Museum the New Llano Colony

William Armstrong "W.A." Dougherty (Alternate spelling Daugherty)

Birth: Born in 1854 in the Ohio.  

Family Information: Husband of Martha Dougherty.

Father of John C. Dougherty.  

Description: On his US Passport Application dated August 31, 1910 he was described as being 5' 8 1/2" tall. He was of florid complexion, with a broad forehead, roman nose and receding chin. His face was round and full with blue-gray eyes and light hair mixed with gray. He planned to do U.S. Demonstration Work in Agriculture while he was out of the country for not more than one year.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1860 he was living in Ohio with his parents (his father, John, was a dry goods merchant) and siblings.

In 1910 he, his wife and new son were living in Texas while he worked as an agent for a railroad.

Prior to coming to the colony he had been a horticulturist looking up statistics for the Government. He came to the colony in August 1918 with 22 head of Holstein calves and heifers, 200 fig and 500 plum trees. His wife and son, John, followed in October of that year.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: Early on, he ran the U.S. Experimental Farm for the colony. In April 1929 he was helping Hiatt in the orchard -- each had a single mule and plow and was working in close to the trees and vines.  

Other Info: He was one of the members of the colony when George Pickett was first named General Manager.

In 1920 he and his wife had a visitor from Chicago, Illinois -- Mrs. Alice Huffman Gregory who had been a childhood friend of Mr. Dougherty's in Steubenville, Ohio, though he had not seen her for twenty seven years.

One of 42 colonists who signed a petition, dated January 10, 1928 and sent to the governor of Louisiana, which objected to the securing of a new charter being issued to the colony. Among other things, this petition claimed that affairs of the colony had been grossly and intentionally mismanaged and conduct of the management so flagrantly opposed to good morals that a receiver assigned by the District Court was necessary to handle affairs. It alleged that management had: 1. Used misleading propaganda which caused hundreds of people to invest their money in the colony, only to be disillusioned and have to leave with nothing to show for their investment. 2. Reduced the colony to a peon camp - these "peons" being poorly fed, clothed and housed. 3. Advocated "free-love", including promiscuous relations of the sexes and other practices contrary to good morals. 4. Expressed contempt for courts and authorities by taking it upon themselves to punish two boys for stealing from the colony store. 5. Prostituted colony schools by employing nondescript persons as teachers, while issuing fraudulent reports and drawing hundreds of dollars from the Parish School funds in the names of certified teachers and by exploiting child labor. The case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court but eventually was annulled and the plaintiff's demands rejected.

In February 1929 Dixon presented his own one-act comedy, "Soapy," at the colony theater. The cast included: Soapy - Ch. Black; J. Jink - Joe Turner, Silvers - Mr. Doherty, News-boy - Volney Rogers, Mrs. Doon - Mrs. Hewitt, Donnie Doon - Miss Jennie Black, and Laura Doon - Miss Lynne Rogers. It was a fine play and Mrs. Hewitt showed her masterful skill in handing it to J.Jinks with the broom-stick. Dixon showed his proficiency as stage manager in fine shape.  

Post-Colony History:  

Death: In 1929 he was operated on for an old trouble, but never recovered. He died October 18, 1929 with a funeral service held on the following day in the hotel dining room before his burial in the O'Banion Cemetery at New Llano.  

Sources: US Passport Application; "Vernon Parish Democrat": September 16, 1920, April 28, 1921; "Llano Colonist": February 25, 1928, February 9, 1929, April 27, 1929, September 14, 1929, October 26, 1929, April 11, 1933 (Reprinted from the Colonist May 17, 1924), May 13, 1933 (Story of Llano), May 20, 1933 (Story of Llano) ; US Census: 1860, 1910, 1920;  


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