Estelle Marie Woodruff


(July 20, 2001)

The Grand Lady of the Shoshone Valley died in the Powell Nursing Home Friday, July 20 at the age of 107.

Estelle Marie Woodruff, celebrated as the oldest living homesteader on the Shoshone Project, was a much-admired pioneer of the Powell Valley. She celebrated her 100th birthday and each birthday beyond the century mark with a wide circle of friends, neighbors and admirers in the community who gathered at the nursing home.

Cremation has taken place. Memorial services will be scheduled at a later date.She was born Oct. 30, 1893, in St. Louis, Mo., to Herman Jung and Estelle Marie (LaMarchal) Jung. She came to Powell at the age of 21 in 1912, accompanying her brother, Adrian, and an aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene LaMarchal. The LaMarchals had an early day flower shop in Powell.

She filed for her 80-acre homestead on the North End in 1914, and it was there she met her husband, Billie Woodruff, who was involved in sheep ranching. They were married July 17, 1918, at the LaMarchal home.

Stell, as she was fondly called, and her husband built their home in the North End community the year their son, Bob, was born (Sept. 2, 1920). It is located at 1026 Lane 5 and still looks very much like it did more than 80 years ago.

Their married life was centered in the ranching business. Their sheep grazed from Frannie to Pat O'Hara Creek, and the sheep summered in the Beartooth Mountains for some 20 years. After Billie's death in 1963, son Bob ran the ranching for many years. Stell and Bob, previously deceased, sold their bands of sheep in 1977.

She had close association with neighbors through many years of membership in the North End Club. She was also a member of Eastern Star, Epasc Club and bridge club.