No doubt suspecting that Grace's parents would disapprove of her choice of a husband, the young couple kept the nature of their relationship hidden from the Welds (as well as the remainder of the estate staff) until their sudden marriage on January 25, 1904, while the Welds were visiting Connecticut. Tipped off by an estate employee, the Welds returned immediately to Middleborough. James H. Creedon recounts the tale:
The residents of the south part of the town are greatly surprised over the marriage of Kendrick Harrison Tribou of this town and Miss Grace Whittaker, who claims New York as her home, though she lives with her mother, Mrs. Weld, at their country home here.
Tribou is about 25, of good appearance and for the past four years has been helper on the country estate of Clifford Weld in the portion of the town known as “the Neck.”
Miss Whittaker is the 20-year-old daughter of Mrs. Weld by a former marriage, has mingled in good society in New York, is accomplished and the neighbors at “the Neck” say she was educated at Wellesley.
It is also rumored that she stood a good chance to come in for some of the Weld fortune, which is estimated at about $1,000,000.
The marriage took place while Mr. and Mrs. Weld were in Connecticut. They have since returned, and are said to be considerably put out over the affair. Mr. Weld was seen today by a reporter, but declined to say anything on the subject.
Although it was known at the place that the young woman and Tribou were friendly, there was nothing which would lead one to believe there was anything ardent in their acquaintance.
Last Monday their marriage intentions were entered at the office of the town clerk A. H. Eaton, and a license was issued. They went to the residence of Rev. E. E. Williams of this town, and were married. They then returned to the Weld house, remaining till the next day, when they left.
According to the story told they went to Boston, and later to Plymouth, where they have been for several days.
Marriage record of Kendrick H. Tribou and Grace Whittaker,
Annual Report of the Town Officers of Middleborough,
Mass., for the Year 1904 (Middleborough, MA: Town of
Middleborough, 1905), p. 88.
It seems that the young woman had charge of the place, Mr. and Mrs. Weld were gone and when it was decided that the time for the marriage had arrived. It is said, she requested Myles Standish, the head farmer, to hitch up a horse for them. It is also said she told him that a marriage was to take place, and on learning this he refused to hitch up the horse.
Roland Tinkham, another employee, loaned them his team to get to Rock village, at which point they could connect with steam or electric cars.
Standish, having heard of their securing a team, immediately followed the pair, and it is said he telephoned to Mrs. Weld. She returned home next day.
The Weld estate is one of the finest in town, and is situated on the Marion road, about seven miles from here.
For several years following their marriage, the Tribous resided at Clark's Island in Plymouth where Tribou found work as a farmer. By 1930, the couple appears to have reconciled with the Welds and had returned to Middleborough where they lived on Marion Road. At the time, Tribou was employed as an estate care taker, possibly on the Weld estate. Despite the indignation and initial disapproval of the Welds, the young couple never wavered. Kendrick Tribou and Grace Whittaker were wed for the remainder of their lives.
Unidentified newspaper clipping, February 1, 1904, James H. Creedon scrapbook, Mddleborough Public Library.