RVO Staff Writer
Once the Janitor of the very institution he would later run for over 30 years, Mayor Frank Hague Jersey City’s longest Mayor is a legend in United States Politics.
He helped elect Presidents, was friends with celebrities, sports legends and gangsters of the era.
Both loved, hated and feared by the people of Jersey City Frank Hague made things happen for Jersey City
Some say for a price and some say he used his desk as away to make things happen.
Hudson County legend has it that Mayor Hague’s desk enabled the Mayor the ability to collect pay-offs (if that is true) without ever having to physically take the envelope himself. Supposedly as Boss Hague sat behind his desk, meeting visitors he would enable a secret draw to pop out the front of his desk, from the back where he sat, allowing monies to be collected without ever accepting the money by hand.
Having heard of this desk growing up in the then gritty and tough streets of Jersey City’s post Hague era , then run by John V. Kenny and others, and still a mighty machine. Hague’s desk was the stuff of legends to us kids.
As a young man I would picture him sitting there stiff collar, dressed to the nines, smiling, laying down the law and popping out that secret draw in his infamous desk.
Recently on a visit to Jersey City’s City Hall, tucked in a corner on the 2nd floor across from the City Council Chambers, is Boss Hague’s desk on display.
Expertly made, with the best wood, obviously handcrafted and if true, somewhere inside that secret draw.
Studying Mayor Hague’s desk I thought if only this desk could talk what stories it would tell of a Jersey City long gone and what it took and needed to run it back then.
Those days have past and Jersey City is far ahead into the 21st Century and doing very well.
And still with all there is to do and see in Jersey City today, I was happy to step back in time and see Mayor Hague’s desk.
But I did leave wondering where’s is that secret draw or two?