Frances Coyle was born in 1913 in Bruceville, Texas, the daughter of John and Rebecca Coyle. In 1936 she left home to become a telephone operator in Beeville, Texas. An oil boom in East Texas attracted shady characters to the area including a man named Charles Gamble. Gamble had money to spend. The
only problem was, the bills were fake.
Frances and Charles were married in Dallas in 1938. Soon after, the counterfeit ring that was the source of Gamble's money was busted and the couple fled to Mexico, Arizona, and Idaho.
In 1940 Gamble was arrested for poaching game in Salmon, Idaho. Frances fled into the Idaho wilderness, securing a job on the remote Stonebraker Ranch homestead in Chamberlain Basin. Later that year she went to work for Joe Zaunmiller, whose wife had recently died. In 1942 she divorced Gamble and married Joe.
In 1945 Frances began to write columns for a local newspaper, chronicling her life in the Salmon River canyon for the next forty years.
After Joe's death in 1962 Frances married Vern Wisner in 1963. When Vern died in 1973 she lived the last 13 years alone at Campbell's Ferry ranch. Frances died January 6, 1986.