Nelia Jane Low Submitted by: Karen June Derrick Roberson
Nelia Jane Low Derrick was born on April 13, 1890 at Scipio in Tobucksy
County, Choctaw Nation. Her father was Hugh David Low from Kansas. Her mother was Melvina Ingram, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation. Jane was the fourth of seven children. Lorene Estes Elkins was the oldest. The rest are Pearl Nicar Kyle, Emanual, herself, Francis Smith, Hugh Stewart and Anna Motley. All were original enrollees. Their mother, Melvina, died after she tried to stop a runaway horse and wagon that her son was in. She was dragged and lived long enough to give birth to Anna. Jane was eight years old when her mother died. Jane and her siblings went to live with their maternal grandmother, Lucy Perkins Ingram, also an original enrollee near Coalgate, Indian Territory. Their grandmother sent them to Gill Indian Boarding School to be educated. As the older girls married, my grandmother went to live with them. They all received land allotments. My grandmother’s was near Calvin in Hughes County. She met my grandfather, George Gordon Derrick, at an ice cream party. He played the banjo and she played the piano. This began many years of music together. They married on October 1, 1905 at his parent’s home on Salt Creek near Calvin, Indian Territory. She was 15 and he was 17. My grandfather built their home on her land. There they raised their four living children of eight. Vernon, the oldest, married Pearl Cook. Irene married Harry Hardwick, then later Al Madruga. Grace married Russell Wilbanks and Elma married Lloyd Murray. Jane lived all of her married life of 68 years and up to her death on December 27, 1983 at almost 94 years of age on her land. She passed it on to her only son, Vernon and his wife, Pearl, my parents. Granny loved to share her Indian heritage with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She told me about picking her teeth with a splinter from a tree struck by lightening so you would not get a toothache. She split the clouds for my cousin. She shared so many things with us. Granny said her goal in life was to have a home on the side of the road where she could help her fellowman. She achieved her goal. She helped raise other orphans, nephews, brothers, sisters and grandchildren. She fed countless others from her large garden. Many stayed in her home over the years. Everyone knew she was just down the road at Hilltop and dinner would be ready and an empty chair at the table for them. She and my grandfather are buried just down the road at Hilltop Cemetery near Calvin, Oklahoma. She taught us to acknowledge God and be proud of our Indian heritage.