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New York Times / February 13, 1911
William Earl Dodge Stokes, the proprietor of the Hotel Ansonia, was married in Jersey City Saturday to Miss Helen Ellwood of Denver, Col., who since last July has been staying at the Antonia with Dr. and Mrs. W. A. Hendryx, her sister and brother-in-law. According to the Hendryxes yesterday, Mr. Stokes had been paying Miss Ellwood attention for some time, but the wedding itself came to them as a surprise.

The Rev. Dr. John L. Scudder, a retired pastor of the First Congregational Church of Jersey City, who performed the ceremony, was graduated from Yale University with in the class of 1874. Mr. Stokes telephoned to the clergyman last week, asking whether Dr. Scudder objected to marrying divorced persons. Mr. Stokes was divorced from his first wife eleven years ago. Dr. Scudder said he had no objection and would perform the ceremony for his friend.

Mr. Stokes and Miss Ellwood and one other man, besides a chauffeur, arrived in front of Dr. Scudder’s home, 117 Bentley Avenue, Jersey City, on Saturday morning at 10:30 o’clock. The trio entered the house, leaving the chauffeur in the car. Dr. Scudder then performed the ceremony, his wife, Olive M. Scudder, acting as second witness. After the ceremony the party drove away without telling Dr. Scudder where they were going.

In making out the blank to be filed by the clergyman with the Board of Health of New Jersey, Mr. Stokes described himself as “over 45 years old,” and his profession as “builder.” Miss Ellwood described herself as being 24 years old; residence, Denver; father, John D. Ellwood; mother, Emma Coombs.

“The second Mrs. Stokes is exceptionally good-looking,” Dr. Scudder said yesterday. “She is an auburn type, with reddish hair.”

“Mr. Stokes and my sister-in-law got into an automobile together on Saturday and went over to Jersey City and were married there,” said Dr. Hendryx to a Times reporter yesterday. “I was not present at the ceremony, and, although I had known of Mr. Stokes’s attentions to my sister-in-law for some time, I was not consulted about the ceremony itself. I did not know it had happened till afterward. Miss Ellwood is 24 years old, a brilliant amateur pianist and a member of the best society in Denver. She came to visit my wife at the Ansonia last July. I do not remember just when she met Mr. Stokes first in the hotel or when they became engaged, but there was an engagement, and we expected that the marriage would take place, so it was not an elopement.”

Mr. Stokes himself is over 55 years of age. His father was the late James Stokes, who married Caroline Phelps, the daughter of the founder of Phelps, Dodge & Co.

His is a nephew of William Earl Dodge, the philanthropist, and a brother of Anson Phelps Stokes and James Stokes, the bankers. He is an uncle of the present Secretary of Yale University, Anson Phelps Stokes Jr.

He is himself a graduate of Yale. In 1895 he married Rita Hernandez de Alba Acosta, the nineteen-year-old daughter of Ricardo Acosta, a wealthy Cuban land owner. The marriage took place at the home of the bride’s parents.

Five years later Mrs. Stokes obtained a divorce, the papers in the case being kept secret.

Three years ago Mr. Stokes was sued by Mrs. Lucy Randolph for $4,500 for the maintenance of her four-year-old son.


Despite what the New York Times and other newspaper said at the time, Dr. and Mrs. Hendryx were not Helen Ellwood's brother-in-law and sister. The quote that has Dr. Hendryx referring to Helen Ellwood as "my sister-in-law" must have resulted from a misunderstanding.

Near as I can tell, Helen Ellwood was not related in any way to the couple, but somehow knew them from Denver. I believe Dr. Wilbur A. Hendryx was a millionaire who made more money from mining than from his medical practice. He was a Connecticut native, but had gold mines in British Columbia and Arizona, plus business interests in Colorado. He lived in Los Angeles for several years. In 1911 he was 61 years old.

Why he and his wife had moved into the Hotel Ansonia in New York and how long they remained there are unknown. This was his second marriage; his first wife died in the 1890s. His second wife's maiden name was Marie Elizabeth Bishop.

 
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