Mad in Pursuit Notebook

Nellie, Thomas, and Catherine Flanagan

Moses Flanagan and Margaret Keville Family


Maggie and Moses started their family in Chicago. At some point after Kitty was born, they moved to Leclaire, Illinois (now part of Edwardsville). Kitty remembered this as a happy and prosperous time. When Kitty was six (about 1896), with an older sister and 3 younger brothers, the family moved to north St. Louis. Two additional daughters were born before Maggie died at the age of 37. The family destabilized. Most obvious to suffer were the two youngest girls, who, by 1910, were living in an orphanage.

Listed here are basic facts on each family member. Some facts have links to longer entries.

Parents: Maggie & Moses

Margaret Keville Baptized Mar 12, 1865, in Shrule, County Mayo, Ireland. Died of during surgery for uterine cancer, 23 Jun 1903. [Keville Family Tree]

Moses Flanagan Born: abt 1861, Limerick Ireland. Died of a brain syndrome May 6, 1920, St. Louis MO

Emigration: Accounts vary. 1900 Census lists arrival date in U.S. at 1875, which would have made him only 7. 1910 Census lists U.S. arrival date as 1876.

1889 Chicago City Directory. 4446 Cottage Grove Av. (Hyde Park Neighborhood). Working as a carpenter.

1890 Chicago Voter Registration. 4446 Cottage Grove Av. Residence in precinct - 8 mo; county - 6 yr; state - 6 yr. (Did he live somewhere else between immigration and residence in Illinois?)

1900 Census. 4267 Kossuth Av, St. Louis MO. (Rented) Listed with wife and 6 children. Occupation: Planing Mill Clerk.

1901 - 1902 City Directory. 4267 Kossuth. Occupation: Foreman

1903 - 1909 City Directory (no listing in 1906). 4221a Farlin Av. Occupation: Foreman
1908 Jan 25. Incendiary fire destoys Farlin home. Home must still be habitable because address is given in 1909 Directory.
1910 City Directory. 6227 Newstead Occupation: draftsman, 6200 Minerva

1910 Census. 4245 Lexington Av, St. Louis MO. Listed with 2 teenage boys Moses and Joseph. Occupation: Estimator for a Planing Mill. Was at this address as of 3 Apr, when he placed his two youngest daughters in Guardian Angel Industrial School.

1911 City Directory. 4245 Lexington Av. Occupation: Superintendent

14 Feb 1911 Marriage License. Married May Gaines (42 yo)

1912 City Directory. No entry

1913 - 1916 City Directory. 4241 Evans Av. Occupation: Salesman

1917 [No City Directory available]

1918 City Directory. 3931 St. Ferdinand Av. Occupation: Clerk

1919 City Directory. 3931 St. Ferdinand Av. Occupation: Carpentry Contractor, 3837 Easton Av (own business)

1920 Census. listed as a patient in St. Vincent's Institution for the mentally ill [St Charles Rd, St Louis County]

Children: 7, as listed below

See also the Flanagan Family Timeline and the Keville-Flanagan Autograph Book.



The Flanagan Kids

Nellie M. FlanaganNellie M. Flanagan

August 1889 [9] , in Illinois* - Mar 26, 1913 (obit published Mar 27, 1913). Age: 25

1908 Jan 24: Front page of St. Louis Post-Dispatch for heroism during family house fire

1909 [4]: 1318 S. 10th St., working as a clerk. Listed as "Nellie L."

1910 [5]: not living at home with father and 2 brothers. Whereabouts unknown.

1911 [4]: living with father at 4245 Lexington, working as a clerk.

1913 [9]: living as a "housewife" on 4149 W. Belle Place

Nellie was married (to a Harry Kralemann) [8] on 5 Feb 1913 (St Louis County, MO). She died of peritonitis after having an abortion at the age of 25.[9]  Kitty Mom told me this. While abortions may have been dark secrets pre-Great War, they were probably all the rage in the sexually liberated 1920's when Kitty became pregnant with her fourth child. She said that her girlfriends urged her to end the pregnancy -- perhaps because it came at a time when her family was mourning the premature death of her brother Tom. But the tragedy of her beloved sister had taught Kitty caution. Lucky for me -- that child was my mother.

Catherine FlanaganCatherine Margaret Flanagan (aka Kitty Mom, my grandmother)

Aug 12, 1890 (Chicago IL) - Sept 16, 1984 (St. Louis MO)  Age: 94

1900*: living with her family at 4267 Kossuth Av

1909, 1910 [4] : 4219a Farlin Av (next door to her father). We can assume that it was in 1909, at the age of 19, that Kitty got her job as a telephone operator and merited her own entry in the City Directory.

21 April 1910 [5]: 3861a Kennerly Av, living as a boarder with the Flynn family (Her father had moved to Lexington Avenue by this date.)

1911 [4]: 5535 Bartmer

1912 [4]: 1957 Semple

Occupation, 1909 - 1912 [4]:  telephone operator (See Was Kitty Flanagan My Nancy Drew?). 1912-1940s: Grocery store proprietor. 1940s: Tavern and cafe proprietor.

1912 (Nov 22): Married Thomas Patrick Barrett Nov 22, 1912 (St. Louis, Holy Rosary Church). 4 children. Widowed in 1926. See Thomas Barrett entry for information on Barrett children.

1936 (Feb): Her second marriage was to Ewald Thomas Curran (St. Louis, St. Barbara Church).

Listen to "Kitty Keeps On Singing." See also "How To Be Kitty Mom."

Draft registration cardThomas J FlanaganThomas J. Flanagan

31 July 1893 (St. Louis MO) - 24 July 1924 (St. Louis MO) [7] Buried 26 July 1924.2 Age: 33

1910: not found in census, not living with father

1917: Living with father at 3931 St. Ferdinand Ave. Working as a machine hand, Schaffer Bros. Bldr Sup Co, 4018 Easton Ave. Described as short, slim, with brown eyes and black hair.10

1920: not found in census

1924 July 24 Died in a state of delirium tremens at the City Hospital, where he was a patient from 12 Jul - 24 Jul.9. Address listed as 4600 Easton. No family listed. Emergency Room listed as "informant."

Joe FlanaganJoseph Timothy Flanagan

Aug 13, 1895 [9] [5, 10] (Edwardsville, Illinois [6]) - Dec 3, 1923 (obit published Dec 5, 1923) Age: 28

1910 [5]: 4245 Lexington Av, with his father Moses and brother Moses, working as an office boy for a newspaper.

1917 Jun [5]: 1229 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago IL. Working as a machine hand. He is described on his draft registration as tall and slender, with gray eyes and black hair; missing the first 2 fingers of his left hand "off at 2nd joint." [10]

1920 [6]: Lodging at 1529 Pine Street, with the Gregg family. His occupation is listed as a machinist in a planing mill.

1923 Dec 3. Died of lobar pneumonia at the City Hospital, where he was treated from 30 Nov to 3 Dec.9 His occupation was listed on the death certificate as grocery clerk. Date of birth is given as 13 Aug 1898, but the year is probably in error.

Moses R. FlanaganMoses Rafael Flanagan

Draft Registration Card25 Nov10 1896 (Edwardsville, Illinois)* - 14 May 1919. Age: 23

1910 [5]: 4245 Lexington Av, with his father Moses and brother Joseph.

1916: living on Evans St with father, working as a "driver."

1918: Registered for the draft from his "place of employment" -- the City Work House, but gave his home address with his father at 3931 St. Ferdinand Ave. Brown hair, brown eyes.

He was murdered on the streets of Chicago in a Prohibition-related "hit."

Mary Ethel Flanagan

21 Dec 1898 (Missouri) - 14 Nov 1956. Age: 57

Baptised at Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church, corner of Margaretta and Clarence.

1910 [5]: "inmate" at the Guardian Angel Industrial School (1029 Marion St, St. Louis), with her sister Loretta. Placed on 3 April 1910 by her father, who contributed $5 per month toward her care. See Little Orphan Girls.

1920 [6]: At some later point, she was placed in the St. Louis City Sanitarium (later called the Missouri State Hospital, 5400 Arsenal), where she resided during the 1920, 1930 and 1940 Census surveys and where she remained "the family secret" until her death in 1956. At one point my grandmother wanted to take her out and to have her live with her family, but the doctors talked her out of it. With Ewald's help, she got her moved to a more comfortable section of the institution.

1956 Nov 14. Ethel died of lobar pneumonia while living at the St. Louis State Hospital (5400 Arsenal Street). Buried 16 Nov 1956 in Calvary Cemetery, Lot 0045.

Loretta Julia "Baby" Flanagan

Jan 8, 1901 [3] - Sept 10, 1919. Age: 18

Baptised at Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church, corner of Margaretta and Clarence.

1910 [5]: "inmate" at the Guardian Angel Industrial School (1029 Marion St, St. Louis), with her sister Ethel. Placed on 3 April 1910 by her father, who contributed $5 per month toward her care. See Little Orphan Girls.

1919 Sept 10. Died of bronchial pneumonia, complicated by underlying diabetes mellitus. She was in the City Hospital for a month before she died. Her legal address was 3931 St. Ferdinand, where her father lived. It is unclear whether or not she was still in an "industrial school" prior to her hospitalization.[9]


1.16.05 (last updated 12.10.05, 5.17.2016, 5.4.2017 )


Top Photo: Catherine, Thomas, Nellie Flanagan, about 1905. From a cabinet card photo by Rundle, Edwardsville, Illinois

* 1900 Census

2  Record from Calvary Cemetery, St. Louis MO

3 Birth record

4  St. Louis City Directory (It appears the Directories were published in April of the referenced year, so I'm guessing that the information was collected in January.)

5 1910 Census

6 1920 Census

7 1920 Census

8 known from her published obituary and marriage certificate

9 Missouri Certificate of Death

10 Draft Registration Card


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