On the 5th. March 1865, Sangaw, the wife of King Rama IV gave birth to a son. The Prince was the 25th. son sired by Rama IV and was named Thong-korn-yai at birth. The name means Big Gold in Thai and it was rumoured that it was given in honour of the generosity of one of the early visitors to the infant Prince. The baby would grow up to become Major General Prajak Silapakom, the founder of the Thong-yai family.
In 1885 the general and his troops were ordered by King Rama V to proceed to North East Thailand and restore order in the area as chaos was being caused by a Chinese bandit who had invaded the area. The general met and defeated the interloper in one single battle. As a reward for the victory and to ensure that peace remained in the North East, King Rama V made Prajak Silapakon Governor of the Northern Province.
He held this position from 1894 to 1900. The administration originally centred itself at Nong Khai so it could keep a watch over the Mekong. However France had being gaining more control over the region and in 1893 it gained control over what is now Laos P.D.R. The General though it would be a better military option to move his administration directly away from the Mekon. He moved south and settled his troops and administration at Barn Duea-mark-kang. Here he built a new town which grew into the city that we would all know as Udon Thani.