Zales Nelson Ecton Edit Profile
He attended the Gallatin County public schools, the then Montana State College (later Montana State University) at Bozeman and the University of Chicago law school.
He moved with his family to Gallatin County, Montana, when he was nine years old. In 1921, he became a rancher and gained interests in grain and livestock. In 1946, he ran for the Montana United States Senate seat which was being vacated by Democrat Burton K. Wheeler, who had lost the Democratic primary.
As part of the Republican takeover of the Senate in 1946, Ecton defeated Democratic state Supreme Court Justice Leif Erickson by a vote of 54% to 46%. He served in the Senate for one term, having been narrowly defeated for reelection in 1952 by U.S. Representative Mike Mansfield, a Democratic college professor and Far Eastern expert. Ecton resumed his ranching business until his death in Bozeman.
Ecton was the last Republican U.S. senator from Montana until the election in 1988 of Conrad Burns, who served from 1989 to 2007.
Member Montana Senate, 1937-1946. Member American Legion, American Farm Bureau Federation, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Member Christian Church.
Married Vera B. Harris, November 25, 1920. Children: Eloise (Mistress George R. Moe), Zales N. Member.