ELDON — James Jones, 97, of Eldon, passed away June 27, 2014, at his home.
James Lee Jones, son of Wilsey and Helen (Baird) Jones, was born April 23, 1917, near Albia. He was born into the life of a farmer and would not have had it any other way. From an early age, he was taught the value of hard work and being true to your word. He would help his father in the field, plowing behind a team of horses in his bare feet. During a time when horses were the driving force on the farm, James developed a love for them. Whether racing ponies or working with them on the farm, they were an important part of his life for more than 90 years. He was known for being able to plant 20 acres of corn per day behind a team of horses while keeping the rows perfectly straight, a skill that led to many neighbors asking for his help with the planting. James attended country school before moving to Eldon to complete high school, graduating with the class of 1935. He then moved to Buxton, where he met his true love, Madeline. They were married April 26, 1942, in Unionville, Missouri. They worked hand-in-hand as farmers and parents to their two boys, James and Richard. James and Madeline were together for more than 60 years and could often be seen riding together on the tractor. Their lives centered around farming and family. There were many picnics at the surrounding lakes and parks with family and friends, as well as the occasional vacation to the west coast. Sundays were filled with church, lunch and a nice drive. James was active in helping to build the Eldon Christian Church and attended services there, as well as the Living Hope Bible Church in Eldon later in life. From the moment he stepped foot on the ground until the minute he took his last breath, he was a farmer. He always had time for a good conversation and didn't know a stranger. James was a man who knew the value of a firm handshake and your word, and he will be deeply missed.