"Dayton's Devilment" National Police Gazette (1878)

Transcribed from page 3 of the April 27, 1878 issue of the National Police Gazette.


The Striking Escapade of a Family Physician who had Seduced the Wife of a Prominent Citizen


Dayton, O., April 13 — Social circles here —indeed, I may say the entire community — are just now agog over the most sensational bit of scandal with which Dayton has been visited for years. Indeed, I hesitate to name it "scandal," for to the average newspaper reader the word conveys an idea associated with the every-day-occurring cases of crim. con., of double guilt and blame, and of equal shame and perfidy, bad enough in themselves, but frequently with an equally-divided burden of guilt. These, indeed, are sufficiently painful, and worthy of all execrations heaped upon them all in hideous fiendishness, in studied treachery, in long and carefully laid plans for the overthrow of trusting virtue, and the destruction of a happy home, into which the temper has been admitted in the most sacred relations which our social system recognizes, is this one.

A happy home; a beautiful, affectionate, honored wife; a trusting adoring husband; a family physician at once as devoid of principle and as full of cunning as the serpent, a course of treatment for years with this seeming end in view, a fall beyond comprehension to the fallen one, yet a fall which shattered at once the sacred altars of the most sacred home, and shakes to the foundation those of many others of our beautiful city, carrying surprise and pain and grief and agony to scores of homes and to hundreds of hearts among the relatives and friends and intimate associates in the best walks of life. Of the characters in this eventful drama the chief are Dr. Joseph E. Lowes, a prominent physician to the best families here, and a well-known local politician in the Republican ranks, and Mrs. Wm. Hoglen, the beautiful and till now universally respected wife of a worthy and honored citizen. Both parties have until now stood well in the community, both were looked upon as people of education and refinement, and both were recognized as belonging to the wealthier class, not the wealthiest, but counting their possessions well up in the thousands, and able to surround themselves with all the comforts and luxuries which make life pleasant, and betokened a career of honor and usefulness in society.

Dr. Lowes, the betrayer, the outrager, for I can scarcely honor him with the name of seducer — has been resident of this city for some ten years, and by a practice of his profession, coupled with an almost penurious frugality, has accumulated probably $25,000. He is a tall, finely-built man of thirty-five, with black, glossy, curling hair, a full black beard, a commanding presence and a nature magnetic to a degree which makes him at once dangerous and all powerful. He came here, a single man, from Canada, married a respectable widow of this place, and, in turn, a few years later became a widower. He is of the Homeopathic school, so popular here, a member of the Montgomery County Homeopathic Medical Society, an active member in the School Board, and surgeon, with rank of major, in the Fourth Regiment Ohio National Guards.

Mrs. Hoglen, the victim, is the wife of William Hoglen, of a well-known firm of this place, with her husband a native of this city, and of its most respected families. She is a daughter of Mr. Richard Chambers, a retired contractor, well known and universally respected. She is described as a beautiful blonde, of twenty-six, with luxuriant golden hair, large, dreamy blue eyes, a petite and perfect figure, faultless in face and in manner, and of the most modest and at once lovable and loving disposition. Naturally retiring, and yet with all those womanly graces which words cannot describe, she was honored, respected and admired of all, blushing like a school-girl when spoken to, and yet firm and noble in her womanhood and in Christian graces.

She was an honored member of the Methodist church, of which her husband was a pillar, and until within the past few months, the period covered by her shame, a constant attendant upon its services. She was the mother of three beautiful children, and up to the present time had been regarded as the most affectionate and dutiful of wives and loving mother. Some years since she was troubled with an affection peculiar to her sex, and, after employing various physicians to no purpose, Dr. Lowes was called in and, giving some assurances of successful treatment, was continued. His visits and attentions continued during three years, the husband paying him large sums of money for his alleged services, but the wife continuing an invalid. About a year ago the brothers of the husband became convinced that the Doctor's intentions were not of a proper nature, and not only discharged him from service in their families, but endeavored to bring, by indirect means, the husband to see the true tendency of his influence. With an unbounded confidence and earnest love for his beautiful wife, however, he continued without the slightest suspicion of the facts, even up to last Tuesday evening, when the cloud, which had been gathering for an entire year, burst in untold violence upon his devoted head. More recently, however, the true state of affairs became so plainly visible that the brothers determined that they must be brought to the knowledge of the husband. Meanwhile one of them had visited the Doctor and ordered him to discontinue his visits, which he promised to do unless called on professionally. A few days ago, however, the intimacy continuing, the brothers, three of them, aided by the servant girl employed in the house and that of one of the brothers, devised a plan to bring the facts to the knowledge of the trusting but now cruelly wronged husband. He was requested by them to go to a certain point, a day's travel from Dayton, on business, and after remaining there one day to accomplish the business, he would be able to return. He therefore informed his wife that he would be absent three days, and left on Monday morning. They then, by means not necessary to detail, caused information to reach the Doctor that the husband would be absent until Wednesday.

The game worked well and by Monday night they were sure that the Doctor would pay his visit on Tuesday night. They then brought the husband back to Dayton by telegraph order, he arriving here on the six o'clock train. By various pretexts he was detained at the office until the pear was ripe. The servant girl had been instructed to lock all the doors to prevent the game from escaping and take the keys away with her. Mrs. Hoglen, however, insisted upon one key being left with her, and so there remained one way of egress. By 10 o'clock the game was safely in cover, and the signal was given to the brothers that everything was ready. Here they dropped their business conversation with the unsuspecting William, telling him he had better go home to his family, and bidding him good night sent him homeward, themselves following unobserved to see the denouement. Meanwhile the servants, who, to their credit be it said acted their parts heroically, had slipped into the house, and listening in the hall overheard indistinctly a conversation between the Doctor and his victim in her bedroom in the second story. When, however, the husband came, suspecting nothing, he opened and shut the gate with some little noise, the tell-tale sounds giving warning to the guilty couple overhead, the servants heard a shuffling sound, which told them that the Doctor was getting himself out of the way into another room. By the time the husband entered, however, this was accomplished, and when he entered his wife's room he found everything in apparent order, and his pretty little wife waiting to receive him. Only one thing did he notice, and that was a sumptuous lunch, with wines and other delicacies, set upon a sideboard at hand. To his question of this, however, his wife replied that she had had it there for herself in the afternoon, and not yet had it removed. Thus satisfied, and thoroughly tired out with his two days' travel, he retired soon after. During the interval the servant had slipped out and acquainted the brothers, who were waiting, with the condition of the affairs, and told them that she was sure the Doctor was secreted in a room adjoining that occupied by the unsuspecting Hoglen and his faithless wife. Then it was decided — for it was determined by the brothers that William should have proof for himself and make his own discoveries — that the girl should go to the room and after discovering the Doctor, scream for help, thus bringing the husband before he could escape.

This plan was faithfully carried out. Taking a lamp in her hand, as if about to retire, she walked boldly up-stairs straight to the suspected room, and threw open the door.

At first she saw nothing, and for the moment was led to believe that the bird had flown. A littler closer examination, however, convinced her that she was right, for lying on the floor near some clothing hung against the wall lay his boots. Looking still further she saw the Doctor's feet and the bottom of his pants showing below the skirts of a dress hung against the wall. He had slipped into the dress, or behind it, in his efforts to get out of sight, and there stood trembling yet hoping that he would not be discovered. With a presence of mind worthy the sterner sex she retreated to the door, and giving a piercing scream, called to Mr. Hoglen to come quick — that there was a man in the house. Hoglen, who is a broad-shouldered, muscular fellow, jumped from his bed, and with no weapon but his arms and the scant apparel of the night, rushed into the hall.

At this the doctor sprang from under the dress and flew toward the door, boots in hand. He was caught by the plucky servant girl, but, breaking away from her, ran, or almost flew, down-stairs, with Hoglen, who yet supposed the "man" was simply a burglar. As the Doctor reached the foot of the stairs the second servant was waiting, and, with wipe-spread arms, attempted to check him, but he valiantly, seeing the situation, struck him a heavy blow on the head with his boots, which he still held in his hand, and passed on, with Hoglen in pursuit, but a few steps behind. As Hoglen passed the girl she said to him: "It's Dr. Lowes."

These words were like magic to him, and changed him in a twinkling from a thief-catcher into an enraged husband in pursuit of the villain who had robbed him of the most sacred thing on earth, the love and honor of his wife. "In an instant," he says, "I understood all. The mysteries of the past year not understood, but unsuspected in this light, became clear to me."

Meanwhile, the Doctor found himself locked in, and was vainly rushing from one door to another to get out. The plucky servant girl, after receiving the blow, had retreated into the single room from which there was a means of exit, and, locking the hall door behind her, cut off that last hope. All this took but an instant, and before Lowes had tried the third door the wronged husband was upon him. The struggle was short, sharp and decisive. Lowes, though a large man, was unable to cope with the strong arms of the maddened husband, and a moment later Hoglen had him by the throat and was slowly choking the life out of his miserable carcass. His black, glistening, snaky eyes started from their sockets, his tongue protruded, his face became discolored, and he sunk to the floor almost insensible, when the wife rushed in between them and saved the husband from murder and the seducer from the fate he so richly deserved.

By this time the brothers had entered, when she attacked them, fiercely charging them with having set the job up to catch her. The husband, too requested them to withdraw, stating that he was able to settle with Dr. Lowes, and started up stairs, evidently to obtain his revolver, to make short work of the affair, but on returning he found that he had escaped through a rear window, which had been unhappily left unguarded. The escape and location were alike fortunate for the Doctor, but unfortunate for the community, for had he not been killed by the outraged husband, he would I am told, have surely been so attended by the brothers, that he would have been forevermore harmless in families of even the most easy virtue. The brothers were determined and desparate, and it is only through the lucky chance that they had forgotten the back window that this admirable "family physician" now retains his evidences of manhood.

The wife was at first defiant, and seemed, as she had appeared for months past, laboring under some strange influence, as if the victim of some baneful drug. Finally, however, she broke down and confessed all.

She stated that this unholy intimacy had been going on for months; she knew not how long. She said that some time last fall she felt that she was completely in his power, and struggle against it as she would she could not avoid his influence. The medicine which he gave her, her friends say, served to act upon her as strange and terrible drugs affect the person; she was wretched without them, and more strange and unaccountable in her actions when she had them. The opinion is freely expressed by Mr. Hoglen's brothers that she was drugged, both to produce this effect and to continue the alleged "disease" for which he was treating her. As if to add the last strokes to the wrongs and to further his hellish designs, it is stated that the Doctor had positively forbidden the husband to have intercourse with her, stating that her health would not admit of it, and had by other means striven to alienate the affections of each from the other.

This, it is stated, is by no means the first of this admirable family physician's liasons. It is stated by a prominent and reliable young man in a position to know that crimes of this nature have been frequently committed by the Doctor in his office with both married and unmarried females, and that but for his interference it would have occurred oftener. The wife has been sent home to her father's house by the husband, and is still there with her children. She is in an agony of repentance and grief indescribable. The husband has sold his entire business interest and other property here and is preparing to leave, to go he knows not where. He is broken down by his sorrow.

It is rumored that there are prospects of legal proceedings, and, if the theories advanced by the family can be sustained, there seems reason to believe that a term in the Ohio penitentiary awaits the Doctor. It is said that he now makes no defense, scarcely denying the accusation.

Public opinion is almost entirely against him, and it is stated that he will be asked to resign his position as School Trustee and as officer of the Fourth Regiment.

The Doctor, it is stated by Mr. Hoglen's family, has already so far confessed his crime as to send a mutual acquaintance with an offer to compromise by a payment of money, but this offer of course, was rejected. The affair has created a profound sensation, such as Dayton has not experienced for many years.

It is said that Dr. Lowes is offering his property for sale, and is preparing to leave town, on account of the developments of the last few days.

The name of the two girls who so heroically aided in arranging and carrying out the plan, by which the master was brought to light, are Katie Brunkmeyer and Katie Schrillhamer. They should have a monument.

Should the intention of the relatives be carried out, and Lowes be prosecuted and sent to the penitentiary, I can almost wish that Deputy Dean were again there to try his hand upon this individual for a few consecutive months.