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THOMAS FRANKLIN DOLTON

Thomas Franklin Dolton was born 23 Apr 1899 in Amity, DeKalb County, Missouri. and he died 22 Feb 1982 in Culver City, Los Angeles County, California. Thomas' parents were Frank and Ida Olive (Ford) Dolton. Thomas' siblings were William Jewel Dolton, Florence May Dolton, Nancy Isabell Dolton, Joseph Gilbert Dolton, Elza Garland Dolton, Ines Olive Dolton, and Daisy Irma Dolton.

His first wife was Opal Leona Bales. She was born 21 Dec 1906 in Oklahoma and died 2 Feb 1984, in Placer, California. Opal and Thomas were married 8 Nov 1936 in Shawnee Mission, Johnson County, Kansas. His second wife was Bessie Georgia Kriz. She was born 28 Nov 1912 in Choctaw, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, and they were married 8 Nov 1936 in Shawnee Mission, Johnson, Kansas. Bessie died December 2, 2002, in Thousand Oaks, California, at age 90.

Thomas was the fourth of eight children born to Frank Dolton and Ida Olive Ford. Thomas was the last of the Dolton kids born in DeKalb County, Missouri, before the family moved to Mustang, Oklahoma.

The 1910 US Federal Census for Mustang, Canadian, Oklahoma, contains a listing of the Frank and Ida Dolton family enumerated 2 May 1910. Frank Dolton, white, male, age 46, married once at age nineteen, born about 1863 in Kansas, his father was born in Illinois and his mother in Missouri, working as a farmer doing general farming; Ida Dolton, age 43, wife, white, married at age 19, she had eight children who were all still living, she was born about 1866 in Illinois, her father was born in Tennessee and her mother in Ohio; William J Dolton, white, son of Frank, age 18, born in Missouri, was working as a laborer on the home farm; Florence M Dolton, daughter, white, age 16, born in Missouri; Nancy J Dolton, daughter, white, age 14, born in Missouri; Thomas F. Dolton, son, white, age 11, born in Missouri, was working as a laborer on the home farm; Gilbert J Dolton, son, white, age 8, born in Oklahoma; Elza G Dolton, age 6, born about 1904 in Oklahoma; Inez O Dolton, daughter, white, age 4, born in Oklahoma; Daisy E Dolton, daughter, white, age 11 months, born in Oklahoma.

On September 12, 1918, Thomas registered for the draft at the Canadian County Draft Board in El Reno, Oklahoma (see last page). He listed his occupation as farmer working for Frank Dolton. His draft registration card listed his nearest living relative as Ida Olive Dolton. The registrar said that Thomas was tall, of heavy build, had blue eyes and light colored hair, and had no distinguishing scars or tattoos.

The 1920 US Federal Census enumerated 27 January 1920 by J. S. Rector has a record of the Frank and Ida Dolton household living at a farmhouse on Township Road in Mustang, Canadian County, Oklahoma. Frank Dalton was the head of household, male, white, age 55 years, married, born in Kansas. His father was born in Illinois and his mother in Missouri. Frank was farming doing general farming. Ida O. Dolton was his wife, female, white, age 54 years, married, born in Illinois. Both her parents were born in the United States. Thomas F. Dolton was Frank's son, male, white, 20 years of age, single, born in Missouri. Thomas was farming on the home farm. Joseph G. Dolton, son, male, white, age 16 years, single, born in Oklahoma. Joseph was farming on the home farm. Elza G. Dolton, son, male, white age 14 years, single, born in Oklahoma. Elza was farming on the home farm. Inez Dolton, Frank's daughter, female, white, age 13 years, single, born in Oklahoma. Daisy E. Dolton, daughter, female, white, age 11 years, single, born in Oklahoma. In answer to a specific question whoever was replying to the census taker's questions said that Joseph, Elza and Inez had attended school at some time since September 1, 1919. They specificly said that Daisy had not attended school in this time frame and I guess Thomas because of his age (he was twenty years old) didn't have to answer the question.

Louis Dolton Sr., (Thomas' nephew}, remembers working for Thomas and playing with his pretty young daughter, Tomaline, during Sunday visits when Tomaline & her father, Thomas' sister {Florence} & her husband {Claude} came to spend most of the day with their parents {Frank & Ida} in the little town of Mustang ten miles from Oklahoma City.

Thomas brother, Elza, lived just across the street from Frank & Ida with his wife and family of boys of whom Louis was the oldest. They were entertained by Claude with magic tricks and played games tag, catch, and "anti over" where teams stood on each side of a house, threw a soft tennis ball over the roof for the other team to catch the ball and try to tag other players before they could safely change sides.

The 1930 US Federal Census for Mustang, Canadian County, Oklahoma, as enumerated April 24, 1930, by Walter E. Starry had a record of the Thomas and Opal Dolton Household. Thomas Dolton was the head of household and the family was renting the house on A Avenue for six dollars per month. Thomas was a male, white, 30 years of age, and was born abt 1899 in MIssouri. He was married and had married at the age of 26 years. He was able to read, write, and speak English. His father was born in Kansas and his mother in Illinois. Thomas was working as a farmer in general farming. He was not a veteran. Opal Dolton was Thomas' wife, female, white, 23 years of age, born abt 1907 in Oklahoma. She was 19 years of age when first married in 1926. She was able to read, write, and speak English. Her father was born in MIssouri and her mother in Arkansas. Tomaline Dolton was Thomas' daughter, female, white, one year of age, born abt 1929 in Oklahoma.

In the 1930s, Thomas established himself in a retail produce venders marketing stall inside the "Oklahoma Farmer's Market." The indoor market was circular complex where Oklahoma City families regularly came to buy fresh produce.

There was an outdoor wholesale dock where farmers brought their produce (eggs, chickens, watermelons, tomatoes, corn, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes, etc.) where Oklahoma City's inside venders "neighborhood markets" and the market's inside venders could buy produce for their individual markets.

Thomas' father (Frank} & brother {Elza} & Louis' grandfather (Charles Mohr) brought produce from their Mustang farms to the Wholesale Dock. Thomas & Elza also drove a truck into rural farm communities to buy produce, including Rush Springs for watermelons near the Wichita Mountains, to sell on the wholesale docks.

The Oklahoma City Farmer's Market was a huge complex which housed a larger two story building inside the circle of over a hundred stalls where there were stores for groceries, clothing, shoe repair, and a small cafeteria. Workers usually brought their own lunch, but you could buy a sandwich & drink for fifteen cents.

According to his daughter, Tomaline, Thomas migrated to California with his sisters Bell and Ines, and their spouses. They stopped in San Bernardino, where Thomas participated in the first grafting of grapefruit with oranges. Thomas and Opal then went back to Oklahoma to be with her parents during the birth of Tomaline. Thomas and Opal eventually divorced, and Thomas met and married Bessie Kriz. Thomas and Bessie then came back to California and settled in Culver City, where Thomas worked as a machinist and security guard.

Thomas was about 53 when he learned to fly, and earned his single engine pilots license. He flew his own airplane from California to Mustang, Oklahoma where he utilized the old Dolton farm pasture as a landing field. He had made a trip to Tulakes Airport for fuel and intended to land on his brother's smaller farm pasture. Most of the Frank Dolton family was gathered near the pasture for this event. He had made 2 passes trying to land, but with only himself as a passenger, could not bring the plane to a stop before he ran out of room.

He made one more attempt but did not clear a set of telephone lines. The wheels caught the telephone wires, slowed his speed, and the plane nosed into a soft but harsh landing in the soft mud of Elza's nearly dry farm pond.

Ron Dolton, who watched the accident, said the crash broke off the left landing gear and the left wing. The other wing was removed; the left wheel patched onto the craft, and the tail assembly was set in the back of a pickup truck and towed to an OKC airport. Repairs were made, the bent propeller was replaced, the plane cleaned, and he flew the aircraft back to Mustang. Eventually, he flew back to Oklahoma City and back to California.

Opal was the daughter of a Church of Christ preacher. Bessie was also a member of the Churches of Christ. Thomas wasn't particularly religious until after he married Bessie and almost lost his life in an automobile accident with a "red car" (part of LA's mass transit system). He made a commitment to God to become religious if God spared his life. He fulfilled his commitment, and spent the rest of his life as a regular church goer at the Culver Palms church of Christ.


Thomas' Children


Thomas Franklin Dolton and Opal Leona Bales had one child together.
Neosha Tomaline Dolton. Tomaline was a cousin & playmate of Louis Dolton, Sr. from childhood in Oklahoma.

Children of Thomas Franklin Dolton and Bessie Georgia Kriz
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