Divorce 1925 style

The October 24 1925 edition of the Toronto Daily Star had an article about a divorce proceeding that was far from amicable, to put it mildly:


I was curious what happened, so I did a search for Hilda Betty Cooke in the Toronto Daily Star newspaper archives. The divorce turned out to be a long and bitter process – there were Daily Star articles going back at least to late 1924, and on into 1926. I found five others, and there were probably several more. I’ll just list the headline and sometimes a brief summary;

In chronological order:

  • September 24 1924: Wife sues James Cooke for $50 a week alimony
  • January 14 1925: Argument continued in the Cooke case: there apparently were allegations against Mrs. Cooke that were not proven
  • January 21 1925: Court hears a rumor Mrs. Cooke is in U.S.: she had allegedly moved to Buffalo with her mother and five-year-old daughter
  • January 27 1925: Father given custody of the Cooke child: she had allegedly been guilty of “marital misconduct” with three men
  • March 25 1926: Find both Cooke parents fit and proper persons: a judge in Salt Lake City, Utah, ruled that the child’s happiness would be endangered if she were to be returned to her father, a comparative stranger. The Cookes had recently been divorced in Reno, and had originally married on December 28, 1918.

That was the last article I could find that mentioned the divorce, but I also found a June 9 1926 article in the Daily Star in which it was alleged that members of the Cooke family had done some monkey business related to mortgages:

Cooke Jun 9 1926

This was the latest reference I could find to Mrs. Cooke, at least as late as 1929.

I also searched for Mr. Cooke in the Toronto city directories: there is a James H. Cooke listed as a barrister in the 1925 and 1926 directories, but not after that.

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