I am still working on the timeline for Florence and George, but here is a transcription of an article that best sums up the relationship and how the marriage became so convoluted:
San Francisco Call, Volume 95, Number 4, 4 December 1903, p. 6
WHITTELL STORY TOLD BY PAPERS
Missing, Documents Are Returned to Judge Troutt.
Hanlon’s Clerk Surrenders Miss Boyere’s Marriage Contract.
The judgment roll in the case of George Whittell Jr. against Florence Boyere, the suit which was so carefully manipulated by the attorneys in the case, particularly Charles Hanlon, attorney for the plaintiff, that all knowledge of it was suppressed for days, is at last complete. The missing papers, namely, the deposition of Miss Boyere and her answer and cross-com-plaint, which mysteriously disappeared from the County Clerk’s office the day the case was tried, were returned late yesterday afternoon. The man who brought them back was “William G. Cousins, Attorney Hanlon’s man-of-all work, the man who repeatedly denied having any knowledge of the case the papers connected with it the day the fact that they were missing was discovered. He walked Into Judge Troutt’s courtroom yesterday afternoon, deposited the papers with the Judge, coolly informed his Honor that they were the papers in the “Whittell case and walked out, vouchsafing no explanation as to their whereabouts since November 9, the. day the action was surreptitiously tried and adjudicated.
STORY IS REVEALED. The character of the papers make plain the attorney’s reason for keeping them out of sight. Had they been seen it would have been impossible to keep
from the public the story of the contract marriage of young Whittell, the grandson of Nicholas Luning, the famous money-lender, and beautiful Florence Boyere, the divorced wife of Homer Selby, the brother of “Kid” McCoy, the pugilist. At present she is the sister-in-law of Selby, for a short time after the erstwhile Mrs. Selby got her divorce on the ground of infidelity he married her pretty sister, Rosalie Boyere. The papers would also have revealed that Attorney Hanlon’s suit over “adverse claims” (for such was the type of action he brought at the request of Whittell’s father to determine the validity of the contract marriage) was a suit in which not only was the contract itself involved, but the property of young Whittell and also his honor. For Miss Boyere in her cross-complaint alleges that Whittell betrayed her under promise of marriage. For this she asked for $100,000 damages, but waived her right to monetary balm in the event that’ the evidence adduced would show that she was the lawful wife of Whittell.
CONTRACT IN EVIDENCE.
Miss Boyere’s deposition showed that the alleged marriage took place in New York, December 2, 1902, at the home of Charles T. Henshall. Previous to that time she held a written agreement of Whittell’s to make her his wife, but this she surrendered to his father, and it was destroyed. The contract marriage, however, she held, and it was made part of the evidence In the case. It reads as follows: December 2. 1002. I hereby agree to and have married George Whittell Jr. to-night. FLORENCE M. BOYERE. I hereby agree to and have married Florence M. Boyere to-night. GOEORGE WHITTELL JR. .Witnesses— Charles T. Henshall, Grace E. Henshall.” In “her deposition she says that the night the contract was executed she asked, in response to Whittell’s request that “she become his wife, that some one to preform the ceremony be sent for, but he suggested the contract. He then begged her not to record it on the ground that he feared- his father would learn of his becoming a benedict. He fairly cried for her to marry ‘him, she says, agreeing that in the event of her becoming his bride he would rernew the contract every six months. She also states that she was left penniless in Chicago, and that before coming but here she was compelled to pawn her sealskin coat and her jewelry.