On November 20, 1951, the Traverse City Record Eagle printed a front-page story about how 39-year-old Margaret Ealy wanted “a husband who will be a good father” to her 5-year-old son, Jamie.
A large caption underneath a large photo stated that Ealy wasn’t picky about a man’s age, but would prefer a “Protestant college graduate.” The man liking children was a necessity. Ealy had been a department store employee until she was stricken with pneumonia five months earlier and her illness made it difficult to raise her son alone.
The story was picked up newspapers around the country and by the next day she had three calls from suitors. The resulting flood of publicity was speculated by the Record Eagle to bring “a multitude of offers by phone, wire and mail.” It may also have been the country’s first personal ad.
Ealy married William Colteson six months later. It’s not clear whether she found him as a result of the ad.
Michigan Every Day
New Way to Find Husband, Ludington Daily News, November 21, 1951.
“Whole Nation Interested in Husband Hunt Request of Local Woman for Mate”, Traverse City Record Eagle, November 21, 2014.