Marriage/Divorce Articles, Dallas County, Texas

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(Updated January 12, 2002)




A Chat With County Clerk Hill on Their

    "No marriage licenses issued to-day," said County Clerk Hill yesterday to a NEWS reporter, and then he became explanatory, saying: "Monday is an off day in the connubial business, except it happens to turn cold and then the natural order of creation is upset. A stiff norther is worth $5 to the County Clerk. I cannot go into the philosophy of the business, but you can look at the record if you remember when the cold days were and see for yourself. Everything else being equal, most marriages occur on Thursday, just as most hangings come off on Friday. It may be from the force of custom that this is so, and the custom, which dates back beyond my remembrance, may have had its origin in the wise economy of the mammies. You see, they washed on Monday and they dried on Tuesday, and they ironed on Wednesday, so that the simple preparations for the nuptials were all ready by Thursday. Be this as it may, the record shows that there were nine times as many weddings on Thursday as on Monday. Next to Thursday comes Sunday as a marrying day. Church members, as a rule, prefer to enter the holy state on the Lord's day, probably because they want all the sanctity possible thrown around the solemnization of their vows. But Thursday and Monday ordinarily represent respectively the flood and ebb of matrimony. Divorces! Well, they are most numerous in cold weather, particularly where the cause is desertion."
    "Which proves that cold feed cut no figure in the case?"
    "None whatever. But then divorces come in waves, and, like earthquakes, there is no telling when they do come, except that they are largely a winter crop. Of course, in a great many cases marriages speedily follow the separation, and in such cases, winter being the marrying season, it also becomes the divorce season."
    "What class of brides do you find to be least bashful?"
    "Well, of course, widows; and they, too, are, as a rule, the most fascinating--probably for the reason that the bride without previous experience feels embarrassed and suppressed her smiles. But I have seen brides of the latter class who smiled through their tears, as the poet says, like the sunshine in showers, and they, I thought, looked too charming for anything. As a class, country brides are most bashful, but then as city brides but very rarely call here to marry I may be mistaken."

- November 23, 1886, Dallas Morning News, p. 8, col. 4.
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Record Was Established in
District Clerk's Office


     Ten divorce suits were filed in the district clerk's office yesterday, which is the record for Dallas county, and probably the entire state, for one day. Chief Deputy Clerk Henry H. Williams was kept busy recording the suits all day, and he is of the opinion that it will be many a day before the record is equaled. August is said to be the banner month for divorce suits for some reason or other, according to records kept for the past five years, but it was never anticipated that the record of yesterday would be established.
     Half of the suits were filed in each of the two district courts and will come up for trial this fall. The largest number of divorces granted in one day was fifteen in the year 1902.
     Yesterday, there were only two marriage licenses issued by the county clerk, which shows the contracting parties will have to get busy or the divorces will be in the majority at the end of the year.

- August 8, 1903, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 6-7.
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