Enid’s Legend of Dollie Douthitt (Tombstone Tuesday)

While my daughter and I were visiting the cemetery in Enid, Oklahoma, to find family gravesites, we spoke with the manager and asked her if there were any unusual or famous gravesites there. She mentioned the Douthitt plot, which contains the tallest headstone in the cemetery.  The manager briefly told us the story of Dollie Douthitt and her husband, James, whom she killed when she found him in a compromised situation.The headstone is a large pedestal with a large angel on top of it and, as can be seen in the photo below, it towers over the other headstones.

IMG_3018I checked online for corroboration of the story told by the cemetery manager – it differed in some respects but is still quite a story.  Dollie shot and killed her husband, James, in 1904 athough he apparently lived long enough to write a will granting her a child’s portion of his estate providing she never remarried and to ask that Dollie not be prosecuted for his death.

Although Mrs. Douthitt was required to  remain a widow to keep her child’s portion, she wasn’t required to live alone. The writing in the online article, credited to Dennis Porter, is funny so allow me to quote from it: She found “an Enid man, suffering from an immoral itch. His conduct displeased her. She carefully sharpened a straight razor and as he lay sleeping, she slashed him in the area of her discontent. He awoke screaming with pain, stared at his gory groin, and rushed from the house. His caponized course crossed Boggy Bottom, over to Maine Street where he groaned a greeting to a paperboy making his early morning rounds. The red route ended at the University Hospital” where doctors and nurses managed to keep him from bleeding to death.

In 1931, when Mrs. Douthitt was acting as her own attorney in answering several collection suits, she addressed the court in anger, pulled out a pistol and began firing at, with some degree of accuracy, several attorneys as well as the judge. The judge managed to grab her from behind and she dropped the pistol as he was choking her. She was committed to an institution for the insane until she was finally released by the Governor on an ‘exile’ parole. She lived in California until her death in 1955 when she was able to be returned to Enid to lie buried next to her husband and beneath the finest monument there.

Once again, the article is humorous in its close: “If the angel has a cynical smile it is because Dolly set the limits of permissive behavior in Enid… you can kill your husband, castrate your boyfriend, but if you shoot a lawyer you must leave forever.”

Although the short pillar on the left just contains the birth/death dates for Dollie, the pillar on the right, in addition to the birth/death dates for James also bears an inscription:  “God’s ways are mysterious. I am not afraid to die but want all those I have wronged to forgive me.”

IMG_3014

As to Mr,. Douthitt’s stated hope, who knows whether Mrs. Douthitt chose to be buried next to him due to forgiveness, or merely to continue getting even forever.

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6 Responses

  1. The story got even ‘better’. I’m glad you did this, I wanted to but hadn’t gotten around to it so now I don’t need to.

  2. The article also contained a section on the daughter who committed suicide. She, too, killed her husband for his infidelities and a part of her suicide concern was that she was becoming like her mother (this was in 1929 before her mother lost it in the courtroom – in fact,, it could have been the daughter’s suicide that really threw Mom over the edge). There was also some humor in that part of the article (particularly her suicide note, which was maintained as a will and included in every land transfer document – the land became school land). She mentioned she had to visit six stores before someone would sell her the cyanide. She also gave instructions as to how to dress both her husband and her for their burials as well as to lay them to rest beside one another.

  3. I am assistant webmaster for a website called http://www.enidbuzz.com – all about Enid, Ok. I was wondering if I could copy your article on Dolly and giving you credit add it to Enid legends section. Thanks so much

  4. I forgot to give you my email: atucker@suddenlink.net

  5. […] Legend of Dollie Douthitt (Tombstone Tuesday)
Posted on August 18, 2009 by dmbr622 
Thanks to DonnaB for letting us use her weblog article. 

While my daughter and I were […]

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