The Divorce Seekers 1947-1949

Cover of "The Divorce Seekers" by William and Sandra McGee



by former Flying M.E. divorce ranch wrangler William McGee

“The ‘bible’ of Reno divorce lore.”
– Judd Pillot, writer/producer

“The images – with their smoky, black-and-white, retro allure – are what brought the time and place alive for me so that I could bring my characters to life in my novel … This book is a treasure if only for the photos alone.”
Deb Caletti, bestselling author of the Reno divorce ranch novel, The Secrets She Keeps

“Best book yet about Nevada’s famous dude-divorce ranch era.”
Eric Moody, Nevada Historical Society, Reno


About the Book

Today no one needs to get away to divorce, they just divorce. But “splittin’ blankets” wasn’t always so easy. In most states, you had to wait a year or more and the only ground allowed was adultery.

Or you could go to Reno.

If you had the money and the need for privacy, you stayed on a dude ranch outside of town. The media called these dude ranches divorce ranches and the guests who stayed on them divorce seekers. The names stuck and became part of the Reno divorce jargon.

From 1947 to 1949, Montana cowboy Bill McGee was the head dude wrangler on the Flying M.E., the most exclusive divorce ranch outside of Reno. The clientele was upscale. He entertained Easterners and socialites with names like Astor and du Pont, and Hollywood movie stars Ava Gardner and Clark Gable. By day, he led the guests on trail rides. By night, he escorted them to the saloons of Virginia City.

“At the age of twenty-one, and the only man on the ranch surrounded by all those beautiful and wealthy women, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Those were some of the best years of my life.” – Bill McGee 

This is Bill’s story… only some names have been changed to protect The Divorce Seekers.

A richly-illustrated coffee table book with 500 photographs (most never before published) and illustrations.

The Divorce Seekers – Table of Contents

444 pp, 500 photographs and illustrations
plus maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
8.5″ x 11″, hardcover

Meet Bill McGee

Extra Material – Dive Deeper into the Reno Divorce Ranch Era

Reno Divorce Glossary
Reno Divorce Movies 
Reno Divorce Timeline
9 Grounds for a Reno Divorce 
Editorial and Reader Reviews for The Divorce Seekers