in the railroad shops of this city, which position he has held with the Chicago Great Western company for a period of fifteen years. In 1897, he joined the Master Car Painters' Association of the United States and Canada, which meets once a year, and his high standing in this is indicative of his skill as a painter, also of the trust reposed in him by his fellow members.

Mr. Flanagan is a master of his vocation and enjoys the respect and confidence of the various railroads with which he has been identified. Since locating at Oelwein he has become an influential factor in all that concerns the growth and welfare of the city, and as an enterprising citizen he occupies a conspicuous place in the public eye. With the exception of one year he has been a member of the local school board since 1900 and in that capacity has done much to promote the cause of education, besides being active in advancing the interests of various utilities and contributing not a little to the honorable position which Oelwein now enjoys among the cities of the state.

On February 3, 1886, Mr. Flanagan was united in marriage with Isabel Magee, of Marion, Iowa, daughter of Robert and Isabel (Armstrong) Magee, the union being blessed with six children, whose names are as follows: Blanche, Robert, Myrtle, Daisy, Marion and Gertrude, all members of the home circle except Blanche, who is the wife of Fred Jamison and the mother of a son who answers to the name of Harry B.

Mr. Flanagan is a believer in secret fraternal and benevolent work and belongs to Hebron Lodge No. 374, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Oelwein; Langridge Commandery No. 47, Knights Templar, at West Union; Oelwein Chapter No. 145, Royal Arch Masons; Elkader Temple, Mystic Shrine, at Cedar Rapids, and the Order of the Eastern Star at Oelwein, in all of which he has risen to high standing besides being honored with important official positions from time to time. In addition to the Masonic fraternity, he is also identified with the Modern Woodmen of America and for some years has been one of the most active and influential workers in the Oelwein camp, the success of which is largely due to his efforts and behalf. Mrs. Flanagan is also an enthusiastic member of several fraternal orders, belonging to Chapter 45, Order of the Eastern Star, and to Myrtle Temple No. 2, Pythian Sisters, at St. Paul, Minnesota, of which she is a charter member, besides holding an important office in the grand lodge of Pythian Sisters of Iowa. She is a Presbyterian in her religious faith and a worthy member of the church at Oelwein and all lines of good work have her hearty sympathy and support. Mrs. Flanagan's parents came to America from the north of Ireland, where her ancestors had lived for several generations. She inherits from her sturdy Scotch antecedents many of the sterling qualities for which that dual nationality has long been distinguished and as a wife and mother her life has been beautiful, her character above reproach and her influence salutary among all with whom she comes into contact. With her husband, who is a gentleman of fine address and popular with a large number of friends, she moves in the best social circles of Oelwein, their beautiful home being the abode of a generous hospitality and favorite resort of a class of society whose tastes and influence, like their own, have made for the culture and best interests of the community.

back to Fayette Home