From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin
JAMES H. FLANAGAN, a prosperous farmer of Tannersville, N. Y., and a veteran of the Civil War, was born in New York City, February 14, 1842, son of Matthew and Margaret (Olwell) Flanagan. He is descendant of the O’Flanagans of Ireland. His great-grandfather Flanagan was named Thomas, and his grandfather was Patrick O’Flanagan.
Matthew Flanagan, son of Patrick, emigrated to America when a young man, first settling in New York City. After his marriage he came to this locality, where he worked in a tannery for some time, and then purchased a farm. Politically, he was a Democrat. He died at the age of sixty-eight. His wife, Margaret, was a native of Ireland. She was the daughter of John Olwell, a farmer, who emigrated to the United States, and spent his last years on a farm in the vicinity of Tannersville. Matthew and Margaret Flanagan were the parents of ten children, seven of whom grew to maturity, and five are now living: namely, James H., Patrick, Alice, Kate, and Rose. Patrick lived in Newark, N. J. Alice married John Hoolahan, and resides in Brooklyn. Rose married Patrick Gillooly, and is also residing in Brooklyn. The mother died at the age of fifty-six years.
James H. Flanagan came to Tannersville with his parents when very young, and attended the common schools. At the age of twenty, in 1862, he enlisted in Company G, Fourteenth United States Infantry. In the second battle of Bull Run he was severely wounded in the leg, and he lay upon the field for ten days unattended. He was then taken to Washington, and after being in various hospitals was discharged in 1863. Upon recovering from the effects of his wound he re-enlisted in the Cavalry, Independent Corps and was stationed on the frontier, where he served three years. He was mustered out as a Corporal. Returning to Tannersville, he worked on his father’s farm for two years, at the end of which time he went to Wisconsin, and from there to St. Clair County, Illinois, where he remained one and a half years. He then returned East, and, again settling in Tannersville, has followed farming with good results ever since. His property originally consisted of one hundred and fifty acres, but he disposed of one hundred acres to good advantage. In politics he is a Republican, and served as Excise Commissioner some time.
In 1876 Mr. Flanagan married Miss Mary E. Smith, of Brooklyn, daughter of Patrick Smith, a member of the police force of that city. They have four children—Eileen, Fairie, Una Eideen Desmond, and Oscar. Eileen and Fairie are now preparing themselves for educational work.
Mr. Flanagan is a comrade of A. M. Baldwin Post, G. A. R. He is an earnest advocate of temperance, and has rendered valuable service to the community in that direction. The family attend the Roman Catholic church. Mr. Flanagan from childhood has shown a marked liking for literature, and he has a fine library containing books by some of the very best authors. He is also very fond of music, and has a choice collection of instrumental and classical musical works.