Zolas C. Thompson

Posted January 9, 2014 at 12:13 pm


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Zolas Clifton Thompson , 101, Independence, passed away Jan. 4, 2014 at John Knox Hospice House Lee’s Summit. Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, at Speaks Suburban Chapel, 18020 E. 39th St., Independence, 64055. The family will greet friends from 9 a.m., until service time Wednesday at the chapel. Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery, 8251 Hillcrest Road, Kansas City.

Zolas was born Aug. 25, 1912, in El Dorado Springs. to James Sterling and Ellen Maud (Witt) Thompson on his dad’s farm 3.5 miles west of El Dorado Springs on Rt. EE. He and his sister, Itylene, graduated from El Dorado Springs High School in 1931. He married Evelyn Marie Walter in 1938. He retired from Lake City Arsenal Plant in Independence. Earlier in his career he drove a produce truck daily from El Dorado Springs to Kansas City and was a meat cutter for the L & C Meat Co. of Kansas City. He was a member of St. Pauls Lutheran Church. Independence. Zolas was preceded in death by his mother and father, two brothers, Donald and Marvin Thompson, sister, Itylene Kyle of Astoria, OR. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn Thompson (Walter), son, Roger C. Thompson ( Juanita), grandson, Jeff Thompson, granddaughter, Cathy Counti (Carl), great-granddaughter, Katie Thompson all of Lee’s Summit.

Zolas was from early pioneering families of Cedar County. Zolas’ great grandfather, Martin T. Thompson, (b 1802 Kentucky) and Anna Large had 15 children of these 15 children there were three brothers that married three Pennington sisters, Frank, Jessie and John Milton. The Pennington sisters' father, William Nelson Pennington built his home on Lick Creek, KY and at one time he owned 24,000 acres in Carter and Lawrence Counties. Over the years he deeded most of his land to his children. After the Civil War some of his children came to Missouri. They located in Cedar County the location was Clintonville, on the city limits of El Dorado Springs. El Dorado just reaches the edge of the Clintonville Cemetery and the airport is located on the site of Clintonville. John Milton and wife, Elizabeth Pennington, after a few years in El Dorado Springs moved back to Kentucky. Wiley Franklin (Frank) and Susannah Pennington lived in Box Twp. and had 10 children. Judge David “Jessie” Thompson and Frances (Fanny) Pennington had nine children and the youngest James Sterling (b 1876) was Zolas’ father. In the Goodspeed history of 1899 Cedar County it states that Judge David J. Thompson, (1877 – 78) (Judges of the County Court) another successful farmer and stock-raiser of Box Township, Cedar County was born in Lawrence County, KY, Jan. 23, 1834, and is the son of Martin and Annie (Large) Thompson, natives of Russell County, Va., born in 1802 and 1805, respectively. Judge D. J. Thompson, the sixth of 10 sons and four daughters, nine of whom are now living, received an education in the country schools, and was married Aug. 16, 1855, to Miss Fannie Pennington, a native of Kentucky, born June 9, 1839, and the daughter of William N. and Delila Pennington, also natives of Kentucky. To Judge Thompson and wife were born nine children, two sons and five daughters living. Their oldest daughter, America, was born Jan. 14, 1859, and was married to John A. Jackson, Jr., Jan. 27, 1876; Granville, born Feb. 12, 1861, and was married to Miss Alice Beauchamp, Dec. 19, 1880; Delila A., born March 31, 1864, and was married to Mr. Joe Everman Feb. 4, 1884; Richard, born Nov. 13, 1866, died Dec. 12, 1866; Josie, born Dec. 13, 1868; Laura B., born May 15, 1871; Helen A., born Dec. 12, 1872, died Jan. 7, 1873; Cora E., born Jan. 27, 1874; James Sterling., born Aug. 31, 1876. (Zolas father) From Nov., 1861, to June, 1865, Judge Thompson was in the Confederate army, Company B, Tenth Kentucky Mounted Rifleman, and operated in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, held as partisan range in war in severe engagements, and had many hair-breadth escape. He surrendered at Chattanooga, TN, in June, 1865, and the same year came to Platte County, where he remained until the next year, when he moved to Hopkins County, TX, and from there to Cedar County, where they have since lived. He resides about three and a half miles northwest of El Dorado, where he has 320 acres, 160 acres under cultivation, and all the result of his own industry. He is one of the leading farmers and stock-raisers of Cedar County. In 1874 he was elected associate judge of the county court, and served two years. In politics, he has been a Democrat all his life, and his first presidential vote was cast for James Buchanan, in 1856. He and his son, Granville, are members of El Dorado Lodge No. 433, I. O. O. F., and he is a member of the Farmers’ Alliance. He and wife and five children are members of the Christian Church. He and family have improved nearly all the farm themselves, there being about 35 acres cleared when they located there.

El Dorado Springs Town Platted.— July 20, 1881, N. H. and W. P. Cruce, who owned the land on which the spring is located, surveyed the original plat of El Dorado Springs, containing 20 acres. The lots were quickly disposed of at prices ranging from $10 to $600, and a number of additions were laid out by David Jessie Thompson, C. Hall, John Jackson and the Cruces’ and others, until the city now comprises an extensive area.

Three of Zolas’ aunts, America Thompson married (1876) and Cora Thompson (1904), and Josie Thompson married (1903) married Jacksons, John Andrew Jackson Jr., William J (Bill) Jackson, and Roland Jackson. Roland and Bill were brothers and their uncle was John Andrew Jackson Jr.

The Jacksons’ were a long standing family of Cedar County, John Andrew Jackson Jr. (d 1942) and his dad and Uncle Lindsey (Tink) Jackson moved into the county in 1854 from Tennessee where they raised their families.

In the Goodspeed 1899 history of Cedar County it states: John A. Jackson, Sr., who is classed among the prominent farmers and stock-raisers of Cedar County, was born in Anderson County, East Tennessee, April 21, 1820, and is the son of Claiborne and Kizzie Jackson, natives of North Carolina, she dying just before the war, and he just after. John A. Jackson, the eldest of three sons and four daughters, received a very limited education, never attending school more than a few months in all. He was married Sept. 15, 1842, to Miss Sarah L. Hardin, the daughter of Marlin and Mariah Hardin. Mrs. Jackson was born in East Tennessee, Aug. 28, 1822, and died Dec. 9, 1888, aged 66 years three months and 11 days. She left two sons and two daughters; Abner, John A., Jr., Sarah E. and Margaret C., wife of Elihu Hess. All are living in the neighborhood of their father. One son, Samuel Fuston, lost his life in the Confederate army. Mary J. died in August, 1865; Nancy A. died Jan. 1, 1884; and Samantha A. died in September, 1880. In 1854 Mr. Jackson Sr. came to Cedar County, settled on his present farm, and there he has since lived, with the exception of a short period during the war. He has about 300 acres in different tracts of land, and is one of the substantial farmers of the county. He is honest, industrious and is one of the county’s first-class citizens. He is a member of the Christian Church; was a justice of the peace about three years previous to the war, and is virtually the founder of El Dorado Springs. For some years prior to its publicity he had made considerable use of the water, carrying it a distance of two miles in a jug to his home, and, during the summer season, he would frequently spend nearly the entire day at the spring. It was he who piloted Joshua Hightower and family through the woods to the springs, they being the first to camp there. Mr. Jackson is a Democrat politically, and his first presidential vote was for James K. Polk, in 1844. He is one of the pioneers of northwest Cedar County, and at the time of his settlement on his present farm there were but eight acres cleared. He now has a well improved farm.

John Jr. was a state representative from Vernon County for three terms from 1915 to 1918. His wife (America) was his secretary for two terms

The Hardin family: Martha Jane Jackson was the sister to the Jackson brothers who married into the Thompson family.

America Thompson (daughter of David Jesse Thompson) married John Andrew Jackson, Jr (son of Sarah Elmire (Hardin) Jackson, sister to John and Joseph Hardin). Malinda Thompson (daughter of Franklin Wiley Thompson, who was brother to Fleming and David Jessie Thompson) married John Hardin (brother of Joseph and Sarah E Hardin). Pearl Dora Thompson (granddaughter of Fleming Thompson) married Edward B Hardin (grandson of Joseph Hardin).

Zolas Clifton Thompson age 101 years born and raised on his grandfather’s farm was the last of several generations of Cedar County pioneering families, Thompson, Jackson, Penningtons and Hardins, all hard working farming families of the county before, during and after the Civil War.

In lieu of flowers donations in Zolas’ name can be made to the American Diabetes Assoc. Online condolence memories may be expressed at www.speakschapel.com.