Edward Joseph Flanagan emigrated to the United States in 1904. He was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic Church in 1912. His first assignment was in O'Neill, NE, for one year, and in 1913 he became an assistant priest of St. Patrick's church in Omaha, NE. After establishing a hostel to aid poor derelicts, he realized that this group was beyond redemption and that their problems went back to their childhood. In 1917 he rented a house and began his Home for Homeless Boys. The following year he bought a small tract of land outside of Omaha and built Father Flanagan's Boys Home. By 1922 the home had grown to the point where it was incorporated into a municipality: Boys Town. It even had a "town" government elected by the boys.