Article printed in the Morning Republican 1/16/1896

Walter D. Hodgson's
dream of wedded bliss was rudely shattered yesterday afternoon when his father, William H. Hodgson, caused his arrest as he was leaving the Green Tree waiting room in quest of a license to marry Miss Anne Griffin, the nineteen-year-old daughter of Patrick Griffin, who farms the Casper Faucett place.

Young Hodgson is twenty-two years old and the only son of William H. Hodgson, of this borough. For several months he has been paying Miss Griffin attention, and the couple had made arrangements to be married last evening at 5 o'clock. The ceremony was to have been performed at the parachial residence of St. Agnes Catholic Church.


Yesterday afternoon Hodgson entered Clerk of the Courts Bair's office and applied for a marriage license. A member of the Chester County Bar overheard the young man's request and at once hurried to the business place of William H. Hodgson and informed the father of his son's intention to get married. The father was surprised and at once took counsel in the matter.


Mr. Hodgson, the father, consulted with Captain R.T. Cornwell, of the firm Cornwell and Cornwell, and as a result of the advice given by the attorney, the old gentleman hunted up officer Jacob Farra and instructed the man in blue to arrest his son on sight and bring him before him. This the policeman promised to do, and at once began searching for the young lover.


The truth of the saying that the course of true love never runs smooth was exemplified in this instance, for Walter had no sooner made application for the license than the clerk informed him that the consent of the mother or father of the girl would have to be secured, in view of the fact that Miss Griffin has not yet attained her majority.


Nothing daunted by the obstacle, which was thrown in his way; young Hodgson called on Mrs. Griffin, the mother of his bride-to-be, and informed her that her consent was necessary before he could wed her daughter. The mother, who evidently desired a culmination of the long courtship, expressed her willingness, and informed Walter that she would visit the Clerk of the Courts.


Mrs. Griffin called at the Clerk of the Courts' office and introduced herself as the mother of the young lady whom Mr. Hodgson intended to marry. The certificate was produced and Mrs. Griffin attached her signature to the document. Then she asked whether she would take charge of it and upon being informed that it could only be given to one of the principals, whose names were mentioned therein, departed, after replying to a query as to where Walter was by saying that he was probably down at Faucett's farm.


The reply was at once transmitted to Hodgson, Sr., who dispatched Chief of Police Jefferis to the home of the Griffin's. The Chief drove down the pike and inquired at the Griffin home for Walter Hodgson, but was informed that the young man and his sweetheart were in (West) Chester.


It developed that young Hodgson and his sweetheart were communing with each other in the parlor of the Green Tree Hotel. When Mrs. Griffin returned from the Clerk's office she informed the young people that the certificate awaited their pleasure at the Clerk's office, and young Walter at once started out to secure it, after telling his bride-elect that he would return in due time and that a cab would call for them at five o'clock, to convey them to the parachial house.


Walter left the hotel and crossed the street in the direction of the Assembly Building. Officer Farra saw him and at once approached.

"Sorry to trouble you," said the officer, "but I have orders to bring you before your father."

Hodgson expostulated in vain, and realizing that the officer was firm accompanied him to his father's place of business.


When the youthful prisoner was conducted into the presence of his gray-haired parent he savagely demanded to know why the pater had not called on the entire police force and the business manager to arrest him.

"I haven't done anything wrong," said the youth. "I merely wish to marry."

Then the father declared that he would have his son sent to Kirkbride Insane Assylum, and he instructed Chief of Police Jefferis to conduct him to a physician's office, where a commission in lunacy would determine his mental condition.

Hodgson was taken to the doctor's office, where he remained for several hours, in custody of Chief Jefferis.


Mr. Hodgson, the father visited the Griffin home the other evening and tried to prevail upon the parents to forbid their daughter receiving the attentions of his son, but the parents seemed to think that it was a matter for the young people to settle between them, and they declined to interfere, after considering the attendant


Shortly after the supper hour last evening the youth was permitted to leave the physicians' office and at once entered his home, which is situated on South Church street. The matter of the young man's mental condition is being held under consideration, and it is not known positively what course the father will decide upon to day. However, it may be said that he is unalterably opposed to the marriage, and will use every effort to avert it.


Miss Griffin, the girl upon whom young Hodgson lavished his affections, resided in West Chester for many years, living with her parents on North New street. Some months since the family vacated the house, which they own and moved down to the Faucett farm, the girls remaining in West Chester, where they are employed. For a long time young Hodgson has been assiduous in his attentions to Miss Griffin, and apparently, they have been very devoted. If the young man adheres to his resolution to marry the girl nothing can prevent their union, but the parents will exhaust every means in their power to avert a consummation of the match.

In the End

Walter Hodgson and Annie Griffin did eventually marry and had two daughters ( Ann and Willhelmina).