Mick Byczek - Chicago

Mick Byczek is the fourth generation member of a Chicago settler family that dates back to 1835. The lineage consists of William Rooney and his wife Julia along with their ten children. Their daughter Katherine married Edward Talbot and their daughter Marie wed Martin Flanagan (World War I veteran). Their daughter Marie Flanagan married Michael (World War II veteran). Their son Mick is an applied physics engineer and an honorably discharged veteran from the Naval Air Reserve. His son Michael is an attorney and daughter Kate is a mechanical engineer. Mick and his wife Betty reside in Chicago, Illinois.


1861 Map of William Rooney farmland

William Rooney was a member of the Old Settlers Club of Chicago that was organized by the Calumet Club for individuals who came to Chicago prior to 1840. There were approximately 300 names associated with the Old Settlers. The Calumet Club set up a meeting place for them, and lined the room with portraits of each Old Settler. The Calumet Club was located near 18th and Michigan on the south side of Chicago. William and Julia both passed away in 1885. Their daughter Katherine with her sister Hannah became executors of Julia's will. Katherine arranged for her sister Mary to purchase the residence on Division. It stayed in the family until it was sold prior to World War II. William acquired a large tract of farmland in Des Plaines for his construction business in Chicago. He built his primary residence at 43 E. Division and a commercial building located at 235 W. Lake that were constructed after the Chicago Fire.

William Rooney transferred ownership to his eldest son John Rooney from Chicago a total of 133 acres of farmland in Elk Grove Township in 1863 when he married Ellen Butler. The William Rooney family consisted of eleven children in 1863 with the eldest born in 1835 and the youngest in 1856. Most of the children were baptized at St. Mary's and St. Patrick's in Chicago. Katherine Rooney was primarily associated with the Rooney estate when William and Julia passed away in 1885. The image pertains to the Elk Grove and Maine Townships farmland that were owned by William Rooney since the 1830's. The United States Library of Congress illustrates the location of the farmland in 1861. The tracts are clearly marked showing the current owners. His son John Rooney sold the 133 acres to George Busse in 1916. John Rooney passed away seven years later in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago where the family had extensive business and government association.

Thomas and Hannah Talbot arrived in Chicago from Taunton, Massachusetts in 1862. They resided on Canal Street near Old St. Patrick's Church on Des Plaines. Thomas was a craftsman until his entry into the saloon business on 17th and Wentworth. Thomas and Hannah were the proprietor of a well-established business until 1878 when the area was redeveloped after the Chicago Fire of 1871. That part of Chicago was not damaged during the fire, and the railroad started acquiring the properties in the late 1880s. Thomas was a teamster and private contractor at the end of his career. Thomas passed away in 1892 and Hannah was laid to rest in 1903. 

James and Bridget Flanagan arrived in Port Huron, Michigan in 1865 after traveling from New York. They had two sons Patrick & John and two daughters Catherine & Mary. Port Huron was known for its timber and shipping industries. Patrick Flanagan wed Anna Kane in 1886 and raised a family of three sons and six daughters on the south side of Chicago. James passed away in 1882 and Bridget was laid to rest in 1914.  

Edward Talbot grew up on the south side of Chicago near 17th and Wentworth. His parents owned a saloon prior to the Chicago Fire of 1871. Edward and his two brothers helped their parents with the business. After the Fire, the area was redeveloped and Edward began his railroad career downtown. The family were parishioners at Old St. Patrick's Church on Des Plaines. He married Katherine Rooney in 1880 at Holy Name Cathedral on State Street. Katherine passed away in 1899 and Edward was laid to rest in 1908.

John Rooney married Ellen Butler in 1865. He is the eldest son of William and Julia Rooney of Chicago. Marie T. Talbot grew up with the Rooney family prior to her marriage to Martin Flanagan in 1922. John had eight sons and a daughter Mary. Four of his sons were involved with politics and law. Thomas was a Chicago alderman from the Bridgeport neighborhood. John was a judge in the Chicago Municipal Court. Edward was deputy clerk of the Municipal Court. Austin was an attorney in the Monadnock Building. The rest of the family were involved with the family business. Ellen Rooney passed away in 1905. John passed away 18 years later in 1923.

Patrick Flanagan arrived in Chicago from Port Huron, Michigan in 1883 after his father James passed away. Patrick met his wife Anna Kane in the current Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. They were married at Sacred Heart Church in 1886. Their son Martin and his two brothers and six sisters grew up near 35th and Paulina on the south side of Chicago. Martin Flanagan was a World War I veteran and returned home to the family after military service. He married Marie Talbot in 1922. Anna spent her remaining years with her daughter Agnes and passed away in 1941. Patrick was laid to rest in 1908.

Michael Byczek was born in Chicago in 1917. His family consisted of his parents Martin and Maryanna with six brothers and three sisters. He grew up in the Bridgeport neighborhood. Martin and his brother John came to Chicago in the early 1900s. Michael was employed in the manufacturing industry prior to his entry into the Army during World War II. He served with the military on several islands in the Pacific Ocean and was injured during an amphibious maneuver. Michael was honorably discharged in 1945. He began work with the State of Illinois after the war. Michael wed Marie Flanagan in 1950. They owned a tavern and banquet hall near the St. Bridget's parish. The saloon was known for its Irish and Polish cuisine and entertainment. They both retired in the late 1970s and spent the next twenty years together in Chicago. Marie and her sister Anna were born twins, and Michael shared the same birthday with them in August. Michael passed away in 1992 and Marie was laid to rest in 1996. 

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