JESSICA "JESSIE" FLANAGAN was born Jessica Chew in New Jersey on March 17, 1895. She married John Flanagan while quite young, and gave birth to four children, Hazel, Lester, Jessica, and George, before separating from her husband due to his infidelity. The 1920 Census, taken shortly before the birth of her youngest child, George, shows the family at 132 Stanley Street, a small street that ran parallel to Kaighn Avenue between South 2nd and Front Streets.

After parting ways with her husband, Jessie Flanagan found work at Campbell Soup and as a single mother worked and raised her four children. She worked 40 years at Campbell's.

The 1929 Camden City Directory shows John and Jessie Flanagan residing at 1215 Locust Street, just south of Kaighn Avenue. The 1930 census shows that Joh was no longer living with the family. living at  By 1947 Hazel Flanagan had married David Allaband and started a family of her own. Jessie Flanagan then lived at 405 Liberty Street with her sons Lester and George and her widowed daughter, Mrs. Jessie Dolson. She later moved to Bellmawr NJ, 

 Hazel Flanagan (L) with Jessie C. Flanagan

where her daughter Hazel had moved to with her husband and many children.

Last a resident of Bellmawr NJ, Jessie Flanagan passed away in July of 1986. 

Mary Allaband Erekson writes about her grandmother, Jessie Flanagan, & mother Hazel

My grandmother, mother, and her brothers and sisters moved to South Camden in 1922 so Granmom could get work at Campbell Soup. Granmom, Jessie Flanagan, worked there for a little over 40 years. She was raising her four children alone because she put her husband out for cheating on her.

The family lived on Locust Street most of the time but moved whenever they could find cheaper rent. My mother, Hazel Flanagan, quit school in the ninth grade and took care of her brothers and sisters full time. Before that great-aunt Ada lived with them and shared expenses. She had two boys she was raising. Besides my mother, the family included her brother Lester, sister Jessie, and brother George.

Granmom worked a lot of hours and was glad to get them, especially during the Depression years. Uncle Lester said some days all they had to eat were potatoes and they were glad to have them. 

My mother cleaned houses to help out with money. She loved her time during these years. Mom said, even though they had very little it didnít seem so bad since everyone else was struggling as well. She said Camden was an exciting place and there were a lot of people around and always something going on.

One time she and Granmom walked up Broadway and waited with a crowd of people outside to see Red Skelton. When he came out all the people shouted and waved, He was carrying an arm full of roses and had a huge smile on his face. He waved back at everyone and stopped to give a lady a rose. The ducking into a waiting car he was off.

Granmom bought a brand new Victrola with some records for the family. She made weekly payments on it. Mom and her friend would roll up the rug in the living room and dance.

A neighbor lady taught mom how to make a ladyís suit from a manís coat. Uncle Lester helped out in a bar cleaning up. Aunt Jessie became a beautician. Uncle George did odd work. He joined the Navy during World War II and saw action in the Pacific.

My mother married David Allaband in Camden. My parents had eight of their ten children there before moving to Bellmawr looking for a bigger house.

Mary Allaband Erekson
June 2008

Hazel Flanagan at 18
Photo on left taken September 27, 1931

Locust Street, 1930s

Front, Left to Right:
Hazel Flanagan, unknown,  Jessie Flanagan, George Flanagan
Rear: Lester Flanagan
Standing: unknown

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Hazel Flanagan
Jessie Flanagan
Hazel Flanagan
Jessie Flanagan
George Flanagan
Bill Dolson

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