- Published: 10 August 2016 10 August 2016
An elopement frustrated - Aberdeen Evening Express, 17 July 1888:
A singular scene was (says a correspondent) witnessed in the Citadel Station, Carlisle, yesterday morning, when the police frustrated the elopement of a lady and gentleman from the Lake District. It appears that a young gentleman, giving the name of Walter Phelps Dodge, son of Mr Stuart Dodge, of New York, and cousin of the late American Ambassador in London, had, along with his tutor, lately been staying in Keswick, and had become enamoured with Miss Ida Lena Cooke, daughter of the well-known circus proprietor, who is also in Keswick at the present time with his troupe of horses and performers.
Both parties are young, the would-be husband giving his age as nineteen, while that of his inamorato is seventeen. An elopement was agreed upon, and on Sunday the parties arrived at Workington, where they stayed over the evening.
Yesterday morning they took first-class tickets for Glasgow by the train leaving Workington at 6:50. In the meantime, however, Miss Cooke was missed, and, as the result of inquiries made, her father discovered the situation of affairs, and at once sent off several telegraphic messages to different quarters along the route to Carlisle, including one to the Chief Constable of Carlisle. When the train arrived at Carlisle the eloping couple at once took their seat in a first-class carriage of the 9 a.m. Glasgow train on the Caledonian Railway.
Their hopes of escape without detection were soon blighted, for a member of the Carlisle police force had in the meantime arrived on the scene and informed the loved that the father of the young lady had telegraphed to intercept them in their flight.
Both parties, at the request of the policeman, left the train and remained at the station until the arrival of the father of the lady, who accompanied his daughter back to Keswick in the course of the forenoon. The young American has, it is said, telegraphed to his parents in New York for their consent to his marriage with Miss Cooke, within a week, by special licence.
A search of online family trees reveals their union produced three children. Their marriage did not last however, and Ida remarried in 1902 to a Herbert Pollexfen Robinson with whom she had two children. Ida died just a few weeks short of her 101st birthday.
Walter Phelps Dodge had a successful career as an author and lawyer. Born in Syria, 1869; he died in Paris in 1931. He wrote: Three Greek Tales; As the Crow Flies; A Strong Man Armed; The Sea of Love; The Real Sir Richard Burton; The Purple Iris).