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February 13, 2020




The number of telephone listings for Thompson Falls and Noxon in the new 1970 directories have increased, but Plains has a few less than last year.

The new directories show Thompson Falls with 724 listings this year, up 29 over last year’s 695. This represents an increase of 4.1 per cent.

Noxon with 10 more phones than last year has a slightly bigger rate of increase, just over 5 per cent. The 1969 directory listed 191 entries for Noxon and this year the new directory contains 201.

A year ago Plains had 556 entries. The new directory contains 548, a decrease of eight listings.

In this age of cell phones, the phone directory is shrinking in size.

30 YEARS AGO • JANUARY 25, 1990


Funeral services for Ruth Hill Hartman, 85, were to be held Wednesday, followed by graveside services at 2 p.m. in Thompson Falls City Cemetery.

Mrs. Hartman died Friday, Jan. 19 at her daughter’s home in Idaho, following a short illness.

She was born July 16, 1904 to Dudley and Clara Belle (Coleman) Angst in Thompson Falls, where she grew up and was educated.

Ruth, a family historian, kept detailed records, starting with her grandfather, Noah Coleman, a member of one of the three founding families who settled in Thompson Falls in 1884. Mr. Coleman started a mercantile business and homesteaded the first ranch in the area known as the Coleman Ranch, where Ruth grew up working beside her father. Her grandmother, Sara Jane, owned and operated one of the first hardware stores and bakeries in Thompson Falls. They passed away only a month apart in 1918. Ruth was married to W. Fredrick Hill until his death in 1944.

Ruth and George D. Hartman were married Sept. 1, 1945. They began preserving and raising Canada Geese in 1947. Many articles were written about their desire to preserve the geese and waterfowl, especially the wild flocks on the river at Thompson Falls. After Mr. Hartman’s death in 1974, Ruth set her flock free on the river and throughout the years two old favorites, “Lonesome” and “Big Foot,” have returned with their families each spring to raise a new generation.

Ruth worked in the post office for many years, retiring in 1966. In addition to her Canada Geese preservations, she was noted for her gardening and crocheting.


Noah Coleman was born in 1787 on land granted to his grandfather for services rendered in the French and Indian wars of 1756. His father, Deacon Nathanial Coleman was one of the band who disguised as an Indian, boarded the British tea ship and participated in the famous “Boston Tea Party.” At the Battle of Bunker Hill Deacon was stationed with others on a peninsula called Horseneck. They were to prevent the landing of men from a British vessel or if they did land to “resist them to the last.”

His son, A.N. Coleman, who played a great role in the early days of Thompson Falls, was born October 26, 1839 in Ohio. At age 21, he enlisted in the 3rd Minnesota regiment and served three years in the Civil War. During this time of duty he was called back to Minnesota to help quell the serious uprising of the Sioux Indians. In 1864, he married Sara Jane Cruickshank. Their four children were born there, and later they drove an ox-team to Kansas where he hunted buffalo for two years. Due to bad health from his years in the war he returned to Minnesota until 1882 when he moved to Glendive, Montana. He worked for the geological survey for a two year period. 1884 marked his arrival in Thompson Falls, when the town was new, rough and hopes were high. He engaged in the mercantile business for a few years, then homesteaded the first ranch in the area, called the Coleman Ranch. In 1902 he retired to town. Joe Weber then lived on the ranch. This ranch was located at the mouth of Weber Gulch.

Sara Jane owned and operated one of the first hardware stores and bakeries in Thompson Falls. She baked 100 loaves of bread each day.

He passed away February 1918 and his wife in March 1918. They are buried in the Wildrose Cemetery.


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