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Fort Worth Flashback: Quanah Parker was no stranger to Cowtown

Posted Oct. 5, 2012

Quannah Parker

Quanah Parker is buried in the Fort Sill Post Cemetery at Lawton, Okla., in a section of that cemetery known as Chief's Knoll.

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Cynthia Ann Parker is shown in the 1861 daguerreotype from the Great Plains Museum.

Quanah Parker

Through shrewd investments, Quanah Parker became a very wealthy man, perhaps the wealthiest Native American in America at that time.

The last chief of the Comanche Nation, Quanah Parker was a statesman, warrior and frequent visitor to Fort Worth.

He was the son of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was taken by Comanche Indians in 1836 at age 9. She lived her life as a Comanche before being captured by Texas Rangers in 1860 and returned to the Parker family in Tarrant County.

As Comanche chief, Quanah would not sign the 1867 Medicine Lodge Treaty that sent many Plains Indians to reservations. He led raids in Texas and Mexico for seven more years and was never defeated in battle. However, after a harsh winter, he laid down his arms in 1875. He then became a liaison between Native Americans and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, encouraging his people to take up ranching and get a formal education.

In 1909, Parker and 38 members of his tribe rode in full regalia in the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Parade.

Through Dec. 15, the Central Library will be hosting an exhibit of artifacts and photographs as well as several programs and presentations about Quanah Parker and his mother. The exhibit, consisting of 60 historical items and numerous rare objects, is sponsored by the Texas Lakes Trail Heritage Program in cooperation with the Mayor’s Promotional Fund, Redstone Visual Impressions, the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Comanche Nation.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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