March 22, 2014

Jackson to be inducted into History Hall of Fame

Jessica Lane
The Express-Star


Loretta Y. Jackson is one of four individuals who will be inducted into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame. 

"It came as a total surprise," Jackson said. 

Founder of the Loretta Y. Jackson African American Historical Society, Jackson has chronicled the history of Chickasha for decades. 

Jackson has held careers in real estate, banking and education and served as a volunteer on behalf of civil rights and education. Jackson is the author of two books and served as executive producer of three television documentaries titled “Courage: The Ada Lois Sipuel Story” “The Color of Hope” and “A City Within a City.” 

"What I've done is what I love to do," Jackson said. 

Jackson attributes her love of history to her mother, Lillie Bell Blunt. Jackson said that it was through her mother that she learned about many historical figures of Chickasha. 

Jackson's mother grew up with Dudley Dickerson, Jr., most famously known for his roles in The Three Stooges. Jackson said her mother said she had to tell Dickerson's story. 

Jackson said she also spent a lot of time growing up listening to the stories of her family, both on her mother and father's side. 

Jackson discovered and rescued the Verden Separate School and had it moved to Chickasha where it stands on Ada Sipuel Ave. 

The little building itself has it's own story of endurance. For 90 years, it survived three scenarios when it could have been torn down. That doesn't even take into account, Jackson said, the severe winds and tornadoes of Oklahoma. The small building still has its original walls and floor. 

"Mama said that Chickasha is the best place in the world," Jackson said. Chickasha, Jackson said, contributed in its own way to the making of America. 

"What I've accomplished is to say that Chickasha is a good place," Jackson said. 

Jackson will be honored during the Annual Awards Luncheon of the Oklahoma Historical Society on Friday, April 25, at the Stillwater Community Center in Stillwater. The other honorees are Kenny L. Brown, Edmond; Linda W. Reese, Norman; and Mary Jane Warde, Stillwater. The public is invited to make reservations at $16 each by sending a check to Shelly Crynes at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. Reservations may be obtained via credit card by telephoning 1.800.750.4090 or 1.405.522.0317. 

The Annual Awards Luncheon is one of many programs and events that will be conducted during the three-day Crossroads of Commerce: The 2014 Oklahoma History Conference. The conference will feature more than 20 presentations on Oklahoma history topics, two luncheons, a dinner, a concert and a bus tour. Details on the conference and a registration form may be obtained by emailing Shelly Crynes at or calling her at 1.405.522.0317.