Tag Archives: Mayor Frank Hague

Former Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague’s Desk on Display At Jersey City City Hall

Mayor Frank Hague's desk
Mayor Frank Boss Hague’s infamous desk


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

Many things

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?



Hudson Then . . . Again- INFLUENZA

by: Maureen Wlodarczyk


1918 Spanish Flu Patients
1918 Spanish Flu Patients

When I was five years old, we moved from Jersey City to Union Beach, a place where my parents could afford to purchase a small ranch house with carport. For many years after, I spent two to three weeks each summer back in Jersey City, visiting my maternal grandparents at their apartment on Rose Avenue in Greenville. I loved staying with them and being the center of my grandmother’s attention. My grandparents never owned a car so my grandmother and I would take the bus to Journal Square to shop or see a movie. One summer I unexpectedly came down sick, very sick. My grandmother tucked me in up to my chin in her own bed and called for the family’s faithful physician, Dr. Front. He was what used to be called a (very) “tall drink of water,” and had to duck his head when coming through the doorways of the apartment. When he appeared at my bedside, I am told that my eyes opened wide like saucers. No doubt. Looking up from my sickbed to take in the whole of him was quite an experience. His diagnosis: the grippe.

Today, the word grippe, coming from a French word meaning “seize suddenly,” has been replaced by the modern term “influenza,” the two words being essentially synonymous. For decades before that summer I took sick in Jersey City, Hudson County residents had been stricken by periodic grippe outbreaks including in 1889 and 1892. The most serious of those was the 1918 “Spanish” influenza pandemic that first broke out in Europe and killed thousands of soldiers on the battlefields of World War I before making its way to the United States.    Continue reading Hudson Then . . . Again- INFLUENZA