FRANCIS AND IRENE KELSEY CHOATE
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
I was born Dec. 6, 1903, in Ancho, N. M., to Rufus and Blanch Choate. My parents homesteaded in the Stacey country on Cottonwood Creek. When I was 16 1 worked on the Brown Cattle Company ranch at Birney, Mont. The next two years I worked as a cowboy on the Tongue River Indian Reservation and in 1922 1 went to Fort Keogh and broke horses, until they closed the remount station in 1923. On May 19, 1923, I married Irene Kelsey in Billings. Irene was born Sept. 29, 1900, in Miles City to Arthur and Bertha Kelsey. They ranched in the Stacey country and Irene went to school at home, taught by her mother. She attended the University of Chicago and later taught school. I worked for the Continental and Pure Oil Company in Miles City until I bought into a tire shop, the Custer Rubber Company. I sold my interest to my partner the fall of 1926. I went back to Stacey where we ranched until 1935 and then I leased the ranch and moved back to Miles City. In the livestock shipping season I worked for the South St. Paul Livestock Commission Company. Out of livestock shipping season I sold cars, first for Miles City Motor Company and then for Love Motor Company. I moved to Billings in the fall of 1940 and sold cattle in the Public Stockyards for Charles L. Govern and Company until 1945. Then I went partners with Sig Ellingson and opened up the Sig Ellingson Live Stock Commission Company which we operated for 20 years. We now have a yard just east of Billings on Lockwood Flat and we order, buy and operate a cattle buying station. We have six children, Joanne Mae married Victor Cline and lives in Alburquerque, N. M.; Barbara married James Battin and fives in Billings; Lois Evelyn married John T. Lacklin and lives in Billings; Norman Francis married Sandra Coy and lives in Billings; Arthur Rufus married Margaret Parker and lives in Longview, Wash., and Jeannie married Jack Weaver and lives in Aptos, Calif. We have 11 grandchildren.