Tales from the Morgue: A follow up to the attempted train robbery

2013-12-17T09:00:00Z 2013-12-26T20:09:33Z Tales from the Morgue: A follow up to the attempted train robberyJohanna Eubank Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 17, 2013 9:00 am  • 

The Morgue Lady has been contacted by the grandson of one of the principal players in the attempted train robbery. Farrall Smith has offered many photos that give us insight into life in early 20th-century Tucson.

Corinne Weibka Dugat was the adopted daughter of Thomas and Helen Dugat. She was adopted in San Diego in about 1915 as an infant. She moved to Tucson with the Dugats shortly after. Tom Dugat was the bandit killed by the express messenger during the attempted train robbery.

Thomas and Helen Dugat and newly adopted Corinne in San Diego about 1915. Courtesy of Farrall Smith

According to Corinne's son, Farrall Smith, Helen and Corinne moved to New York not long after the robbery and death of Tom Dugat. Helen had a hard life but managed to provide for herself and her daughter. Corinne grew up, married, raised two children and had a happy life.

Thomas and Helen Dugat were married circa 1903. They lived in Tucson at the time; Helen working as a nurse in a sanitarium for tuberculosis patients. At the same time, Thomas ran a dairy.

Thomas and Helen Dugat's wedding photo circa 1903. Courtesy of Farrall Smith

This is an early picture of Thomas & Helen among T.B. patients at her sanatarium in 1905. The arrow points to Thomas. Courtesy of Farrall Smith

Around the time Helen was working in the Sanitarium, Thomas Dugat had a dairy out on Silver Bell Road called the "Lone Star Dairy." Courtesy of Farrall Smith

They left Tucson in 1905 and settle in San Diego until about 1915, when they relocated to Tucson and Thomas started a goat ranch.

Corinne at about age 5 with her dog at the goat ranch. According to her son, "(Corinne) spent the happiest first eight years of her life on that ranch with her dogs & the beautiful desert." Courtesy of Farrall Smith

Farrall tells me Corinne had an interesting life. She married three times, spent her retirement years in Cardwell, Montana, and passed away in 2010.

Corinne Weibka Dugat, later Corinne Tripp, the adopted child of Thomas and Helen Dugat, passed away in 2010. Courtesy of Farrall Smith

The attached photo gallery includes photos of the Dugat goat ranch and others of the area.

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About this blog

"Tales from the Morgue" is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library — also known as News and Research Services — for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com

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