Note: B I O G R A P H Y THE LIFE OF DAVID GLENN DRUGAN By, Robert C. Westphal, Jr. (Grandson) Compiled in part during pesonal interviews in 1977, while staying with Lena (Hanson Drugan) and Vinson Rice, Winona, MN FORWARD My grandfather, David Glenn Drugan, died long before I was born. I know him only through photographs and family stories that have been passed down over the years. Through these small fragments of infomation that have been (and are continuing to be) assembled by my cousin Brian Lightfoot and myself, I'm finally getting to know the man that was my mother's father. Through stories told to me by my grandmother, Lena (Hanson) Drugan, I have found that David was a man of quiet courage and strength, a man that could be counted on through the worst of times. Simple fate dictated that he was to become a father of seven children during the worst economic disaster in American history. The constant struggle to support his family must have been an overwhelming challenge, but it's clearly evident that his priorities of God, family and friendships were something that he never lost sight of. After being diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1928, he knew, beyond a doubt, that he was living on borrowed time. The stress of knowing that his young family would be left behind to fare for themselves weighed heavily upon him in his remaining years. His story is far from complete, and we, his ancestors, will never know how difficult it was for him to be a father, a husband, a friend, and a provider while battling such a horrific disease. The memories of his children all center around his strength and determination, yet one small recollection of his daughter, Martha, tells the story of a man that felt alone and defeated in his fight for life: "...dad would take me, alone, on Sunday mornings to church, each time to a church of a different denomination while everyone else attended mass at St. Thomas. I think dad was looking for peace and looking for answers. I saw him begin to cry walking out of church one Sunday. He scooped me up in his arms and held me so tightly that it hurt. He knew he was dying and the church offered him little, if any comfort. The priests were too busy catering to the wealthy in the parish to be concerned about dad and his poverty-stricken family." To conclude that David lost faith in God would be a grave error. Rather, he likely lost faith in himself and in his ability to care for his family. His biggest question was likely centered arround what would become of his wife and children, rather than what would become of him or his salvation. Unfortunate as it may seem, we will all be at this crossroads at some point in life, facing death on an intimate level. The valuable insight that David's history has given me is a simple message -- don't take a single moment of life for granted... this day may, in fact, be your last. Lena, his wife, recalled, "Your grandpa never gave up. I s'pose anyone would become widthdrawn and scared when time was getting so short. But he still found the strength to play with the kids and go to work every day until he couldn't move from the bed." A sad story? In many repects, yes. But the memories David has left behind are priceless reminders about the immeasurable value of the time we're each alloted in this life, and the challenges we must overcome to reach our ultimate destiny with courage and faith. EARLY LIFE AND FAMILY David Glenn Drugan was born February 24, 1889 in Trempealeau, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, then a small village of approx. 500 inhabitants situated on the Mississippi River, approx. 10 miles north of the city of La Crosse. His father, Patrick Drugan, Jr., born October 12, 1845 in County Tyrone, Ireland, worked as a quarryman and day laborer at the time of David's birth, and his mother, Elizabeth Jane Keeffe was a housewife. David's ancestors were of northern Irish stock, and were some of the first settlers in the Trempealeau area in the mid-1800s, having emigrated from County Tyrone in northern Ireland in 1848. David's mother was also of Irish heritage, and was born June 24, 1854 in Kemptville, Ontario, Canada, her parents having emigrated to Ontario from County Cork, in southern Ireland. The Drugan's were Roman Catholic and attended church at St. Bartholomew's Catholic Parish in Trempealeau. David was the third of five children, including siblings: ---Edmund Drugan, born December 19, 1879 in Trempealeau, Wisconsin ---William John Drugan, born July 11, 1882 in Trempealeau, Wisconsin ---Harry Roy Drugan, born December 15, 1890 in Trempealeau, Wisconsin ---Anne Elizabeth Drugan, born December 23, 1895 in Trempealeau, Wisconsin EDUCATION David was educated at local schools in Trempealeau, and graduated from Trempealeau high school in 1906. About 1907, he took employment as a railroad brakeman with the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, and by 1910 was living with several of his co-workers in Elroy, Wisconsin, a small town in Juneau County. The rail routes he traveled ranged from Winona, Minnesota to Chicago, working at first on freight trains, and for the remainder of his career on passenger trains. David did not participate in the military service, despite WWI coming about. Many railroad employees, factory workers, and others who indirectly contributed to the war effort were not drafted. MARRIAGE On April 21, 1913, at the courthouse in Winona, MN, David married Lena L. Hanson, born March 19, 1894 in Trempealeau, WI to Louis Hanson and Lena Kramer. When asked about her wedding, Lena (Hanson) Drugan replied, "Well, back then your grandpa was catholic and I, of course, was raised in the Methodist church. Both of our families wanted us to be married in their own church, you know. Well, we didn't want to cause an argument, so your grandpa had the idea to get married at the courthouse and figure the rest out later! And so we did; thankfully too, with blessings from both our families." MOVE TO CHICAGO David and Lena's first residence was in the Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago, approx. 4 miles northwest of downtown. David and Lena lived within walking distance of the railroad depot where David worked. When asked about living in Chicago as newlyweds, Lena (Hanson) Drugan replied, "Oh, my, those were exciting times! We went all the way to Chicago by train with all our belongings aboard, which weren't much, but the Northwestern paid for everything, even the food in the dining car. Irving Park was a very nice place with lots of big beautiful homes and parks. We hadn't lived there long when your grandpa took me to a big fireworks show at Independence Park, on the 4th of July. Of course, being from a small place like Trempealeau, I'd never seen anything like that in my life! There were hundreds of people there and also a big carnival where your grandpa entered a ball pitching contest and won a coupon for $5.00 worth of groceries - and that was a big deal back then. We didn't have a car yet, so we walked everywhere or took the train. One time we went downtown (Chicago) and had a picnic on the lakefront with a beautiful view of the lake on one side and all of the big buildings on the other side. There was so much to see and do that we didn't have time to be homesick!" MOVE TO WINONA, MN After less than a year in Chicago, David was transferred to Winona, Minnesota, and the couple made their home at 467 E. Fourth St., Winona. David continued his work as a brakeman for Chicago & Northwestern, and began to make regular runs from Winona to Baraboo, Wisconsin and back. When asked about David's job, Lena (Hanson) Drugan said, "He liked his job with the railroad and made good money, benefits and such, but didn't really want to take a spot as an engineer, although he easily could have. You see, in those days the engineers traveled almost constantly. They called the wives of engineers "railroad widows" because their husbands were never, or almost never home. So your grandpa stayed-put as a brakeman. He liked the job and was very well liked by the men he worked with." The birth of their first daughter, Catherine "Bernice" came in 1915. Lena said she would often board the train in Winona in the morning, and ride to Trempealeau with David, who then went on to Baraboo (and back). This gave her much-needed time with her mother as she was learning the ropes of new motherhood. "Your grandpa was such a good father. Through the years, he was always patient and loving with our kids, all of them. Even when he'd come home tired and dragging after a long day at work, he'd spend time with them. He was a pretty quiet and even tempered guy, you know, much like your uncle David. Oh, he had an Irish temper though, that came out at work at times! But, you know, home was his serenity; even with all the kids running around." On one occasion, David received the honor of being appointed as brakeman on President Calvin Coolidge’s train, transcript of memo as follows: Baraboo, Wis., Sept. 8th, 1927. Mr. D.G. Drugan, Brakeman Mr. L.C. Stephens, Brakeman You will be used on the President Coolidge train, Winona to Elroy, Saturday p.m. Please see that your uniform etc. is in first class condition. A man will be furnished to relieve you on your regular assignment Saturday. W.J. Keating Asst. Superintendent. (Chicago & Northwestern Railway) THE GREAT DEPRESSION YEARS During the depression, David maintained his position with Chicago & Northwestern. Despite the modest pay of a brakeman, at least he was employed and not in constant fear of losing his job. But, having to make ends meet with seven children to feed was not an easy task, even in the best of times. The family relocated (within Winona) frequently, never saving enough money to purchase a home. Martha (Drugan) Westphal said, "It seemed like we were always moving. I can remember going with dad to rent a house one time. I was about 7 years old. Dad told me not to say anything to the landlord about how many brothers and sisters I had. He told the landlord that he had three kids! Obviously, nobody wanted to rent a house to such a big family. I remember one time when a landlord came by to collect the rent. The guy was a real jerk. He pulled up at the curb, saw all of us kids playing in the front yard and asked dad who all the kids belonged to. Dad just smiled and said, matter-of-factly, "oh, those kids? A couple are mine and the rest belong to the neighborhood!" It wasn't long before we were moving again, after finding an eviction notice on the front door. Funny thing was, Ma would worry constantly, but dad would always take it all in stride. Nothing ever seemed to bother him. He was always on an even keel." FAMILY TIES AND HOLIDAYS David remained close to his parents throughout his life, and in their later years, often devoted weekends to traveling across the river to Trempealeau and helping them with household chores and tending to their personal needs. His mother passed away in 1915, and it is said that this was a crushing blow to him. He always said that at least his mother got to hold one of his children before her death. Having a large family on a limited income, especially during the depression, had its pitfalls for David and Lena. David would cut Christmas trees right out of the woods and bring them home on the train from Trempealeau. Ornaments were hand-made and often just pictures cut out of old magazines and catalogs and tied to the tree with string. The tree was lit with small candles on Christmas eve only. Christmas dinner usually consisted of a ham or a turkey that David would "commandeer" through his connections on the railroad, or, as was the case during several Christmas' (and weather permitting), the family would spend Christmas in Trempealeau with Lena's parents who were much better off financially. For months prior to Christmas, David would retire to the basement after work, and hand-carve small wooden toys for his children. Martha (Drugan) Westphal recalls, "When I was 8 years old, my dad gave me the best gift ever - a small hand-carved wooden baby cradle that he made himself. It was painted pink and baby-blue, and had a little painted rose on the headboard. When my dad gave it to me, I was so happy that I jumped into his arms and cried! In fact, I cried so hard that I made dad cry! I only had one doll in my life, a "Flossie Flirt," doll that was another gift from dad. Out of all the kids, the girls anyway, I was dad's favorite even though he took great pains not to have favorites. He just spent more time with me, especially after he got sick." Birthday parties were very small-scale occasions, with children's gifts usually consisting a something practical like a hand-me-down coat, a reconditioned pair of shoes, or a pair of mended and re-mended socks; things that would have otherwise been looked at simply as necessities. The only time during the year that David and Lena went out on the town together was on the occasion of Lena's birthday, March 19th. Lena recalls this as the only day of the year that the couple would eat dinner "out" or have a glass of wine or beer. "Your grandpa was a very handsome fellow! On my birthday, we would get dressed-up and go out on the town; he looked like a movie star and was such a gentleman. One time, his brother Ed and his wife Mary came with us, and, oh what a good time we all had dancing, even though your grandpa had two left feet on the dance floor and was always shy when it came to dancing!" - recalled Lena. HOBBIES David enjoyed wood-carving, gardening, and took great pride in raising homing pigeons and exotic chickens that he often showed at the county fairs in both Winona and Trempealeau. In competitions, he often received first or second place. Martha (Drugan) Westphal recalls her father coming home from work with big pocket-fulls of cracked corn and bird seed that he'd pick-up from grain cars on railroad sidings to feed his birds with. He'd build chicken coupes and pigeon cages out of old railroad freight boxes that were housed in the basement during the cold winter months. "Dad would often spend hours out in the backyard with the pigeons and chickens, making sure they were well cared for. We always had a little garden too, and dad would carefully dig-up and transplant everything he could every time we had to move!" - said Martha (Drugan) Westphal. RELIGION Despite his strict catholic upbringing, David went to church periodically, usually on the important catholic holy days of obligation. Martha (Drugan) Westphal recalls, "Dad and Ma saw to it that each one of us was baptized and confirmed in the catholic church. We always prayed before meals and before bed. Old Father O'Day once said to dad (as he entered the front door of St. Thomas Church), "I'm glad to see you finally found time to make it to mass, Mr. Drugan." At that time, dad was struggling with cancer and was so sick and tired he could hardly walk. Dad, without saying a word to the priest, walked into church holding my hand and muttered, "a-hole." For months and months after that, dad would take me, alone, on Sunday mornings to church, each time to a church of a different denomination while everyone else attended mass at St. Thomas. I think dad was looking for peace and looking for answers. I saw him begin to cry walking out of church one Sunday. He scooped me up in his arms and held me so tightly that it hurt. He knew he was dying and the church offered him little, if any comfort. The priests were too busy catering to the wealthy in the parish to be concerned about dad and his poverty-stricken family." FINAL DAYS David's final years were spent trying hard to conceal the physical pain and mental anguish of stomach cancer. He'd underwent an operation in Rochester, Minnesota in late 1928 that allowed him to live another five years, years that he spent in and out of hospitals and in great mental and physical pain. Martha (Drugan) Westphal indicated that he'd come home from work and literally collapse on the sofa, exhausted. "Dad would motion me to come and rub his shoulders, and I'd do so until my little hands hurt. I didn't know there was anything wrong with him, but toward the end, noticed that he wasn't eating much except soup and that he'd lost so much weight that Ma had to alter his railroad uniform regularly. When I'd rub his back and shoulders, I could feel every bone in his body. It wasn't long after that that he died. Even at his funeral, I was too young to realize that he was never going to come back. Weeks passed before I really felt the sadness set in. I missed him so much; it hurt so badly. And, I don't know how, but Ma managed to be there for every one of us. I think dad's death was a lot harder on Ma and the older kids. Dad's many friends, co-workers from the railroad, were all very helpful in our time of need. Especially dad's best friend, Ori Dubois who put his whole life on hold to make sure Ma and all us kids were well taken care of. What a good man he was." Lena, his wife, recalled, "Your grandpa never gave up. I s'pose anyone would become widthdrawn and scared when time was getting so short, but he never complained or never let on that he was bad. He still found the strength to play with the kids and go to work right up until the couldn't move from the bed." David died, at the young age of 45, on October 6th 1934 and was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Winona, Minnesota two days later. The memories of this remarkable man have survived for decades through his children, grand-children, and beyond. Though his life was brief in years, his mark of strength and determination through the most difficult of circumstances is something each and every one of us will always admire and cherish. C E N S U S 1900 US Census Trempealeau, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin Patrick Drugan------Head--W--M--Nov 1850--49--M22 yr--IRE--IRE--IRE--Emig 1853--Nat--Owns Home--Quarryman Elizabeth J. Drugan------Wife--W--F--Jun 1850--44--M22 yr--CAN--IRE--IRE--Emig 1869 Edmond Drugan------Son--W--M--Dec 1879--20--S--WI--IRE--CAN--Day Laborer William J. Drugan------Son--W--M--Jul 1882--17--S--WI--IRE--CAN--At School David G. Drugan------Son--W--M--Feb 1888--12--S--WI--IRE--CAN--At School Harry R. Drugan------Son--W--M--Dec 1890--9--S--WI--IRE--CAN--At School Anne Drugan------Dau--W--F--Dec 1893--6--S--WI--IRE--CAN--At School 1905 Wisconsin State Census Trempealeau Township, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin Patrick Drugan------Head--W--M--65--M--IRE--IRE--IRE--Day Laborer Elizabeth Jane Drugan------Wife--F--48--M--CAN--IRE--IRE--Housewife Edmund Drugan------Son--W--M--26--S--WI--IRE--CAN--Liveryman William J. Drugan------Son--W--M--22--S--WI--IRE--CAN--Liveryman David G. Drugan------Son--W--M--17--S--WI--IRE--CAN Harry R. Drugan------Son--W--M--14--S--WI--IRE--CAN Anne Drugan------Dau--W--F--11--S--WI--IRE--CAN 1910 US Census Elroy, Juneau County, Wisconsin Glenn Drugan------Roomer--M--W--21--S WI--WI--WI--Brakeman, Railroad (Boarder with several other railroad employees) 1914 Winona, Minnesota City Directory David G. Drugan--(Leone)--Brakeman--C&BW Railway--Residence--467 E. 4th 1916 Winona, Minnesota City Directory David G. Drugan--(Lena)--Brakeman--Residence--467 E. 4th 1920 US Census City of Winona, Winona Township, Winona County, Minnesota David Dugan------Head--W--M--30--M--WI--IRE--CAN--Railroad, Brakeman Lena Drugan------Wife--W--F--24--M--WI--NOR--MN Bernice Drugan------Dau--W--F--4--S--MN--WI--WI Margaret Drugan------Dau--W--F--2--S--MN--WI--WI David Drugan------Son--W--M--1--S--MN--WI--WI 1923 Winona, Minnesota City Directory David G. Drugan--(Lena)--Brakeman--Residence--215 Grand 1925 Winona, Minnesota City Directory David G. Drugan--(Lena L.)--Brakeman--Residence--552 West 5th 1927 Winona, Minnesota City Directory David G. Drugan--(Mina)--Brakeman--C&NW Railway--Residence--552 West 5th 1930 US Census Winona, Winona County, Minnesota David Drugan------Head--M--W--44--M--M at 25--WI--US--US--Rent Home--$25.00--Railroad Brakeman Lena Drugan------Wife--F--W--35--M at 19--WI--NOR--US Bernice Drugan------Dau--F--W--15--S--MN--WI--WI Margaret Drugan------Dau--F--W--13--S--MN--WI--WI David Drugan------Son--M--W--11--S--MN--WI--WI Ruth Drugan------Dau--F--W--8--S--MN--WI--WI Martha Drugan------Dau--F--W--6--S--MN--WI--WI John Drugan------Son--M--W--5--S--MN--WI--WI William Drugan------Son--M--W--11m--S--MN--WI--WI 1931 Winona, Minnesota City Directory David G. Drugan--(Lena)--Brakeman--Res--761 West 5th Margaret Drugan--Clerk--Res--761 West 5th Bernice Drugan--Clerk--Res--761 West 5th 1934 Winona, Minnesota City Directory David G. Drugan--(Lena)--Brakema--C&NW Railway--Residence--209 Grand M I L I T A R Y World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 Name: David G Drugan City: Not Stated County: Winona County State: Minnesota Birthplace: Wisconsin, Ireland Birth Date: 26 Feb 1889 Race: White Roll: 1682695 DraftBoard: 0 P U B L I C A T I O N S SOCIETY Miss Mary Sokolik of Hillsboro, Wis., and Emil W. Stiuck of Elroy, Wis., were married this morning at the home of Mr. and Mrs. David Drugan, 467 East Fifth Street, by the Rev. Alfred Sauer. The young couple will make their future home in Chicago. Source: Winona Republican Herald, Winona, Minnesota, 21 Feb 1918, page 3 TREMPEALEAU Glenn Drugan and Miss Anna Drugan were called home from Winona Wednesday on account of the serious illness of their father, Pat Drugan. Source: Winona Republican Herald, Winona, Minnesota, 24 Apr 1920, page 13 TREMPEALEAU Mr. and Mrs. D. G. Drugan entertained the following at a card party Wednesday evening: Mr. and Mrs. F. Jennison, Mr. and Mrs. O. W. DuBois, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Brink, Mr. and Mrs. J. Braisdale of Minneapolis, Mrs. J. Eickemeyer, Mrs. R. Losinski, and Mrs. Glenn Courtier. Dainty refreshments were served and a pleasant time was enjoyed by all. Source: Winona Republican Herald, Winona, Minnesota, 27 Jan 1921, page 2 BIRTHS To Mr. and Mrs. D. G. Drugan, 215 Grand Street, on the 13th, a daughter, weight 8-1/2 pounds. (NOTE - This was Ruth Marie Drugan) Source: Winona Republican Herald, Winona, Minnesota, 15 Sep 1921, page 7 TREMPEALEAU Mr. and Mrs. L. S. Hanson and daughter Marie spent Christmas day with Mr. and Mrs. Glen D. Drugan at Winona. Mrs. Drugan is a daughter to the Hansons. Source: Winona Republican Herald, Winona, Minnesota, 27 Dec 1921 page 7 PURE BRED LIVESTOCK & POULTRY BREEDERS IN WINONA COUNTY Poultry & Anaconas David Drugan, Winona Source: Winona Republican Herald, Winona, Minnesota, 8 Nov 1923, page 22 CONVALESCING D. G. Drugan, 552 West Fifth street, who underwent an operation at St. Mary's hospital at Rochester, two weeks ago is convalescing at the Samaritan hospital at that place. Source: Winona Republican Herald, Winona, Minnesota, 28 Nov 1928 TREMPEALEAU Glen Drugan of Winona moved his family here last Tuesday in the A.A. Holmes house on Third Street. Source: Winona Republican Herald, Winona, Minnesota, 17 May 1930, page 12 M E D I C A L Stomach ulcers Cause of Death: Carcinoma of the Stomach D E A T H Transcript of Death Certificate State of Minnesota, Division of Vital Statistics No. 17560 Reg. District 84-2b, Registration Book 220 Place of Death: Winona, Winona County, Minnesota Date of Death: October 6, 1934 At: Winona General Hospital Full Name: David Glenn Drugan Residence: 209 Grand Male, White, Married Wife: Lena Date of Birth: February 26, 1889 Age: 45 years, 7 months, 10 days Occupation: Railroad Brakeman Birthplace: Trempealeau, Wisconsin Father: Patrick (Born in Ireland) Mother: Elizabeth Keeffe (Born in Canada) Informant: Mrs. D. Drugan, Winona, Minnesota Place of Burial: St. Mary's Cemetery, Winona, Minnesota, October 8, 1934 Undertaker: J.B. Burke, Winona, Minnesota FIled: 10-8-1934, W.N. Lindsay Physician Attending: October 3-6, 1934 Time of Death: 9:45 a.m. Cause of Death: Carcinoma of Stomach (8 months duration) Contributing Cause: General Carcinoma, Metastasis, 3 months duration Autopsy: Yes Signed: P.A. Mattison, MD, Winona, Minnesota, 10-6-1934 Note: Copy of original death certificate in possession of Robert Westphal, Jr. Minnesota Deaths and Burials, 1835-1990 Name: David Glenn Drugan Gender: Male Death Date: 06 Oct 1934 Death Place: Winona, Winona, Minnesota Age: 45 Birth Date: 1889 Marital Status: Married Spouse's Name: Lena Father's Name: Patrick Mother's Name: Elizabeth Keaffe Indexing Project (Batch) Number: I09543-1 System Origin: Minnesota-EASy Source Film Number: 2242353 Reference Number: cn 17560 O B I T U A R Y DAVID DRUGAN DIES AT AGE OF 45 David G. Drugan, 209 Grand Street, died in the Winona General hospital at 9:40 a.m. today after a long illness. He was 45 years old. Mr. Drugan was born in Trempaleau but had lived in Winona 20 years. He was a passenger brakeman for the Chicago & North Western railroad, and had been in the employ of the company 25 years. Surviving him are his wife and seven children, Bernice, Margie, David, Ruth, Martha, Jack and Billie. He is also survived by two brothers and a sister, William and Ed Drugan, Trempealeau and Mrs. Joseph Hamernik, Witoka, Minnesota. Another brother, Harry, died a year ago. Funeral services will be held at the St. Thomas church and burial will be made here in St. Mary's cemetery, but the time of the services has not been set. Source: Winona Republican-Herald, Winona, Minnesota, 6 Oct 1934, page 3 FUNERAL OF DAVID G. DRUGAN Funeral services for David G. Drugan, 209 Grand street, were conducted at 9 a.m. today at the St. Thomas Pro-Cathedral, the Reverend Louis O'Day officiating. Burial was in St. Mary's cemetery. Pallbearers were O.W. Dubois, W.I. Miller, L.C. Stephans, O.T. Sheron, Joseph Jessesski and A.B. Hassett. Source: Winona Republican-Herald, Winona, Minnesota, 8 Oct 1934, page 3 B U R I A L US Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current Name: David Glenn Drugan Sr Birth Date: 24 Feb 1889 Death Date: 6 Oct 1934 Cemetery: Saint Marys Cemetery Burial Place: Winona, Winona County, Minnesota St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery Burial Index David G. Drugan 1889 to 1934 1393 WA 36 Spouse: Mary A. *Note: Spouse listed inaccurately as "Mary A."
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