Lute & Granny Jackson

Lute and wife Louise. (Courtesy photo)

By Judy Wade 

Much has been written about Lute and Granny Jackson and their part in the history of southern Oklahoma while it was still Indian Territory. Lute was once summoned to “hanging” in Judge Parker’s court in Fort Smith, Ark., accused of killing a sheep herder and his sheep. His mother, Amanda, accompanied him to plead his case and met and exchanged recipes with the infamous Belle Starr. Lute was acquitted.

However, the mother-son duo had quite a history in Texas before moving to Indian Territory.

Amanda (Granny) Jackson was born in 1819 near what is now Plantersville, Miss. She married William A. Jackson in 1843 and they had five daughters and three sons. Lucian Boneparte (called Lute by his family) was born in 1857 in Genoa, Ark., and was six years old when the family moved to Illinois Bend in Montague, Texas, just south of the Red River and the Choctaw-Chickasaw Nation in Indian Territory.

In 1862, William Jackson was returning to Mississippi to retrieve some of the family’s belongings when he was killed near what is now Idabel, Okla. He was found dead, lying in the bed of his abandoned wagon. It was assumed he was killed and robbed by thieves who took his horses, supplies and about $40 in gold coins, considered a large sum in those days.
Shortly after his death, the Jackson homestead was raided by Indians and his barns and hay were burned. Interested only in stealing the horses, the Indians circled the house several times, shooting arrows into the log walls and rode north across the river.

The children pulled out the arrows and kept them for several years.

Shortly after that raid in 1868, a company of soldiers was camped near Illinois Bend to patrol the border between Indian Territory and Texas to prevent Indian raids in the area. One Sunday afternoon as the soldiers were playing baseball, the soldiers themselves were attacked by the same band of Indians that had raided the Jackson homestead.

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