Partner George Kelly

Queer Places:
61 W Main St, Waynesboro, PA 17268
121 N Franklin St, Waynesboro, PA 17268
170 E 40th St, New York, NY 10016
592 High Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Green Hill Cemetery, 953 S Potomac St, Waynesboro, PA 17268

George Kelly and William Weagley (November 27, 1896 - October 16, 1975) met in 1919, when George maintained a suite at NYC’s Concord Hotel (formerly at 130 E. 40th St., cross Lexington Avenue). The story goes that William was working as a bellhop at the hotel, and the two became lovers within a short time after meeting. George educated William in the rules of etiquette so that the two could appear in high society as social equals. In the 1930s George Kelly lived at 226 West 47th Street.

George Kelly maintained a 55-year relationship with his lover William E. Weagley, who was often referred to as Kelly’s valet. The Philadelphia Kellys forced Weagley to eat in the kitchen with the servants when George and William were visiting, thus reinforcing their acknowledgment that William was regarded as nothing more than George’s employee, a valet. While it’s true that William often cooked, typed, and performed secretarial services for George, William was much more than a traveling companion and valet. The couple were loyal, devoted partners who were deeply in love. When George and William hosted dinner parties at their home in Laguna Beach, California, the two men sat at opposite ends of the table as equal co-hosts and partners.

That Kelly was gay was a closely guarded secret and went unacknowledged by his family to the point of not inviting Weagley to his funeral; he instead slipped in and sat quietly on a back seat, weeping quietly and completely ignored. He died a year later. Speaking about Kelly’s playwrights, Arthur Willis noted "Kelly appears to be anti-love, anti-romantic love, certainly, and distrustful of the tender emotions."

Weagley is buried at Antietam Church Cemetery (117 S Church St, Waynesboro, PA 17268).

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