From 'Echoing Footsteps', published 1967, Powder River County Extension Homemakers Council
By Walt Nuxoll
Ben Toennis left Cottonwood, Idaho, and came to Stacey in 1906. Later he worked for Charlie Daly and in 1911 took up a homestead on Daly's range. In 1915 Ben harvested a field of White Russian (durham) wheat which ran 75 bushels per acre. Ben drove the stage from Beebe to Stacey in 1912-13 and from Beebe to Miles City during 1914-15. On December 18, 1916, Ben Toennis married Esther Bidwell at Stacey. Esther had been raised by the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Decker on their ranch in the Stacey community. To this union five boys and two girls were born: Mary, Charles, Grant, Jim (died in 1944), Ruth (now Mrs. Ted Hirsch), Pat and Joe. They spent their first eleven years of marriage on his homestead. Then they sold out, and in 1928 purchased a small irrigated farm near Miles City, finally retiring to that town in 1960.