The Divorce Seekers 1947-1949 (About the Book)

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



by former Nevada 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


“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 

About the Book

Today no one needs to get away to divorce, they just divorce. But “splittin’ blankets” wasn’t always so easy. You faced a waiting period of a year or more and the only ground available to you was proof of 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. 

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. 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 bars and saloons of Carson and Virginia cities.

Bill tells his story about the guests he met, the places they frequented, and the romances that started on the famous divorce ranch. The coffee table book is richly illustrated 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

That unique Nevada institution – the divorce ranch – has faded away, but Nevada as a place “to split” will remain a legend of our time.

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