When he was 18, in 1887, Levi left home and headed for Butte, Montana, where his older brother, J. Watson Eller, then lived. Soon thereafter, he moved on to Missoula. Here he met the girl who, for almost 55 years, would be his wife--Estelle Armadelle Buker.
In 1897 Levi left to go to Parsons, Kansas, to take a job with a railroad in the south, Estelle remaining behind in Missoula with the boys.
Levi worked for six different railroads during his lifetime,as follows: Northern Pacific Railroad Co., Missoula, Montana, as a fireman on the Rocky Mountain Division, July 1894 toF ebruary 1896.
Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railway System (The Katy Line), Denison, Texas, as a locomotive fireman, January 1897 to March 1897 and October 1897 to May 1898.
Kansas City, Pittsburg & Gulf Railroad Co., Mena, Arkansas, as a freight brakeman, March 1899 to November 1900.
International and Great Northern Railroad Co., Palestine,Texas, as a locomotive fireman, July 1901 to August 1901.
Arkansas Southern Railroad Co , Ruston, Louisiana, as a switchman, 1902.
Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (The Milwaukee Line). Dates are not known, but are believed to be about 1904 to 1927. He was a freight brakeman on the division that extended from Deer Lodge, Montana, to Avery, Idaho.
Prior to his railroad service, he worked for the Missoula General Electric Co., as a fireman and engineer for two years, ie., in 1892 and 1893.
While working for the Katy Line, Levi resigned to serve in the army during the Spanish-American War. He enlisted in Troop L of the First Regiment of the Texas Cavalry,U. S. Volunteers, May 8, 1898, at Fort Sam Houston. He was honorably discharged, with the rank of corporal, when the regiment was mustered out, November 14, 1898, at Fort Sam Houston. He did not participate in any campaigns.
Levi and Estelle were married three times, each time in a different state. While there were long separations between these marriages, occasioned by Levi's railroad work in the south and by his military service, there is no record of any divorces.
After returning to Montana from Kansas in 1904, Levi and Estelle moved to St. Regis, Montana, onto a 160-acre tract at the mouth of Little St. Joe Creek which they homesteaded. (In 1908 or 1909, when the Milwaukee Railroad line was built through St. Regis, it bought a 5-acre easement across the property, reducing the acreage to 155.)
The two boys started school in Missoula, attending a private Catholic boarding school at least part of the time, so Estelle could work as a cook and seamstress while Levi was away working for railroads in the south and serving at Fort Sam Houston.
After moving to St. Regis, the boys finished elementary school in a little school just across the St. Regis River from the homestead. While attending this school, Lloyd, not liking his eighth-grade teacher, ran away, and was gone for two years, going as far as the Mexican border. So far as is known, neither boy ever finished high school.
After retiring from The Milwaukee on disability in 1927,Levi operated the Montana state liquor store in Alberton of ra few years.