Historic postcard of Boys Town circa 1930.
Boys Town Hall of History in spring.
Backstory and Context
Father Flanagan arrived in O'Neil, Nebraska in 1912 where he served his first post as assistant pastor. He was then assigned to parishes in Omaha and began working with homeless men. However, this was very discouraging for him and he decided to help boys instead. In December 1917, he borrowed $90 to rent a boarding house, what would become Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys. Any boy was welcome, regardless of race or religion and by next Spring, 100 boys lived here. By 1921 it was apparent to Father Flanagan that he needed a larger property. He ought Overlook Farm which was then located 10 miles west of the city. By the 1930s, hundreds of boys would come to live at Boys Town, which had grown to a large village (it became incorporated as the village of Boys Town), complete with its own school, dormitories, administration buildings, post office, and gym, among other buildings. The boys even elected their own local government, with a mayor at the top.
"Our History." Boys Town. Accessed December 19, 2014. http://www.boystown.org/about/our-history.