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One Square Mile

​​​​In this one​ square mi​le, Father Flanagan's dream began. A dream that grew from the stead​fast belief that no child is beyond hope and healing. Father Flanagan's dream was born​ in Omaha o​ver 100 years ago and it has rippled across the country, making Boys Town a nationwide leader in the care of America's children.


Father Flanagan opened his orig​inal home for boys in 1917, but quickly outgrew the space as more wayward boys came to him for help. He envisioned a large, open, natural area away from the temptations of the city and the neighbors, who had become increasingly uneasy about living near his troop of young residents, ill-clothed, struggling educationally and most controversially of all, racially and religiously mixed. The search ended on October 22, 1921 when Father Flanagan purchased Overlook Farm, a 160-acre piece of land. Watch the video below to learn more about this pivotal move in Boys Town's history.


​​With your partnership, we will keep this dream alive and continue to innovate a​nd drive change over the next 100 years by constantly putting children and families first.

Donate Now​​

Other Moments in Time



A Road Much Traveled Road Much Traveled<img alt="" src="/about/our-history/PublishingImages/Road-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
America's No.1 War Dad's No.1 War Dad<img alt="" src="/about/our-history/PublishingImages/war-dad-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Boys Town Bus Town Bus<img alt="" src="/about/our-history/PublishingImages/bus-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
First Family Home Family Home<img alt="" src="/about/our-history/PublishingImages/first-fam-home-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Flanagan's Desk's Desk<img alt="" src="/about/our-history/PublishingImages/Desk-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Father Flanagan’s Cross of Cong Flanagan’s Cross of Cong<img alt="" src="/about/our-history/PublishingImages/cross-cong-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Girls' Track' Track<img alt="" src="/about/our-history/PublishingImages/GirlsTrack-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Father Flanagan’s ​Kennedy Book Flanagan’s ​Kennedy Book<img alt="" src="/about/our-history/PublishingImages/eng-slept-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
The Show Wagon Show Wagon<img alt="The Show Wagon" src="/about/our-history/PublishingImages/show-wagon-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Father Flanagan Statue Flanagan Statue<img alt="" src="/100/PublishingImages/flanagan-statue-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Foundation Stone Stone<img alt="" src="/100/PublishingImages/foundation-stone-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />

Celebrating a Century of Diversity

From its inception in 1917, Boys Town welcomed every child regardless of race, religion or creed. Today, Boys Town remains committed to the ideals of tolerance, respect, equality and fairness. Learn More

Help Create Another Success Story

At Boys Town, we believe there are no bad children — only children who need compassion, understanding and a second chance. Every dollar of your donation helps us in our mission and goes toward Boys Town programs that help youth succeed. Donate Today