Saturday, April 28, 2012

So There Was a Son

While so much attention was focused on the career of the Honorable Richard C. Flannigan, details of his personal life seemed to recede far to the background. Not only did his wife, the near-anonymous “Mrs. R. C. Flannigan” seem cloaked in proper Victorian spousal invisibility, but the fact that he had, also, a son seems barely mentioned.

There was record of a birth to the young Mr. and Mrs. Flannigan on October 28, 1888, in the Menominee County register—then the county of record for the Flannigan’s Norway, Michigan, residence—listing the son’s name as William C. Flannigan. However, starting with the 1894 Michigan State Census, the six-year-old child was recorded as Clement. By the time of the 1900 Federal Census, it seems the names were reversed, as the Flannigan’s eleven year old son showed as “Clement W.” By the time of the 1910 census, Clement was now a university student, though listed as residing in his parents’ home.

I have yet to discover the explanation for this next move, but by the 1920 census Clement moved from Michigan to live in Colorado Springs.

This is where things get elusive. Further searches reveal that Clement was actually in the Springs as early as 1916, if a listing in the R. L. Polk City Directory for that year may be believed. The directory has Clement listed there as having a business address on North Nevada Street. The 1921 directory shows the same North Nevada Street address to be listed as his residence—although his name has once again morphed, this time to “Clement R.”

Indeed, it is Clement R. Flannigan in the 1920 census, too, at that same North Nevada Street address—although it turns out to be a boarding house. There, he is listed as a single man. For occupation, the entry is “none.”

Things have changed by the time of the 1930 census. A tree-shaded pleasant neighborhood just north of downtown Colorado Springs has become home to the recently-widowed Mrs. R. C. Flannigan and her son. The home, owned free and clear, is valued at $28,000—quite a comfortable sum for those times. Clement’s occupation, this time, is listed as “broker” for his “own business.” There is no indication of which line of work that business might involve. However, the name of the business, we discover from the Polk Directory for 1931, is Hazlehurst, Flannigan and Company.

There is not much more to be found online for the young William C.—or Clement W., er Clement R.—Flannigan. There is a mention of his serving as best man for his friend, returning home in 1921 for the wedding of Miss Kathleen Elizabeth Sutherland and Mr. Robert James O’Callaghan at St. Ambrose church in Ironwood, Michigan. I slogged through the unbearably unwieldy online text of some University of Michigan alumni publication to find only a small mention that Clement R. Flannigan, class of 1911, had joined with other Michigan alumni in the Colorado Springs area for an October 31 buffet lunch and play-by-play review of “the Harvard game” during some undisclosed year.

The eye is arrested in this fruitless search, however, by a newspaper notice back in Clement’s Upper Peninsula homeland on October 25, 1932:
Marquette—Word has been received here of the death of Clement Flannigan, 43, son of the late Justice R. C. Flannigan of the Michigan Supreme Court, and Mrs. Flannigan. The death occurred in Colorado Springs and the body will be returned here for burial.
Perhaps Colorado Springs civil records have not yet been digitized and added to the vast supply of online repositories so convenient for such genealogical research. Perhaps it is ditto for those local newspapers. Nothing has come up in online inquiries for these records. Without other means to research locally, for now, the mystery of why Clement moved from Michigan to Colorado—and what business he engaged in once he set up residence there—will have to remain unresolved.  It looks like the end of the line, not only for search results for Clement, but for descendants of Richard Flannigan’s line.

Photograph, above left, of the Santa Fe Depot in Colorado Springs, Colorado, built in 1917, as published on an undated postcard; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.


  1. I did a quick "look see" for Hazlehurst, his partner, and found several mentions of his family being long time residents of Colorado Springs.

    Also found these mentions:

    Hazlehurst, Flannigan & Comp., Investment Securities; Feb 8, 1923; Anaconda Copper Mining Comp. packet


    Hazlehurst Flannigan & Co. Investment Bonds

    So Clement was a an investment broker in bonds and securities. I wonder if his death stemmed from issues around the "Great Depression" and the stock market crash?

    Also online was Charles Mierow diary with some interesting mentions to someone I suspect is related to Clement...

    November 16th, 1919
    Junior Major Students. Helen Lytle, Ruth Gilliland, Agnes Flanagan and Mildred McMurphy in to dinner.

    May 29th, 1921
    Last meeting of my SS Class on The Acts. Agnes Flanagan called.

    June 9th, 1921
    Bernie and I guests of Agnes Flanagan at the Senior Play: “Polly with a Past” at the Burns. (Front box)

    August 2nd, 1922
    Agnes Flanagan and Florence Greene spent the day with us.

  2. p.s., the irony of finding something in someone's diary is not lost on me. :)

  3. I wonder if Clement moved to Colorado Springs due to having the diagnosis of tuberculosis. He was listed in the index of a book about tuberculosis. I found it online a few years ago while researching Clement and wrote down the information but it seems to have disappeared from the search results! Clement was so kind as to facilitate the purchase of a large burial plot in Denver for his cousin Nellie when he daughter died unexpectedly. We still have those plots in our family.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I located a WW 1 draft registration card. He is listed there as Clement Richard Flannigan. He states he is not employed and is undergoing treatment for tuberculosis. This is most likely his reason for moving to Colorado.

    I have documents linked on Family Search family tree , ID KXM9-FWN


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