Several Texas couples say 'I do' again in Durant

By: Morgan Downing Email
By: Morgan Downing Email

DURANT, OK -- Texas couples said 'I do' again in Durant Saturday, as part of a historical moment.

Four couples gathered on the Bryan County Courthouse lawn Saturday to say "I do" one more time.

"It was great," Shirley McAdams said.

"We really enjoyed it," Milburn McAdams said.

Saturday's event was put on to showcase the history the city shares with Texans. From 1907 up to the 1980s, thousands of Texas couples were married in Oklahoma to get hitched faster.

"It was a quick way to get married. They could just find a Justice of the Peace, get their marriage license, their blood test and have it all done in one day," organizer Nancy Ferris said.

So, for those love birds who couldn't wait three days -- like Milburn and Shirley McAdams -- Durant was the place to tie the knot. In 1956, the McAdams said I do for the first time in Durant -- also called the "marriage mill".

"We found the Justice of the Peace, got the blood work done and went home and told my mother and dad," Shirley said. "And my dad said 'no I don't believe it. You didn't do that." My dad said 'no! You didn't do that'. And I showed mom where they took blood out of my arm and she said 'I believe it!'"

The McAdams are celebrating their 57th anniversary this year, and hope to celebrate many more.

"All of those years, all of those people that came here were making history and didn't even know it," Ferris said.

Three Valley Museum curator, Nancy Ferris, says she knows of one popular Justice of the Peace who claimed to have married 25,000 couples himself. And of those thousands, at least two famous names came through.

"Actress Rosemary Clooney married in Durant. She was the famous aunt of actor George Clooney. And then Marina Oswald, who was the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald, came here to get her marriage license and then was chased away by the paprazzi here," Ferris said,

Ferris says she hopes to make the vow renewal an annual event.

If you tied the knot in Durant, or know a couple that has, the Three Valley Museum wants to hear the story for a book they're putting together.


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