Michael Dougherty

MICHAEL DOUGHERTY is one of the able industrious workers and business men who have identified themselves with the City of Independence because it is a center for the oil and gas industry of the Southwest. For forty years he has been a boilermaker, and has followed his trade as a workman and as a contractor in nearly all the oil and gas fields in the country. He is now superintendent of tankage construction for the Prairie Oil and Gas Company.

He is a native of Ireland and of an old County Donegal family. His grandfather spent his life as a farmer in County Donegal. Michael Dougherty was born in that county March 16, 1860. His father James Dougherty, who was born there in 1834, was for some years engaged in the stock trading business between Ireland and England. In 1868, leaving his family in Ireland, he came to America and settled near Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania. Here he became foreman in railroad construction, and he died near Wilkesbarre, in 1889. After becoming an American citizen he voted the democratic ticket, and was a member of the Catholic Church. James Dougherty married Eunice Moye, who was born in County Donegal in 1834 and died there in 1873. She was the mother of six children: Mary is the wife of James McAdams, a stationary engineer living at Chicago, Illinois; the second is Michael; Barney is a boilermaker at Chicago; Edward is a structural iron worker and his whereabouts have been unknown to his family for the past four years. James is a miner living at Plymouth, Pennsylvania.

Michael Dougherty received all his education in the schools of County Donegal. After the death of his mother in 1873 he came to America, and at fifteen he started out to make his own way, beginning in the boiler shops at Sharon, Pennsylvania. Since then he has been continuously employed in the construction of boilers and tanks. Mr. Dougherty first came to Kansas in 1896, spending a short time at Neodesha and at Thayer, engaged in constructing some tanks for the South Penn Oil Company. He then returned East and was located at Olean, New York, employed by the National Transit Company of Oil City, Pennsylvania. He followed his trade in the oil fields of Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and again returned to Kansas in 1903. At Neodesha he constructed some oil tanks and in 1904 moved to hie present home in Independence. Here he was a contractor for tank construction until 1907, when he entered the service of the Prairie Oil & Gas Company. As superintendent of tankage construction he has offices in the Prairie Oil & Gas Company Building on West Myrtle Street.

Mr. Dougherty is an independent democrat, a member of the Catholic Church, was a charter member of Olean Council of the Knights of Columbus at Olean, New York, and now belongs to Council No. 918 at Independence. He is also a member of Lodge No. 780 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of Independence.

In 1883 at Plymouth, Pennsylvania, Mr. Dougherty married Miss Mary Dougherty, of the same name but no relative. Her parents were Patrick and Catherine Dougherty, both now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Dougherty take proper pride in their fine family of children, nine in number: Eunice lives at home with her parents; John is at Erie, Kansas, a gauger for the Prairie Pipe Line Company; Bernard is with the Sinclair Cudahy Pipe Line Company in the right of way department, and located at Joliet, Illinois; Margaret is employed by the Sinclair Oil & Gas Company at Tulsa, Oklahoma; James is connected with the Prairie Oil and Gas Company of Independence; Mary is a teacher at Kiefer, Oklahoma; Michael Jr. is a stenographer in the offices of the Prairie Pipe Line Company at Tulsa, Oklahoma, Charles is a senior in the Independence High School; Helen, the youngest, is in the first year high school.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1998.
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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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