September 3, 1907



John Dugan, Recently Divorced, Ar-
rested After His Wedding With
Margaret Delougherty -- It
Is Claimed Woman Is
of Unsound Mind.

The priest who administered the last spiritual advices to Mrs. Catherine Delougherty, of No. 1208 Guinotte street, missed her funeral yesterday morning because Marguerite Delogherty, daughter of the dead woman, was in such a hurry to get married that she had the ceremony advanced a half hour and the sexton had thrown the sod over the coffin before the holy man arrived. Friends of Mrs. Delougherty during her lifetime were astonished when they went to the house at the appointed hour, and later drove hurriedly to St. Mary's cemetery, only to find the grave filled in and the cemetery officials in charge.

"Miss Delougherty drove to the county court house," the sexton told the belated mourners, "at least that is the address her escort gave to the driver."


The Delougherty funeral was set for 10 o'clock yesterday morning. Mrs. Delougherty, 71 years old, had died Saturday night, but no wake had yet been held. The dead woman owned a large amount of real estate and was reputed to have a large sum of ready money in the bank.

Marguerite Delougherty is 35. For several months John Dugan, a switchman, employed by the Missouri Pacific railway, had boarded at the Delougherty home. Three months ago his wife, who was but 25, secured a divorce.

Yesterday morning, for a reason unknown at the time, Miss Delougherty gave orders for the funeral procession to leave the house at 9:30 o'clock. She rode in a carriage with neighbors. Dugan occupied a carriage alone in the seat of the procession.

At the grave the few friends who had arrived in time to accompany the body remonstrated with the daughter to await the coming of the priest, but she declared in authoritative manner that his coming did not matter and ordered the sexton to fill up the grave. At this juncture, as the little group of friends looked on bewildered, Dugan advanced and handed Miss Delougherty into his own carriage and told the driver to take them to the court house. The little group of friends sadly departed.


A marriage license was at once procured and by the time the priest had arrived at the cemetery, Miss Delougherty was being married to Dugan by the Rev. H. S. Chruch, of No. 328 Park avenue, who had been called to the office of the license clerk while the necessary papers were being filled in and approved.

As the priest turned away from the covered grave the daughter re-entered her carriage at the court house and she and her husband drove toward the Delougherty home. The stopped at several houses and invited their friends to a bridal feast. Before the carriage reached the home a case of beer and a jug of liquor had been taken on.

The presence of negroes mingling with white persons at the marriiage festivities attracted neighborhood attention and soon the information of a carousal at the Delougherty home was telephoned to President E. R. Weeks, of the Humane Society. Here the troubles of the married pair began. For President Weeks had investigated the Delougherty girl before, and had on his desk the opinion of a medical man that she is of unsound mind. On two occasions, President Weeks said, neighbors called his attention to Miss Delougherty's condition, and he later called in Dr. J. F. Sawyer, Fifth street and Lydia avenue, who was the Delougherty family physician. He readily gave his opinion that the girl is not always mentally reasonable.


W. H. Gibbens, assistant Humane officer, was dispatched to the Delougherty home, and soon after Patrolman Fitzgerald arrived and placed the bridegroom under arrest. He was locked up for investigation. Today a charge may be placed against, or, at the expiration of twenty-four hours, he must be released.

President Weeks said he may act under the statute which prevents the marriage of one of unsound mind or on the grounds that the probate court should become custodian of the property of the deceased.

J. W. Hogan, an assistant county prosecutor who investigated the arrest, stated that the marriage of an imbecile is not void, but that the marriage may at once be canceled by authorities if the case is proven.

Neighbors of the Deloughertys stated last night that recently the aged woman showed bruised arms and stated to them that she had been beaten. That, they say, was three weeks ago. Immediately, the neighbors state, Mrs. Delougherty was reported ill and that she was never able to leave her bed.

The bride remained last night in her mother's death chamber alone after the arrest of the groom.