A former State Senator from Randolph County, W. A. Jackson’s safety deposit box remained unclaimed in the custody of Iberia Bank until it was turned over to the Arkansas State Auditor’s Office as “Unclaimed Property”.


Born in 1872, W.A. Jackson entered politics over 100 years ago, Jackson was elected Sheriff in 1904 . Jackson’s Obituary stated that he rode a horse while campaigning, he also studied law and was appointed Deputy Prosecutor before his election to the legislature in 1910. Making the task of returning the property even more complicated, the address on the box was more than 60 years old.


Once opened, the box contained probate papers, bank documents, warrant posters, poll tax receipts, personal letters, and letters about Jackson’s public service as Randolph County Sheriff and later as Randolph County Tax Collector.


After some investigation, Mr. Jackson’s grandson was located in Texas, Dr. Robert Womack of Texas stated he only met his grandfather one time.


In a strange twist, W.A. Jackson, the owner of the safety deposit box was the father of Manley Jackson. Manley Jackson was a night marshal in Pocahontas while his father was serving as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. On November 8th 1931, Manley was forced into a car at gunpoint and died after being shot 4 times in the back.


The Pocahontas Police Chief at the time, John Slayton and local residents Earl Decker and Lige Dame were implicated in the crime. Dame, a bootlegger at one point confessed but later recanted his story. W.A. Jackson delivered an impassioned case on behalf of the state, the trial went on for months.


According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas ,30 years after W.A. Jackson’s death, the autobiography of Alvin Karpis (a member of the infamous Ma Barker Gang) revealed the W.A. Jackson’s son was actually murdered by Fred Barker after Manley spotted the Barker Gang’s car. The Barkers were in town casing a bank for robbery according to Alvin Karpis. Manley was making a note of the license plate when Fred Barker forced him into the car. W.A. Jackson never knew the wrong men had been implicated in his son’s death.


W.A. Jackson died in 1942, he is buried in Randolph County.