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.