Member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hugh Duffy

When I went to St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery last week, the first gravestone that kind of struck me as interesting was the one for the Hugh Duffy family.  The cross had fallen and I wondered how long it had been that way.  Find-A-Grave shows that it was standing back in 2008.  Mystery solved.

But another mystery emerged when I sat down to find out more about the Hugh Duffy family.  I quickly learned that Hugh Duffy was murdered, but the details did not emerge until I did some research today.

Charles Wardrip, age 19, was burglarizing the home of Hugh Duffy's neighbor, when Mr. Duffy caught him in the act.  Wardrip shot Duffy and he died two days later on the afternoon of the 19th of February 1902.  After apprehending and questioning a few suspects, Charles Wardrip, who had adopted several aliases and had since fled to Salt Lake City , was brought back to Sacramento in May.  Wardrip originally refused counsel and entered a guilty plea, but the judged refused his plea and assigned two attorneys to represent him at trial.  On July 30th, a jury found Wardrip guilty of murder.  He was sent to San Quentin where he was hanged on February 26, 1904.

I don't know much about Hugh Duffy's ancestry.  He was born in Ireland and became a U.S. Citizen in 1873.  He was the brother of Patrick H. Duffy, and Mary Duffy-Lavelle, who supposedly was the daughter of Michael Duffy and Mary Lennon of County Roscommon, Ireland.  A James Duffy is also buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery.  He was also born in County Roscommon, Ireland.  A brother perhaps?

If you have any information, I'd appreciate it if you'd share it with me. 


  1. So many fascinating stories in cemeteries! Thanks for sharing this one. Where is the cemetery?

  2. This was in Sacramento. The cemetery was founded in the 1860's and I believe it is still in use today. Thanks for reading! :-)