Shortly after securing a position as reporter for the San Francisco Bulletin, Treadwell met William O. McGeehan, a well-known sports reporter and humorist. After a brief romance, they were married in Oakland on January 27, 1910.
"Mac," as he was known and as Treadwell called him throughout her life, seems at first an odd match for Treadwell. While she preferred the arts, he was attracted to sports, especially baseball and boxing. Within six months of their marriage, Treadwell experienced an alarming loss in weight, and McGeehan reluctantly sent his new bride to a sanitarium, where doctors termed her nervous and high-strung.
In the next few years, McGeehan seems to have grown uncomfortable with Treadwell's increasing fame. Late in 1914, just after Treadwell's first serial created a public sensation, McGeehan accepted a position with the New York Evening Journal. Treadwell remained in San Francisco through the following year before moving to New York to be with McGeehan.
Their marriage seems mostly to have been characterized by a mutual acceptance of each other's interests and independence. For a time in New York, Mac and Treadwell maintained separate residences, an idea promoted for women by Ruth Hale, president of the Lucy Stone League, of which Treadwell was an active member. Treadwell also had a short-lived but impassioned affair with the painter Maynard Dixon beginning in 1916.
While they respected each other's independence, Treadwell and Mac also clearly enjoyed each other's company. They completed three lengthy automobile trips together, two across Europe and one into Mexico. They collaborated together in 1931 on an amusing play about corruption in professional boxing, The Million Dollar Gate. They spent long amounts of time together at their home in Newtown, Connecticut. And Treadwell maintained an extensive scrapbook on Mac's achievements and writings.
McGeehan died in 1933 of a heart ailment while vacationing with Treadwell at Sea Island, Georgia. His papers and memorabilia are included with the Treadwell collection at the University of Arizona.
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