John and Sarah McDonald, son George W. McDonald, daughter Elsie Thomas

In 1870 Bedford County, Pennsylvania, John McDonald 32 and Sarah 33 have Clara 7, George 7, and Elsie 1.

Thanks to BRBCALL

Sarah and John McDonald's three children - George - baby Elsie - Clara Annie (standing)

In 1880 Gosper County, Nebraska, John McDonald, bricklayer,  41 and Sarah 42 have George W. 16, a herder,  and Elsa M. 10.

In 1885 Dawson County, Nebraska John 47 - a brick mason -  and Sarah 49 have only George W., 21 a laborer with them .

George proved up a quarter in 20, 8N 48W in 1893.

In 1900 Fleming precinct George W. a farm laborer, born Sept 1862, is with parents John - a brick layer -  Oct 1838 and Sarah Feb 1836, all three born in Pennsylvania.

Thanks again to BRBCALL

In 1910 Fleming precinct John is 71, widowed, and Ellie May Thomas is the next household.

 In the late 1880s, at the age of 50, John McDonald and wife Sarah moved from Nebraska to the Fleming area.  Under the Homestead Act he received 160 acres, which he augmented with a ľ section from the railroad.  He built a stone house and proved up the land in 1895.  After traveling constantly to Sterling one a week to fetch the mail for himself and area residents, he applied for a post office to be established in Fleming, which at that time had 50 residents.  He farmed and raised draft horses and was a county commissioner.  Upon his death the land went to son George McDonald who turned it over to his sister Elsie Thomas.

Elsie moved from Nebraska in 1907 after her husband passed away at an early age.  At age 32 she bought a ľ section near Fleming where she built a barn and frame kit house, living first in a shed.  After her fatherís death, she worked both sections, mostly by herself.  She became known as a tough, hard lady who could shoot and kick up the dirt in front of trespassers from a quarter mile away using the sight on her gun.  She also was known, however, as a generous neighbor and a great cook.  She farmed the land and raised draft horses until her death in 1954 when the land was turned over to son Leroy Thomas.  Leroy and family lived in the 1918 house until his death in 1996.  Both properties are still owned and farmed by his children.

  Thanks to the Colorado Centennial Farms Project


 Sarah McDonald 1837-1907 and John -1838-1913 share a tombstone in Haxtun. # 58661275


In 1920 Logan County George 56 (sic) is divorced. farming alone.  In 1917 he didn't own any land in section 20.


Myrtie H. Thomas, daughter to J.T. & E.M Thomas, died Oct 21, 1894, aged 5 years, 6 months 7 days


In 1900 Gothenburg, Nebraska Joseph Thomas is a farm foreman with Elsie, both 33, and they have George, 12.

Joseph T. Thomas is buried in Elwood, Gosper County, dying Feb 22, 1902 aged 35 years, 7 months, 16 days. His tombstone has Geo. O. Thomas - July 3, 1886 - July 24 1871

In 1910 Fleming precinct Elsie May Thomas, 41, is widowed, with son George 23, born in Nebraska.

Elsie is still a farm operator in Logan County in 1940, age 71, living alone.

George registered in Logan County, saying he was born at Lexington, Nebraska July 3, 1887, and was supporting his mother, farming 3 miles N.W. of Dailey.

George is in San Francisco in 1920, 36, saying he's married, but no spouse, living in a lodging house on Webster street.  He's a painter and paper-hanger.

In 1930 Santa Clara George, a painter,  is 43, Nellie 40, both born in Nebraska, with Maxine 9, California and Charles J. 8 Nebraska.

They're still in Santa Clara County in 1940, still a painter, with Charles 18 and LeRoy 8.

Leroy Thomas, two months before his death, standing in the doorway of the homestead stone house of John McDonald.

When he passed away, the farm went to his son, George McDonald (Spanish American war veteran) who then turned it over to his sister, Elsie (McDonald) Thomas. She was a widow and bought more land next to her father's and also built a frame house in 1918 in which Jackson was raised. The house is still in good shape, she said.
Elsie Thomas passed away in 1954. Her grandson, Leroy Thomas, inherited the farm (as his father did not want to farm the place), and raised wheat and corn. He also taught math and science at Crook High School and Caliche High School for many years. He and his wife Barbara raised four children on the place until his death in 1996.
Elsie's 1918 frame house has been restored and the old stone homestead built by John McDonald stayed largely intact until 2000, when a storm knocked down one of the walls, Jackson said in her historical account of the farm.
Today, Leroy's children still farm, with Becky's brother, Joe Thomas, being the main farmer of both the McDonald acreage as well as the Thomas farm. The farm has about 850 acres and produces wheat and dryland corn.