Ellen's mother, Mary Sophia, and father, John Bowen, moved to Arbon, Idaho after John had worked for several years to clear the land. Ellen was born May 25, 1901, the ninth child of ten children. Her mother died, following childbirth, when Ellen was only four-years-old. Her family moved to Logan, on a farm near a river. When Ellen was old enough to attend school, she had to travel three miles by buggy to reach the schoolhouse. Later, Ellen's father moved the children to a home in town so they wouldn't have to travel so far every day. He stayed at their first home during the week, and visited them on weekends. Ellen was often sick as a child, contracting mumps, typhoid fever, measles, etc. On May 25, 1909 Ellen was baptized in the Logan Temple. After a time, the family moved back to Arbon, Idaho, where Ellen's father remarried. The children called his new wife, 'Aunt Maggie'. The first of the Beehive classes were organized when Ellen was 12 years old. Ellen moved to Brigham City, where she slept in a room with eight other girls-her sisters and cousins. At the young age of 14 Ellen taught a Sunday school class, and later she took classes at Brigham Young College. After Ellen's sister Blanche died and left three children behind, Ellen went to work as a telephone operator to help make money for the family. Here she met John Harold Mullen, who went by Harry. They were married October 15, 1921 and lived in Salt Lake City. John was not a member of the church, and Ellen had gotten out of the habit of attending church. On May 8, 1924 Ellen had her first child, a baby boy named John Harold, after his grandfather, but they called him 'Junior'. Later they moved to Rawlins, Wyoming where Ellen had a baby girl on March 19, 1926 named Barbara Ruth. Ellen liked living in Rawlins, but unfortunately with John's job working with the telephone company, the family had to move quite often. They next moved to Helena, Montana, where the weather was freezing cold but the branch was friendly and Ellen received her first copy of the D&C. Their next move was to Boise, Idaho where John was a maintenance supervisor. On April 14, 1929 Ellen had a baby girl named Coy Moselle. Ellen did not like the area, and they moved to a different home, but she was still unhappy. That November the family moved to El Paso, Texas. On October 20, 1932 Ellen had another baby boy, named Lynn Bowen. John was working very hard to pay the bills, and became sick with pneumonia. He passed away after three days, on June 19, 1933. Ellen was heartbroken, and decided to visit Idaho to see if she should move there. After her husband passed away, Ellen became more involved with the Church, working with the Primary. She also began taking classes at a vocational school, and hired a young girl to help care for her children. Ellen worked for the phone company and Standard Oil Company. Later she got a job as secretary for the sheriff, Chris P. Fox. Ellen felt blessed that she had a kind landlord who lowered their rent, and had many helpful friends about her. She became the president of the M.I.A in the El Paso Ward. On June 23, 1942 Ellen married Willard Whipple in the Mesa Temple, and moved into his home. Willard's wife had passed away, and combined they had 11 children. So they hired a young girl to help with cleaning. Everyone had to help keep the house clean, and the two families of children got along very well. Her son Harold joined the Navy at age 18 during World War II. The next years were very busy, full of the weddings of their daughters, missions, and most of the boys served in the military. Ellen and Willard got to go on many business trips with his company, the El Paso Hotel Supply Company. They traveled to New York, Hawaii, many other states, and saw Niagara Falls. Willard was made the bishop of their ward, and got to perform two of his sons wedding ceremonies while serving in that calling. Ellen was equally busy as a counselor in the Stake Relief Society Presidency. Later they took a trip to the South Seas, and saw the sights of Tokyo, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, and many more. When she became older, Ellen became very ill with phlebitis, and was bed-ridden for more than three months. Elder Marion D. Romney gave her a blessing one evening; the next day her doctor tapped her lungs and got bowlfuls of black liquid, but she finally felt better. After all the children had moved out, Ellen and Willard moved into a smaller home where they continued to enjoy visits from their 11 children, 56 grandchildren, and 54 great-grandchildren
This autobiography is written in a notebook, with a photograph of Ellen on the front cover, along with the title, The History of Ellen B. Whipple, dated August 7, 1976. There are 31 pages, type written on both sides of the pages. Ellen wrote her life story for her posterity. The first memory Ellen can recall is of her mother's funeral. The next memory is of her brother returning from his mission with a beautiful doll for her. Ellen and her family were very close, relying on one another for support. When Ellen was still a little girl, she fell into the river near her home. Her sister Elizabeth saved her life, pulling her from the cold water. Ellen and her father were also quite close, and when he remarried Ellen readily accepted her new stepmother. The family was quite poor, and the first trip Ellen ever took was with a group of friends to Bear Lake. She had a boyfriend who wanted to marry her while she was only 16-years-old, but Ellen says she felt too young and refused him. Ellen's first child, Harold, gave her great joy and stress at the same time. Little Harold was continually wandering off, keeping his poor mother on her toes at all times. Ellen loved her children so much, very grateful when she was a widow that they were sweet, obedient children. Everyone worked together to make ends meet and help clean the home. After Ellen married Willard and they combined their two families, the 11 children got along well and still strove to help any way they could. Ellen tells of how proud she is to be the mother of so many returned missionaries, with good marriages, and that all her sons served in the military. Ellen held many church positions, from Relief Society Presidency, Sunday School teacher, and M.I.A. President, to the Stake Publicity Director where she helped publish several newspaper articles and local television programs about the Church. Ellen even received a letter from President Benson, asking that she continue working with the El Paso Stake on this project. Ellen also wrote the 'History of the Growth of the Mormon Church' for the El Paso Historical Society Quarterly Magazine. At the end of her autobiography, Ellen included 11 poems she had written.