From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
I was born Jan. 5, 1888, on a farm 41/2 miles from Pilot Grove, Mo. My father, Wm. Chamberlin, was Scotch-Irish and English descent. My mother, Annabelle Roselle, was French descent. I was the 6th of eight children. We all grew to adulthood on this 140-acre farm. Times were hard and money was scarce. Dad had an old-type steam engine and threshing machine. He made money by doing other farmers' threshing. In the fall he sawed lumber from the native timber for our own use and for other people.
At this same little settlement there was a Methodist church where we all went to Sunday School. One of the ministers named me Patsy June.
After I finished grade school, I attended the Beasley Normal School at Columbia, Mo. Then I went to teaching country schools.
A friend of mine, Nellie Shutz, went to Shirley, Mont., to teach. At that time the superintendent of schools was Mary Lee Wilson, and she was from Pilot Grove. Miss Wilson was the sister of Mrs. Henry Smith, wife to the jeweler, at Miles City, Mont. Miss Wilson wrote and asked me to teach the Hockett School out on Powder River. I decided to come and arrived in Miles City on Friday A. M. April 2, 1909. The sheriff directed me to the Smith home. They were gone but Miss Wilson was there. It was cold so she loaned me her fur coat to go on the stage to my school. The stage arrived Sunday A. M. and I took off for Powder River. The driver was Jimmy Hogan. The other passenger was Chas. Allen, our sheriff of Custer Co. Everything went well and we stopped at the Hill Road House for the noon meal. The men were out changing teams. I got quite a coughing spell for before I left Missouri I had had the whooping cough. Mrs. Hill was quite concerned and told me to take care or I'd have pneumonia. Then she grabbed a 1/2 pint bottle of whiskey and put some sugar in it and said, "Drink some of this when you start coughing". After I got settled in the wagon I started worrying how I'd dispose of that bottle for in those days respectable women didn't drink or smoke. I decided to slip it in my suitcase. A short time later I opened my suitcase and all that whiskey had run out and ruined my very best dress.
The bottle had a glass stopper. There wasn't anything to do but tell the men the whole truth. We arrived at the Murphy ranch which was the Mizpah P. 0. Fred Davis was there to meet me. Then we went to his place where I boarded during my term of teaching.
While teaching I met Glenn Bickle. The following Nov. 20,1909, we were married in Miles City. After New Years we went to his uncle who lived at Plevna on a ranch. Glenn tended sheep camps and I did the cooking for them. Our first child was born here in the ranch house.
In April of 1912 we moved to Powder River and lived on the homestead that Glenn had filed on. Then in 1919 we traded the place and our few head of cattle for a small house and 5 acres of land north of the State School at Miles City. After that we bought a nice home and 40 acres of land from Ross Calvin on Haynes Ave. This was in 1926. We lived there until April, 1941 when my husband sold it to Bob Oglesby.
We bought a small ranch from Perry MacKay about 25 miles south of Miles City. It is located right on Tongue River. We lived there for 17 years and were happier than any place where we had ever lived. But age catches up with us and we decided to sell. At the present time this place is owned by Vernon Fortune.
We bought a home in Miles City in June, 1958. We have good neighbors and we are quite contented and happy. April 2nd I will have been in Montana 60 yrs. Next Nov. 20 will be our 60th wedding anniversary.
We have 4 children. Erma Mae married Paul Spears and they live on a farm near Rosebud. Anna Vivian married Cecil Harbough and they live at Jordan. Ruby Irene lives in Billings, Mont. Sergeant Clifford Earl Bickle was killed Nov. 26, 1943 on a bombing mission over N. W. Germany.
We have 9 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.