Born April 1825 in NY, she might have been a daughter of Eldad Jackson of Ithaca, NY called “Delia” when younger, but there is nothing to prove this.
1860 Red Hook Journal article mentions a “private school” kept by “Miss Jackson” and in 1877 her “virtues as teacher of the Primary School are above comments.” In 1879 she taught at the public school and in the early 1880’s she taught “Sabbath” school at the Red Hook Methodist church. While she was a teacher, she resided with the John and Jane Curtis family in Red Hook in 1860 and 1870. In 1880 she boarded with Misses Mary, Gertrude, and Charlotte Benedict in Red Hook.
On 7 Oct, 1884, she left Red Hook for Indian Territory “having accepted a position as teacher in Spencer Academy, and Indian Mission School of Choctaw Tribe.” She spent two years out there and returned in the fall of 1886. The Spencer Academy was in what would be Choctaw Co, OK. It had reopened in 1882 but shut again in 1886, which, presumably is why Cordelia came home.
The Choctaw, one of the Five Civilized Tribes of the southeastern United States, wanted to have their children educated. In fact, they placed a high priority on education before and after their removal to the Indian Territory (present Oklahoma) from 1831 to 1834. They saw education as necessary to survive in the white world that was encroaching upon them. Choctaw principal chief Isaac Garvin (1878-80) declared, “I say educate! Educate! Or we perish!”
In the Red Hook Journal of 2 May 1890 there is a mention that she was from New York, formerly from and visiting friends in Red Hook. She’s a “visitor” in the home of John and Susan Van Home in Manhattan in 1900. How they knew each other is a mystery, but she was 65 years old and was probably retired from teaching at that point. She died 10 Mar 1905 at the home of Herbert Jackson Curtis (the author’s g-grandmother’s brother) and is buried at the Methodist Cemetery in Red Hook with the Fraleigh and Curtis families.