Modern Love

In 1965 Maurice Acers proposed marriage to Ebby Halliday. They first met in 1958 in Beaumont, Texas when they shared a limousine to the airport. He was going to Houston, she was returning back home to Dallas. Today, think of it as a shared-Uber, meet-cute. The following letters from Maurice written shortly after their first encounter in Beaumont, Texas show a mutual fascination and admiration.

For seven years, Maurcie and Ebby corresponded and spoke on the phone, occasionally, meeting in person. During this long-distance courtship, Maurice was living in Austin and Ebby in Dallas. Maurice came to Dallas to see his mother, but it was also an opportunity to have dinner with Ebby.

Despite the long-distance, Ebby and Maurice built their relationship on mutual respect and admiration. Ebby shared with Maurice clippings of her countless speaking engagements at real estate organizations across the country and Maurice earned her admiration with tales of intrigue during his time with the FBI. 

They were married in a small ceremony at the Central Christian Church of Dallas on April 18th, Easter Sunday, with an intimate gathering of family in attendance. In an interview for the Dallas Morning News about their partnership, Maurice stated, “I like to joke I finally married her because I was about to become District Governor of Rotary International and I need a ‘Rotary-Anne’ to take to the Lake Placid convention.” After the convention, Ebby and Maurice honeymooned in Mexico City and brought along twelve of their closest work associates. 

Ebby and Maurice would become an unstoppable partnership in their business, civic, and personal lives. They were each other’s greatest fans. He admired her “constant thought of others” and she admired his “ability to do a good job of everything”. About their marriage, Ebby once said “Our marriage has been extremely strenuous, but extremely exciting and satisfying.”

July 18, 1972

My Darling,

You are the light of my life. The Supreme Being must have been most pleased when he sent you to me–I love you dearly and enjoyed our little vacation–love Daddy.

Project archivist Krishna Shenoy is processing the Ebby Halliday papers thanks to a generous gift of the Ebby Halliday foundation, to preserve and make accessible the work of the first lady of real estate.

Contact for additional information or assistance with accessing the collections. For access to these collections or to learn more about the women of the southwest, be sure to visit the DeGolyer Library and check out our books, manuscripts, pamphlets, and photographs.