Mrs. Seaborg Remembers Their Wedding

The Seaborgs' Wedding Anniversary On the evening of June 4, Seaborg and Helen Griggs boarded the "Lark" to travel to Los Angeles to introduce the bride-to-be to her new family. They arrived at their destination on the morning of the 5th and spent a pleasant day visiting with relatives and old friends. That same evening, the couple left Union Station for Caliente, Nevada, where the marriage was supposed to have taken place. To their vexation, however, they found that the nearest place to obtain a marriage license was in Pioche, 25 miles away. Through the offices of a friendly sheriff who was, coincidentally, a recent graduate of Berkeley and recognized Seaborg, they were able to hitch a ride on a mail truck. After buying the license from the county clerk and rounding up a local judge, the wedding was performed. As Seaborg himself put it, "You might say we had an austerity wedding, but that is in keeping with the times." (Above: Glenn and Helen Seaborg at Dr. Seaborg's birthday party, Lawrence Hall of Science, 4-26-92.)

A few months after the wedding, Helen Seaborg wrote the following account of the event:

We had quite a time getting married but it was also very amusing; in fact, it began to feel like a movie scenario before we got through. We got off the train in Caliente, Nevada, on Saturday morning, June 6, about ten o'clock with a great deal of confidence, without a care in the world and a feeling that we merely had to take care of a few details and we would then have been quietly married. Little did we realize what was in store for us! We first decided to check our bags, but Caliente had no checkroom. The telegraph operator finally told Glenn that he could leave our things in his place. We deposited our junk and proceeded out to look over the town and find the place to get a marriage license. Being a little coy, we strolled around looking for the place instead of boldly asking anyone. Since we couldn't locate the city hall or anything that remotely resembled same, we finally went in to the town telephone and asked the woman who operated it. She acted as though she had never heard of such a thing as a "city hall." We then asked where on could get a marriage license, to which she replied, "Why, from Evans Edwards" in tones that clearly indicated she thought us terribly stupid not to know that. Glenn asked her where Ev was, and she said, "Why, down around the corner next to the drug store." Her tones indicated that it was the same place it had always been, what was the matter with us anyway. So nothing to what the country folk do to the city guys. We met a man with a bunch of pictures of the Pioche High School band, and it seemed the band has just won some kind of an honor and that they would be able to do something else wonderful if only we bought one of the pictures. He told us that this was the only honor that had ever come to Pioche and put up a wonderful sales talk - what could we do but purchase a picture of the Pioche High School band. On the way back into town we met a very palsy-walsy fellow (slightly tipsy), but he wanted us to stop and have a cigarette with him. We gravely thanked him, told him we were very sorry we didn't smoke. This left him feeling very sad, and he assured us he wasn't mad and that we didn't have to have a cigarette with him. We loafed around and drank cokes until the mail truck started back, and we arrived back in Caliente about 5:30. So we say it took us all day to get married.

Confidentially, I was beginning to wonder if we were really going to get married, and Glenn doesn't deny that he conjured up these obstacles himself in the hope that he would get out if it at the last moment. The funny part is that we got married in Nevada to save time.