From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
My family have been Montanans for a long time. My greatgrandfather Jacob Speelman came to this area in 1883, was buried here in 1914. He once owned most of the land that is now Ekalaka. My great-grandmother, Mary M. Young Speelman, was born in 1840 and passed away in 1915. They were the parents of my paternal grandmother, Mary Elizabeth (Lizzie) who was born in Tama City, Iowa, on May 15, 1867, and came west with her family as a young girl.
She married my grandfather in a ceremony performed by the late John Oliver, early legislator for Montana, on Feb. 16, 1885. He was John Wesley Thompson, and was in partnership with Moran Brothers at that time. He had come to Alder Gulch in 1864 with his parents, Benjamin and Elizabeth Maxwell Thompson, from Wisconsin. Benjamin Thompson was one of the many to search for gold at Alder Gulch, but never did strike it rich as was the fond hope of all prospectors of that day and time.
The J. Wesley Thompsons lived on Powder River until the spring of '87. Their first daughter, Etta Thompson (Chamberlain), was born on Christmas Day, 1886, near what was later known as the T N. Following the hard winter, when they lost all their stock, they moved to settle on O'Fallon Creek, where they stayed a short time before returning to the gold rush area where they remained until 1907.
Fourteen children made up the Thompson household, two of whom died in infancy. My father was eighth; Andrew Jacob Thompson, born Sept. 18, 1900, at Fuller Springs. When he was seven, he came with his family by covered wagon from Ennis to the ranch on O'Fallon Creek which they still owned. He remembers that his father made rawhide boots for the colts as they became footsore from the long journey.
As a young man my father worked for various ranches (among them were Walt Maxwell, Edgar Wear and Clyde Brown) but spent his boyhood and early married years on the same Thompson place on the O'Fallon.
I was born there on Aug. 31, 1925, as was my sister Lorraine (Mrs. Clayton Morgan). My sister Wanda (Mrs. Gary Couture) was born in 1936, after we had moved to what was known then as the Laney Place, later belonging to C. E. (Feeke) Tooke.
Our mother was Mona Boggs, daughter of Clark C. and Ollie Dickey Boggs, who came to settle in the Beaver Flat community west of Ekalaka in 1907. She had four brothers and one sister.
Mom and Dad now reside in Fossil, Ore., where they have the Thompson Inn and Dad drives a mail route at 70 leading a very active and interesting life.
I attended O'Fallon Creek and Schofield rural schools, high school at Carter County and Eastern Montana College in Billings.
On May 18, 1943, 1 married Terry (Ted) Chapman in Tacoma, Wash. I am teaching rural schools at the present time and make my home in Ekalaka. We are grandparents to five.