Roderick David "Rod, Zip" Thomson

(December 4, 1885 - May 2, 1973)

The Lusk Herald
May, 1973

Zip Thomson, Former Niobrara Resident, Dies

Funeral service for Rod "Zip" Thomson, 87, was held May 4 at 2:00 p.m. at the Congregational Church in Douglas. Mr. Thomson, who was a resident of Niobrara County from 1914 to 1963, died May 2 in Douglas where he made his home.

Casket bearers were Richard Wallis, Bert Emery, Max Miller, Jack Moore, Bob Downs and Richard Middleton.

Honorary pallbearers were James Oscar Middleton, Flores Kruse, Lester Wintermote, August Riehle, Roy Jarmon, Harry Manning, Lee Moore, Walt Alexander, Archie Alexander, Bill Nuttall, Frank Thurston, Bill Cross, Tommy Wilson, Emmett Ballard, Herman Falkenberg and Rollie Sadler.

Roderick David Thomson was born Dec. 4, 1885, the first white boy born in Chadron, Neb., the fourth of five children born to John Forsythe and Agnes Landles Thomson.

Since Chadron lies close between Wounded Knee and Fort Robinson, Mr. Thomson had vivid memories of the Battle of Wounded Knee. He learned to speak the Sioux language and knew Chief Red Cloud personally. In his youth he also acquired the nickname "Zip" which he used throughout his life.

When he was 20 he was running chain for Jules Sandoz on a survey job before he and his brother John took up raising horses and bought a ranch near Ardmore, S. D. They later moved their 400 head of horses to Big Lightning Creek and each filed on a homestead. Both proved up their claims and later bought other land moving from horse raising to cattle. He still owned some of the land at the time of his death.

In April 1928 Mr. Thomson married Catherine Gentry and three children were born, Mrs. William (Maybel) Hitshew, Mrs. Darvel (Genevieve) Funk, and David Thomson. A nephew of Mrs. Thomson, Billy Davis, also made his home with the Thomsons for many years.

In the forties the Thomsons bought a second home north of Douglas where he resided at the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife, three children, six grandchildren, one great-grandchild and one sister, Clara Macumber of Chadron.

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