Martin Flanagan was born in Chicago. His family consisted of his parents Patrick and Anna with eight brothers and sisters. Martin grew up in the current McKinley Park neighborhood, and joined the Army during World War I. Martin married Marie Talbot in 1922, and the family consisted of two children, Marie and John. They moved back to the Bridgeport neighborhood, which had been the long-time home of Marie Talbot.
Michael M. Byczek is the grandson of Martin and Marie Flanagan. He has a large collection of photographs and documents that illustrate life in Chicago from the years 1895 to 1957.
Martin and his brother James both worked for the railroad in Chicago. The two brothers and their six sisters enjoyed their visits together throughout the years. There are photographs of several family members vacationing together in Illinois. Martin retired from the construction material manufacturing trade in 1947, and passed away after a short illness the same year. Marie Flanagan remained in her old neighborhood, and lived with her daughter until her death in 1957. The photographs of Marie from the turn of the century offer a rare glimpse into the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, and her elegant image during the roaring 1920s with Martin Flanagan.