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Rumble, Marie, 1894-1974



  • Existence: 1894 - 1974


Marie Evelyn Rumble was the third child of Clarence Henry Rumble and Pearl Elizabeth Dodge, born on September 6, 1894. Rumble spent her early years in Clinton, Iowa. In 1902 the family settled on a farm near Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Rumble was one of six daughters and two sons: Earl, Herbert, Marie, Phebe, Edna, Ruth, Elisabeth "Betty" and Pearl. Rumble married Earl Burns when she was seventeen years old and had two daughters, Evelyn and Arlynn. Burns was abusive and Rumble divorced him and took back her maiden name. Rumble and her daughters then lived with her parents Clarence and Pearl Rumble. Rumble attended an academy run by Cornell College in Mt. Vernon and worked as a baker in a tea room. While working in the tea room she met a woman who had been to Wyoming and explained about the possibility of homesteading on government land.

Rumble left Iowa to homestead in Wyoming in 1917. Her parents borrowed $1000 to help her get started. Rumble took her oldest daughter, Evelyn, leaving her youngest child in the care of the elder Rumbles. (Arlynn remained with her grandparents until she was in the eighth grade, when she joined her mother on the homestead in Wyoming.) Rumble settled near what is now Iron Mountain and Horse Creek, small towns forty-five miles west of Cheyenne. Rumble´s 640 acre homestead was surrounded by the Farthing Ranch. It took her about a year before she could build a one-room shack on her homestead. Rumble worked as a cook at several large ranches in the years before her homestead became self-sufficient.

In December 1919 Rumble married Jack Achttien, a ranch hand who was the son of immigrants from the Netherlands. Rumble asked for a saddle instead of an engagement ring. The couple had one son, Jack "Jackie" Jr.; another child was stillborn. Rumble´s youngest sister Pearl, who was only a few years older than Evelyn, spent summers visiting the homestead, breaking ponies and riding calves with her nieces in Cheyenne´s annual rodeo. Evelyn also rode a Brahmin bull in the 1928 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. One of Rumble´s other sisters, Ruth, moved to Wyoming as a teacher after graduating from high school. Jack Achttien was killed in 1924 when his foot caught in a rope and he was dragged by a horse in a freak accident.

Three years later, in 1927, Marie Rumble married Les Thomson. Thomson persuaded Rumble to sell the homestead to the Farthings and move to an acreage near Pueblo, Colorado during the Depression. Unfortunately the couple had been swindled during the purchase and only found out later that they had no water rights. After struggling for a time in Colorado, Thomson secured a job at the Hoover Dam site. Marie Rumble and Jack Jr. joined him and lived in a tent city. When the Hoover Dam project ended the family moved around following the work Thomson could find. After living in Tombstone, Arizona for a while they located in Washington state where they bought an acreage near Bremerton and Port Orchard. In 1935 Rumble gave birth to a daughter, Rose Marie. Eventually the family relocated to Brea, in Orange County California, where they remained until after their daughter was married. While living in Brea, Rumble took a writing course at a junior college. As more people moved into Orange County the air quality became worse and Marie´s health suffered. The Thomsons moved back to Washington State where they purchased another acreage. The couple traveled, including a road trip to Alaska. Rumble spent her later years in a nursing home following a stroke. She died November 5, 1974.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Marie Rumble papers

Identifier: IWA0505

A homesteader who lived in Wyoming, Colorado and Washington State.

Dates: 1890-2002