In 1931, Marshall Brown and Vona Mae Presley of East Tupelo, Mississippi were married at the Town Hall in the Lee County town of Verona Mississippi. Verona is just five miles south of East Tupelo. They were married by Verona's Justice of the Peace, Robert Emmit Kelly. So on June 17, 1933, when Vernon Presley and Gladys Smith wanted to marry; they did as their friends, Marshall and Vona Mae. However, since Vernon was only age seventeen, they went to Pontotoc County instead of Lee County to obtain the marriage license. In Pontotoc County, no one would know that Vernon was under age. On the marriage license, Vernon added five years to his age while Gladys subtracted two years from her age. No one in Pontotoc County would know of their age discrepancies.
The same day, the group of four made their way back to Verona Mississippi to find Justice of the Peace, Robert Emmit Kelly. There, Vernon and Gladys were married. Marshall Brown's signature is on the marriage license.
Later, in a 1956 magazine interview, Vernon and Gladys were quoted as saying:
"We didn’t elope very far."
Today, the Town Hall in Verona, Mississippi has been restored and is a tourist stop loaded with Elvis memorabilia, antiques, Civil War memorabilia, Indian artifacts and other interesting finds. People from all over the world visit the museum to enjoy the treasures of days gone by. They also enjoy Ms. Ruth's restaurant with the best southern cooking in the Lee County area. Known as Lee County's oldest building, the Town Hall is located at 200 Main Street.
"We just ran off like a couple of kids."
"We just went to Verona and got married."