Current Exhibit

 

 

Quanah Parker: One Man, Two Worlds 

The society’s most recent exhibit was on display July 9-Aug. 20, 2022 in the lobby of Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main Street.

The exhibit was researched and created in 2002 by then-Tarrant County Historical Commission members Doug Harman, Bob Holmes and Clara Ruddell. Most recently, the exhibit is sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Lakes Trail region.

The dramatic story about Comanche Chief Quanah Parker and his mother Cynthia Ann Parker dates back to 1830s Texas. Cynthia Ann was captured at age 9 by the Comanche and lived with them for 24 years before being recaptured by the Texas Rangers and returned to the Parker family. 

From the 1870s into the 20th century, her son Quanah Parker lived two vastly different lives: the first as a warrior among the Plains Indians of Texas and the second as a pragmatic leader who sought a place for his people in a rapidly changing America. He developed friendships with many notable men, including President Theodore Roosevelt who invited Quanah to his inauguration in 1905.

“Southlake’s link to Cynthia Ann is Malinda Frost Dwight Hill, a survivor of the 1836 attack on Parker’s Fort,” said historical society president Connie Cooley. “Malinda died in 1870 and is buried in Lonesome Dove Cemetery in Southlake.”

Fans of S.C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon know well the story of Cynthia Ann, and Malinda’s escape from the fort with her baby, mother, husband and others is chronicled on pages 16-18.

Photograph of Cynthia Ann Parker with her daughter, Prairie Flower, taken in Fort Worth after Cynthia Ann’s recapture in 1860 by Texas Rangers. Cynthia Ann was reunited with family members she no longer remembered and struggled to readjust. She tried to escape a number of times with her daughter to find her Comanche family but never succeeded. Her son, Quanah, searched for her but never found her. She died in 1871 in East Texas. Quanah later had her reinterred near his home in Oklahoma. Courtesy of Humanities Texas
Quanah Parker was born around 1845 and lived two very different lives. He was the son of Comanche Chief Peta Nacona and Cynthia Ann Parker and, in the 1860 raid on Comanches by Texas Rangers, his mother was recaptured and Peta Nacona was killed. Young Quanah moved west to join the Quahada Comanche and proved to be a warrior chief and successful rancher and investor. Government officials recognized him as the Comanche tribes leader and he served on several delegations to Washington, D.C. representing the Comanche nation. This photo of Quanah Parker, circa 1885. National Photo Company Collection, National Archives and Records Administration.
Quanah Parker as part of a Comanche and Kiowa delegation, ca. 1880–1897. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.