John J. Halligan

Written By: nppladmin - Jun• 11•22
Originally published to on June 10, 2022.

Welcome back to another Facebook Friday History! 

Have you ever wondered about some of the names on streets or buildings?  The next street name we are looking at is Halligan Drive, named for John J. Halligan.

John James Halligan was born to James and Eliza (Casselo) Halligan on November 10, 1856, in Monroe county, New York.

In 1853, James and Eliza immigrated from Ireland to the United States. It is no surprise that they came to America, because the Irish Potato Famine had been lingering in Ireland since 1845.  The potato famine was caused by a fungus-like organism that spread throughout the potato crops. The infestation ruined 75% of the potato crops from 1846-1953.  After landing in New York, James and Eliza traveled westward and ended up in Nebraska City, Nebraska in 1867. Within a year, the Halligans and their family became homesteaders in Keith county, Nebraska and improved their homestead within two years. They had two sons: John J. Halligan and George H. Halligan. 

John J. Halligan was a well-educated in the public schools and finished his undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1883.  In 1884, Halligan was admitted to the bar at the same university. And upon receiving his law degree, he returned to Keith county, and began practicing law in Ogallala.

For the next few years, he practiced law in Omaha, Nebraska, where he met and married Caroline “Carrie” Swanson. Four children were born to this marriage:

1. Paul Rolfe Halligan (1887-1923). Born in Ogallala, Nebraska. In North Platte, he was usually called “Rolfe” and in court, he was referred to as “PR”. Rolfe graduated from North Platte High School in 1906. Graduated from the University of Nebraska with his law degree in 1912. After he passed the bar examination, he practiced law in North Platte, Nebraska.  In July 1916, Paul served in Company E of the Fifth Nebraska National Guard Infantry and he was elected Captain of the company. The company served on the Mexican border from August 1916 through January 1917. In 1917, he married Kathleen Doyle in Lincoln and they had one daughter, Nancy Jane Halligan. Rolfe then served in World War I. After the war, he returned to practicing law in Lincoln, NE, where he formed a partnership with his father-in-law. In July 1923, Rolfe’s health began to fail and he went to California to regain his health. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack in California, at the age of 35. At the time of his death, he was a Major of the 134th Infantry.

2. Frances Halligan (1890-1892). Born in Omaha, NE. Originally buried in Omaha, moved to the North Platte Cemetery in 1917. She was two years old.;

3. Victor Hugo Halligan (1892-1973). Born in Omaha, NE; Graduated from North Platte High School. Graduated from the University of Nebraska, also with a degree in law, in 1915. He was an All-American tackle with the 1914 Cornhuskers. After serving in World War I as a captain in a field artillery division, he returned to North Platte. Victor became the junior member in his father’s firm, which became known as Halligan, Beatty & Halligan in 1920.and served with his father in the known as Halligan, Beatty & Halligan. Victor married Mary Louise Ottenstein (1891-1952) and they had two daughters, Marcia Ann (Halligan) Wright and Jean Lucille Halligan. He died in Scottsdale, AZ at the age of 81 in 1973.

4. Lucille Halligan (1894-1915). Born in Omaha, NE; Died in North Platte, NE after several years of illness. She was 21 years old.

On January 1, 1896, John J. Halligan opened his law office in North Platte, Nebraska with Mr. W.T. Wilcox, becoming the junior member of the practice of Wilcox & Halligan. He served actively as an attorney for many years.

John was a member of the following organizations: Order of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Knights Templar, Shriners, and the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks.

He died on July 4, 1930 of a heart attack, at age 72. He wasn’t feeling well that morning and went to see his doctor, Dr. Dent. He collapsed in the doctor’s office and went home to die. He died shortly after arriving at his home on 304 West 2nd Street. John and his wife Carrie are buried in the North Platte Cemetery.

Thank you for reading!


NOTE: The original post had an additional photograph incorrectly attributed to the subject of this post and therefore was not included on this archival site.

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