From: Salt Lake City Herald, Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday April 1, 1906, Section 1, Page 16.


Captain Walter Kirton, War Correspondent Marries Mrs. Vivian Jones of Salt Lake City (March 31, 1906)


     Venus and Mars met at Hymen's altar yesterday in the marriage of Mrs. Vivian Jones of Salt Lake and Captain Walter Kirton, famous the world over as a war correspondent.  The wedding was quietly celebrated in the office of the county clerk at the City and County building about 11 o'clock.  Captain and Mrs. Kirton will leave this morning for a six months trip to China to which country Captain Kirton has been detailed by the London Graphic for which he is a writer. Mrs. Kirton is well known to Salt Lakers as Madame Jones, for several years designer of fashions at the Keith O'Brien Company.  Behind the wedding which culminated yesterday is a pretty love story extending over a period of two years and having some of its scenes set in London, some in Salt Lake and some in mid ocean.   

     About eighteen months ago Captain Kirton was returning from the Russo Japanese war. He had been sent out before the war broke out as a special correspondent of the Central News Bureau and the London Graphic to cover one of the largest assignments ever given a writer telling the story as it happened during the progress of the war.  On his way out the Captain went from St Petersburg to Tokyo via the Trans Siberian railroad to vary the monotony partly, and also because it was dangerous to travel overland to London. Captain Kirton sailed from Nagasaki to San Francisco thence going to New York and on to London.

Meets Present Wife

     Taking passage on the Lucania for Liverpool seemed to be his fate for it was while on board that he met his present wife.  About the time that Captain Kirton arrived in this country Mrs. Jones decided to make a trip to Europe to study styles in London and Paris She engaged passage on the Lucania and at almost the same hour as did the captain. Going down the gangplank of the steamer Mrs. Jones was preceded by Captain Kirton by the space of a few seconds.  At that time neither knew of the existence of the other. It was mere chance which brought them together. 

     During her first interview with the steward of the Lucania, Mrs. Jones was apprised of the fact that she had been assigned to a seat at the table next to an Englishman.  Another link in the chain of events which led to yesterday's marriage was then and there woven. "But I do not care to sit by any Englishman" said Mrs. Jones.  "They all bore me to death.  They are a dull lot and I should prefer to be placed at another table.  Cannot you arrange it for me." 

     "I am sure you will find this particular Englishman out of the ordinary" said the steward. "You will not find him dull.  He is a returned warrior from China." 

     After some hesitancy Mrs. Jones allowed herself to be introduced to the Englishman next to whom she was forced to sit.   It was Captain Kirton. 

The Two Become Acquainted 

     The first meal they ate together was decidedly frigid.  The captain tried in every manner to make friends with Mrs. Jones but she would have none of  him.  This continued for the first day. During the morning of the second day Mrs. Jones and the captain happened to meet on deck.  A truce was there and then declared.  The two became friends in an hour and lovers in a day.  Before land was sighted the captain had told the old old story and his words were listened to approvingly by the charming widow.  In London and Paris to which the captain followed his prospective bride he told her again and again the story.  At last he won and she partly agreed to marry him some day if he would come to America after his arduous lecture work was over.

     After Mrs. Jones had returned to Salt Lake, Captain Kirton kept the wires hot and the mails congested with cablegrams and letters to his lady love.  Many were the plans laid by each but fate seemed to keep them apart.  The Captain was compelled to remain in Europe for a considerable period as he was under contract to lecture in some 200 different cities and towns in England and on the Continent.  Upon receiving his assignment to go to China and write of conditions as they obtain there, he wired Mrs. Jones that he would come this way.  He told her to be prepared for a surprise.  This surprise turned out to be her marriage.

Widely Known In Europe 

     Capt ain Kirton is well known to the reading public of England and Europe through his articles on political subjects. He has been the correspondent for the Graphic in half a dozen wars.  He is looked upon as one of the foremost writers in Europe.  

     Mrs. Kirton, better known to Salt Lakers as Madame Jones, is considered one of the best fashion designers in the United States. When Mrs. Jones announced to her work girls in the dressmaking shop of the store Friday that she would be married on the morrow and that they would see her no more as their employer the girls got together and formulated a regular college yell which they forthwith proceeded to give.  The hilarity overcame them as many burst into tears.  Yesterday the employees of the store made visits to Mrs. Kirton's apartments to wish her well. 

     "Happy, well yes I'm happy" said Captain Kirton yesterday.  And he looked the part "You see I have won just about the finest woman in the world.  The strange thing to me is that so fine a woman as Mrs. Jones, pardon, Mrs. Kirton, should remain untaken for so many years.  After all, the Englishman, so much noted for his slowness, had to win the prize from all you good Americans.  I made up my mind to have her some two years ago and I've got her now.  I was not sure of it though until today, when the ceremony was really over.  I've had to work pretty hard these last three days." 

     This morning the couple will leave Salt Lake for San Francisco.  Next Saturday they will sail for Japan and from there they will go to China.  They will remain there for six to eight months.  While in China Captain Kirton will study conditions there.  It is possible that the Captain and his wife will, if it be not too dangerous, travel into the interior of China. Upon completing his work in China, the captain and his bride will return to the United States.  He is under contract to give a series of lectures for the Pond Lyceum bureau of New York.