Desert Messenger

February 6, 2013

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February 6, 2013 Voices from The Past in Quartzsite, AZ Excerpts from "In the Shadow of Saguaros" by Rosalee Oldham Wheeler George Hagley Quartzsite's Marrying Judge For thirty-one years, the sign in front of Judge George Hagley's home, which also served as the Quartzsite's Justice Court, read "Let's Get Married", and many couples did. By the thousands, actually over 43,000 with Justice of the Peace Hagely and his various J.P. predecessors assisting couples in tying the wedding knot, many occurring during World War II. At that time, California law required couples who wanted a marriage license, to first get a blood test and then wait three days before the license could be issued. Arizona had no such law, so during all hours of the day and night couples would drive across the border and seek out the "Marrying Judge". With marines, soldiers, sailors, and air force personnel preparing to be sent to faraway places, many couples wanted to get married. The word was out that, over in Arizona, couples didn't need a blood test and the required threeday wait. Quartzsite was just across the state line and all a couple had to do was get a license from the Clerk of Court, and the J.P. could make it legal in less than 30 minutes. Sweethearts came by car (even though gas ration cards were precious), some by bus, and others even hitchhiked. Greyhound bus drivers knew the routine; let the couple off, point the way to the home-office of the Clerk of Court who, if the couple arrived during the night, kept a porch light on and had a bench where they could wait for her to dress. It wasn't hard to find Judge Hagley's "Let's Get Married" sign on U.S. Highway 60 (now B-10 / Main Street on the NW corner of Moon Mountain Road) because the sign was well-lit during Beautiful Quartzsite Home For Sale By Owner 655 West Cowell 3 Desert-colored Buildings: 1960 sq. ft. Ranch Home w/Long Backyard Awning and Fans, Large Lapidary Workshop w/6" Insulated Walls, Extra tall & Large Garage & Pebble-Tec Pool with Kool Deck finished Jan. 2010. Most areas cemented for maintenance-free living. Double sliding glass door w/Levelors with nice view of pool. All 1-year-old appliances included. Vaulted ceilings. Landscaping has been left open for you to finish your way. RV hook-ups. Completely fenced (back privacy fencing) and gated w/lots of tall Mexican brick fencing on the sides. Energy-efficient outside floodlights. All permits through final inspection completed. 32' x 38' Garage has 19' ceiling & 14.5' door to fit toy haulers; plenty of room for racks and other storage. Best Buy in Quartzsite! $199,000 Cash OR $209,900 Terms. More details? See (search under Quartzsite, AZ). Call to see: 760-415-2021. Page 21 the night. If the couple hadn't already called upon the Clerk of Court, George would point the way to the office of his sister-in-law Elsie Kuehn, who would issue the marriage license. If the soonto-be newlyweds didn't have the required two witnesses, George would let them know that they could invite the Clerk and she would assist in finding a second witness. George also had a bench on his lighted porch for folks to wait while he dressed for the occasion. In 1952 Elsie turned the position of Clerk over to Virginia Underwood, who on occasion called on me as that needed second witness. Fifteen dollars was the tariff to get married; $4 for the license, $3 each for the witnesses, and $5 for the judge. Not all couples were those about to be separated by the war. Many were Hollywood celebrities like Jack Kelly who was James Garner's co-star in the "Maverick" TV series. When we moved to Quartzsite in 1939, it was a wonderful little town with three gas stations, two grocery stores, one church, two bars, and a post office with 69 boxes. One of the first people we met was John "George" Hagley, Quartzsite's native son who was serving on the Yuma County Board of Supervisor's. He drove a creamcolored 1936 Oldsmobile coupe and up until then, cars driven in / through Quartzsite had to bump along on a bed of loose gravel. Then in November of 1930, U.S. Highway 60 was extended from California into Arizona and paved through Quartzsite. Supervisor Hagley had worked hard to convince his counterparts on the Board of Supervisors for that stretch of highway to be paved. Roads, bridges, schools, and public buildings for northern Yuma SEE JUDGE PAGE 22 IRONWOOD OUTPOST, LLC 225 North Central Quartzsite, AZ 85359-4750 Office: 928-927-8543 Fax: 928-550-7020 Conveniently located in the Horizon Community Bank parking lot ANNOUNCING NEW ENHANCED MAIL SERVICES COME SEE US This year we are introducing our new mail meter which will allow cer�fied le�ers and other mail to be processed through our office. Ironwood Outpost, LLC, is an established private mail box service and shipping company that offers secure, friendly, personalized service at compe��ve prices. In fact, one of our clients had this to say about our service; "...I am glad to say I found the answer, Ironwood Outpost Mail Service. These people are the most efficient and friendly of all the mail services that I have used in the past... Do yourself a favor and try Ironwood Outpost. You will love their service too." - Marvin, 2011. In addi�on to private mail boxes, we offer a range of other services so we can assist you with a variety of your needs • NOTARY There are two notaries on staff to service our walk-in customers. • UPS/FEDEX We ship UPS & FedEx, take Return Label packages and allow you to deliver to our address. • OFFICE SERVICES: Copies, fax (incoming amd outgoing), email retrieval, etc.

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