Agnes Dzugas

In February of 1916, 42-year-old Eva Krakonowicz died in her Chicago home from an abortion perpetrated that day by midwife Agnes Dzugas. Dzugas was held by the coroner and indicted by a Grand Jury, but the case never went to trial.

In searching for more about Agnes Dzugas, I found a tragic story. A Chicago police detective had heard that twin infant boys were very ill, and had been given nothing but a little water for several days. When police went to investigate, they found 33-day-old Albert Yocius dead, and his brother Edward near death. (Edward, I learned, died ten days later.) Their father, Tony Yocius, said that Agnes Dzugas had advised him to let the children just die because they were too premature to survive. It stands to reason that this is the same Agnes Dzugas identified as the midwife responsible for Eva’s death, since a midwife would likely be somebody the father would look to regarding care of newborns. (“Father Says Girl Advised Him to Let Children Die,” Chicago Tribune, Jan. 20, 1919)

However, Agnes Dzugas died at age 58 in 1941, which would have put her in her mid-30s, unlikely to be identified as a “girl,” at the time the twins died. Though she did have two daughters, neither was named Agnes. So I’ve been unable to discover what connection, if any, she had with the death of the two little boys.