Article Menu
Genealogy Home

Quanah Parker
Son of Cynthia Ann Parker and Peta Nocona

A Leader in Two Worlds

Notes from the research of Orville Boyd Jenkins, son of Orville Lee Jenkins

Family Names:  Parker, Fisher, Asewaynah, Rudolph, Christian, Jenkins

----------------------

Quanah Parker was born to Peta Nocona, a Quahadi (Kwahado, Quahada) Comanche war leader, and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman who had been captured by the Comanche and raised as an Indian. Cynthia's family, the Parkers, were influential people in prestatehood Texas, so the raid on Ft. Parker on May 19, 1836, is considered a major event in Texas history. Several family members died in the raid, but nine-year-old Cynthia was one of those taken alive. She and her brother were adopted by the Natives, but her brother apparently died soon after. Cynthia was renamed Preloch and was brought up in a traditional Quahadi village.
In her middle teens, Cynthia married Peta Nocona. About 1852 (some sources say as early as 1845), Quanah was born to them as their band camped at Cedar Lake, Texas. Approximately three years later, Quanah's sister Topsannah ["Prairie Flower"] was born. Their childhood coincided with major changes in Comanche life, as American settlement increased and free range for Indians and buffalo decreased. Cynthia's family kept up the search for her throughout the years. Finally, in 1861, Texas Rangers recaptured Cynthia and brought her and Topsannah back to her relatives. Although she knew about her early years, Cynthia had become completely Comanche, and she mourned for her Indian family and friends. It is believed that Prairie Flower died in the mid-1860s, and Cynthia followed her to the grave in 1870.
...
By the beginning of 1911, Quanah Parker was in obvious poor health. He had rheumatism and his heart was weakening. In February, after a long and tiring train ride, he took to his bed, suffering from heart trouble. On February 25th, 1911, Quanah Parker died at the Star House, Tonarcy at his side. Despite criticism during his life from traditional Comanche, Quanah Parker was so revered that the procession to his resting place was said to be over a mile long.

After a Christian service in a local church, Quanah was buried next to his mother's and sister's reinterred remains in Cache County, Oklahoma. Four years later, graverobbers broke into his grave, taking the jewelry with which he had been buried.

The Parkers ritually cleaned and then reburied him. Quanah Parker, Cynthia Ann, and Topsannah were all moved to Ft. Sill Military Cemetery in 1957. [A photo story in the Houston Chronicle on 3 October 1965 reports that at that time Topsana's body had just been disinterred from Van Zandt County, Texas, and was being reburied in the Ft Sill Cemetery with her mother and brother at that time.] The life of Quanah Parker is today seen as the extraordinary story of a person successfully living in two worlds, two minds, two eras.
 -- "Quanah Parker," Encyclopedia.com
----------------------

Though this encyclopedia reports that Quanah was born as the band camped out in Texas, Wikipedia reports that he told two stories. One was consistent with the report of birth near Clear Lake, in Gaines County, Texas. But on another occasion he said he had been told he was born in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma. Historians generally follow the Clear Lake story.

In the period of time reported by various sources for Quanah's birth (1845-1852), that area of current Oklahoma was part of the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nation Lands based on the original Removal treaties moving eastern Nations to the unassigned federal lands of the west. That side of the Chickasaw-Choctaw lands is Chickasaw Nation, going to the Red River with the Choctaw Nation land now so designated being farther east to the Arkansas border.

Trying to be as accurate as possible to the known historical situation, I designate Quanah's claimed Oklahoma birth place as Chickasaw Nation. From 1855 the area was leased by the Federal government then annexed by treaty (see details below) in 1866 to become part of the Unassigned Lands until the designation of Oklahoma Territory in 1890. For these reasons you will see the same area designated by those territorial names depending on the time. When the tribal lands were converted to individual or famliy plots, the land was incorporated into the state of Oklahoma. The Comanche reservaton area was generally in Comanche County, Oklahoma.

--------------------------
Biographer Bill Neeley cites a letter Quanah wrote late in life to his friend, rancher Charles Goodnight, in which Quanah stated, "From the best information I have, I was born about 1850 on Elk Creek just below the Wichita Mountains." Author S.C. Gwynne supports the Oklahoma claim in his 2010 book, Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History.

However, another account disputes the birthplace, contending that in 1911 Parker was seen traveling by automobile near Lubbock, Texas, telling observers he was going to visit what he understood to be his birthplace at Laguna Sabinas (Cedar Lake) in Gaines County, Texas.

 -- "Quanah Parker," Wikipedia
--------------------------

Different sources report common dates of birth as 1845 or 1852. Reports in historical sources and records report birth date as either 23 February 1911 or 25 February 1911. He was chief of only his band. He was given the title "Last chief of the Comanches" by Colonel Ronald (Ranald) Mackenzie, the commanding officer of Ft Sill. He was opposed by other leaders who did not want to stop fighting the US government. Various sources report the details.

"Quanah was not elected chief, as the Comanche had no single chief, the US appointed him chief, of the entire nation, once he was on the reservation."
 -- Native American Images, http://www.nativeamericanimages.net/2011/10/comanche.html

The United States established a resevation in 1867 for the Apache, Comanche and Kiowa on lands they had originally lesed from the Chickasaw and Choctaw Tribes. These were called the Leased District. In 1866 the US had gained possession of the Leased District through the Reconstruction Treaties.

"Chickasaw, who were situated in the southern portion of I.T. In 1855 the federal government leased the western portion of their lands, known as the Leased District. This area was located in southwestern part of present Oklahoma. Through the Reconstruction Treaties of 1866 the Choctaw and Chickasaw ceded the Leased District to the federal government. As part of the Medicine Lodge treaties of 1867 the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache were assigned a reservation in the district, which included present Comanche County."
 -- History of Comanche County, http://www.comanchecounty.us/index.php/visitors/history-of-comanche-county

--------------------------
Quanah and the Quahada Comanche, of whom his father, Peta Nocona had been chief, refused to accept the provisions of the 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge, which confined the southern Plains Indians to a reservation, promising to clothe the Indians and turn them into farmers in imitation of the white settlers.

Knowing of past lies and deceptive treaties of the "White man", Quanah decided to remain on the warpath, raiding in Texas and Mexico and out maneuvering Army Colonel Ronald S. Mackenzie and others. He was almost killed during the attack on buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls in the Texas Panhandle in 1874. The U.S. Army was relentless in its Red River campaign of 1874-75. Quanah's allies, the Quahada were weary and starving.

Mackenzie appointed Quanah Parker as the chief of the Comanche shortly after his surrender, but the older chiefs resented Parkerís youth, and his white blood in particular." And in 1892, when Quanah Parker signed the Jerome Agreement that broke up the reservation, the Comanche were split into two factions:
(1). those who realized that all that could be done had been done for their nation; and
(2). those who blamed Chief Parker for selling their country."

 -- "Quanah Parker," Lone Star Internet
--------------------------

1900 Federal Census, Oklahoma Territory, 11 June, Apache, Kiowa & Comanche Reservation, District 12, page 74A, Hse #744, Fam #749
Parker, Quanah Head Ind M 1852 48 Married 24 yrs TX TX TX Farmer Owns Comanche Father Comanche Mother Comanche 1/2 White
Parker, To nar sy Wife Ind M 1865 35 Married 24 yrs 1 children/- living OklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche
Parker, Wick e ah Old Wife Ind F 1860 40 Married 22 yrs 4 children/- living OklaTerr TX OklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche
Parker, Tope se up Dau Ind F 1894 6 Single OklaTerr OklaTerr OklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche 1/4 White
Parker, Ho pah rah Mother-in-law W F 1810 90 Widow OklaTerr Unk Unk Comanche Comanche Comanche
Parker, Chony Wife Ind F 1863 37 Married 24 yrs 4 children/2 living OklaTerr OklaTerr OklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche
Parker, Honnie Dau Ind F 1892 8 Single OklaTerr OklaTerr OklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche 1/4 White
Parker, Mah Che to Wook Ki Wife Ind F 1862 38 Married 18 yrs 3 children/2 living OklaTerr OklaTerr OklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche
Parker, Laura [Matches Bessie in other lists] Dau Ind F 1895 5 Single OklaTerr OklaTerr OklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche
Parker, Topay Wife Ind F 1879 21 Married 6 yrs 1 children/1 living OklaTerr OklaTerr OklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche
Parker, Kelsy Son W F [sic] 1 Single OklaTerr OklaTerr OklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche 1/4 White

If we go by the birth states of the parents of the children, then Quanah could not be the father of the children reported here. The enumerator has erred in the birth place of the father of Tope se Up, Honnnie, Laura and Kelsey, which should have been Texas, not Oklahoma Territory.

Next in the list is Weck-e-ah's daughter We-ra-ra or Weyodee with her husband Tah-ma-ke-ra. Note that the enumerator has for some reason put the number of children born and living on the line for her husband instead of We rah ra.

1900 Federal Census, Oklahoma Territory, 11 June, Apache, Kiowa & Comanche Reservation, District 12, page 74A, Hse #744, Fam #749
Tah ma ke ra Head Ind M 1876 24 Married 5 yrs 2 children/2 living OklaTerr OklaTerr OklaTerr Horse Herd [No rpt of ownership] Comanche Comanche Comanche
We rah ra Wife Ind F 1880 20 Married 5 yrs no children rpt OklaTerr OklaTerr OklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche
Tah ma ke ra, Samuel Son Ind M 1896 4 OklaTerr OklaTerrOklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche
Tah ma ke ra, Saphio Dau Ind F 1898 2 Single OklaTerr OklaTerr OklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche

In 1900 Quanah's sons with A-er-wuth-take-um are in a mission school on the reservation. I see that the enumerator has reported Lenn and both his parents as Kiowas, but has it right for Thomas.

1900 Federal Census, Oklahoma Territory, 1 June, Apache, Kiowa & Comanche Reservation, District 25, page 29B, Methvin Institute Mission School
Parker, Lenn Pupil Ind M Oct 1890 9 OklaTerr OklaTerr OklaTerr Horse Herd [No rpt of ownership] Kiowa Father Kiowa Mother Kiowa [Should all be Comanche]
Parker, Thomas Pupil Ind M Mar 1893 6 OklaTerr OklaTerrOklaTerr Comanche Comanche Comanche

In the 1905 Comanche census, we have the only list I have seen in records of his wives and some of their children in family groups together. Quanah is listed with 6 of his 7 wives and some of their children. On his memorial on Find A Grave, a 7th wife is reported, named Co-by (1865-1913). In the list on Wikipedia, only 6 wives are reported, including Co-by, but leaving out Weck-e-ah. One source mentions that Co-by and Quanah were divorced.

Another wife also was divorced from Quanah. In this 1905 census, the last wife listed, A-er-wuth-take-um, mother of Len and Thomas, is listed after the other wives with her second husband Sidney Mah-seet Taum-mer-ra-da, with both her children with Quanah and three younger chidlren. The oldest child with the second husband's name, was 9 years old, and thus born about 1896. So A-er-wuth-take-um married her second husband Taum-mer-ra-da about 1895, meaning she divorced Quanah before that.

1905 Indian Census Rolls, Comanche Tribe, Oklahoma, 30 June, Kiowa Agency, Comanche Tribe, Page 22
Ind Name Quanah Eng Name Quanah Parker Male Husband age 64
Ind Name To-na-rcy Female Wife age 41
Eng Name Esther Parker Female age 18

Ind Name Ne-dah Eng Name Laura Parker Female age 23

Ind Name Weck-e-ah Female Mother age 46
Ind Name Pache Eng Name Mary Parker Female Daughter age 14
Ind Name Tope-se-up Female Daughter age 12
Ind Name Woon-ar-dy Eng Name Woon-ar-dy Parker Female Daughter age 22

Ind Name Cho-ny Female Mother age 43
Eng Name Honnie Parker Female Daughter age 14

Ind Name Tah-too-ah-rap Eng Name Baldwin Parker Male age 18

Ind Name Mah-cheet-to-wook-ky Female Mother age 44
Eng Name Bessie Parker Female Daughter age 11

Eng Name White Parker Male age 18

Ind Name To-pay Female Mother age 27
Eng Name Kelsey Parker Male Son age 7
Eng Name Culberson Parker Male Son age 1

Taum-mer-ra-da Eng Name Sidney Mah-seet Male Husband 36
A-er-wuth-take-um Female wife 41
Ne-hio Eng Name Len Parker Male Stepson 15
Tit-tah Eng Name Thomas Parker Male Stepson 13
Eng Name Mary Taum-mer-ra-da Female Dau 9
Eng Name Josephine Taum-mer-ra-da Female Dau 4
Eng Name Dyson Mah-seet Male Son 1/4

1910 Federal Census, Comanche County, Oklahoma, 17 May, Quanah Township, Apache, Kiowa & Comanche Reservation, District 29, page 20A, Hse/Fam #7
Parker, Quanah Head M Ind 60 [b abt 1850] Marriage 2 Married unk yrs Comanche/OK Comanche/US White/TX 1/2 blood Farmer/Asst to Kiowa Agency English mother tongue Owns
Parker, Tonarcy Wife F Ind 45 [b abt 1865] Marriage 1 Married unk yrs 1 child/0 living Comanche/OK Comanche/OK Comanche/OK Full blood Comanche mother tongue
Parker, Topay Wife F Ind 38 [b abt 1872] Marriage 1 Married unk yrs 4 children/2 living Comanche/OK Comanche/OK Comanche/OK Full blood Comanche mother tongue
Parker, Kelsey Son M Ind 12 [b abt 1898] Single Comanche/OK Comanche/OK Comanche/OK 3/4 blood English mother tongue
Parker, Chee Son M Ind 2 [b abt 1908] Single Comanche/OK Comanche/OK Comanche/OK 3/4 blood [no language rpt]
Acofty Bro-in-law M Ind 60 [b abt 1850] Widowed Comanche/OK Comanche/Unk Comanche/Unk Full blood Married 4 times Comanche mother tongue
Wah woom ah yetahy Mother-in-law F Ind 70 [b abt 1840] Widow Comanche/OK Comanche/Unk Comanche/Unk Full blood Married 4 times Comanche mother tongue
Sah wan pe tipe Niece F Ind 13 [b abt 1897] Single Comanche/OK Comanche/OK Comanche/OK Full blood English mother tongue

Quanah's record reports this is his 2nd marriage. The 1900 census reports that he had been married to Tonarcy 24 years, to Weck-e-ah 22 years. But Cynthia Ann, the daughter of Weck-e-ah, is reported to be Quanah's first child. I do not have a confirmed name for Tonarcy's one child. This 1910 census tells us her child has died.

Next door is Quanah's daughter with Weck-e-ah, Laura Ne-dah Birdsong.

1910 Federal Census, Comanche County, Oklahoma, 17 May, Quanah Township, Apache, Kiowa & Comanche Reservation, District 29, page 20A, Hse/Fam #6
Birdsong, Aubra C Head M Ind 25 [b abt 1885] Marriage 1 Married 5 yrs White/MO White/MO Government Farmer, Kiowa Agency English mother tongue Rents
Birdsong, Laura P Wife F Ind 27 [b abt 1883] Marriage 1 Married 5 yrs 1 child/0 living Comanche/OK Comanche/OK Comanche/OK 3/4 blood Comanche mother tongue
Birdsong, Anona Dau F Ind 4 [b abt 1906] Single Comanche/TX White/MO Comanche/OK 3/8 blood English mother tongue

--------------------------
Quanah Parker
Quahada Comanche 1890-1911

Born 1845 or 1852
Died February 23, 1911 Quanah Parker Star House, Cache, Oklahoma

Comanche leader to bring the Quahada band into Fort Sill
Founder of the Native American Church & peyote religion
Cause of death Heart failure by rheumatism

Buried (reinterred) Fort Sill Post Cemetery, Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Spouse(s) Chony, Mah-Chetta-Wookey, Ah-Uh-Wuth-Takum, Coby, Toe-Pay, and Tonarcy

Parents :
Peta Nocona
Cynthia Ann Parker

Relatives
Po-bish-e-quasho "Iron Jacket," John Parker, James W. Parker, Daniel Parker, John Richard Parker

Quanah Parker (ca. 1845 or 1852 - February 23, 1911) was Comanche/English-American from the Comanche band Noconis ("wanderers" or "travelers"), and emerged as a dominant figure, particularly after the 'Comanches' final defeat. He was one of the last Comanche chiefs. The US appointed Quanah principal chief of the entire nation once the people had gathered on the reservation and later introduced general elections. Quanah was a Comanche chief, a leader in the Native American Church, and the last leader of the powerful Quahadi band before they surrendered their battle of the Great Plains and went to a reservation in Indian Territory. He was the son of Comanche chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, an English-American, who had been kidnapped at the age of nine and assimilated into the tribe. Quanah Parker also led his people on the reservation, where he became a wealthy rancher and influential in Comanche and European American society.

 -- "Quanah Parker," Wikipedia
--------------------------

His memorial on Find a Grave reports the grave on the new marker placed upon his reinterment in Ft Sill Military Cemetery, Ft Sill, Oklahoma.

--------------------------------
Quanah Parker
Birth 1845
Death Feb. 23, 1911

Native American Folk Figure. He is often referred to as the last Chief of the Comanches, but the truth of the matter is that the Comanche people never elected him as a chief. In fact there was no such thing as Chief of the Comanches. Each band of Comanches had their own chief. After the surrender of the Comanche people and their placement on the reservation, Colonel Ranald S Mackenzie appointed him Chief of Comanches. He was the son of Peta Nacona, a noted fierce Comanche chief, and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman captured by the Comanches. Quanah refused to sign the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867 and went on a savage eight year war against the whites.

It has been said that he never lost a battle with the white man during those years. In 1874, he had his closest brush with death when he was shot twice by buffalo hunters in a battle at Adobe Wells. In the year 1875 it became very clear to Quanah that the white people were far too numerous and too well armed to be defeated. Mackenzie sent Jacob J. Sturm, a physician and post interpreter, to solicit Quanah's surrender. Sturm found Quanah, whom he called "a young man of much influence with his people," and pleaded his case. Quanah rode to a mesa, where he saw a wolf come toward him, howl and trot away to the northeast. Overhead, an eagle "glided lazily and then whipped his wings in the direction of Fort Sill."

This was a sign, Quanah thought, and on June 2, 1875, he and his band surrendered at Fort Sill in present-day Oklahoma. The Comanches were placed on a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma The reservation agents saw it as their duty to eliminate all Native American cultures and replace them with the ways of the white man. Quanah refused to give up his multiple wives and to cease the use of peyote. He also negotiated grazing rights with Texas cattlemen, and he invested in railroads. After his appointment as chief, the older chiefs resented his youth and particularly resented his white blood. When he signed the Jerome Agreement in 1892, the tribe was split into two factions; those who thought all that could be done had been done; and those who blamed Parker for selling their country.

He invested wisely, owned a large, beautiful home in Cache, Oklahoma known as the Star House. He had five wives and twenty-five children. He was the wealthiest Indian in the United States. He was highly respected by white people and hunted with Theodore Roosevelt. When he died in 1911, he was buried next to his mother and sister in the Post Oak Cemetery in Oklahoma. In 1957, all three bodies were relocated to the Chief's Knoll in the Fort Sill Cemetery, in Lawton, Oklahoma. (bio by: Tom Todd)

Parents:
Peta Nocona (1820 - 1864)
Cynthia Ann Parker (1827 - 1870)

Spouses:
Weckeah Parker (____ - 1923)
Takewm Aerwuth (1853 - 1948)
Maheheet-To-Wook-Ky (1862 - 1914)
Cho ny (1863 - 1913)
To-Nar-Cy (1864 - 1931)
Coby (1865 - 1919)
Topay (1870 - 1963)

Children:
Bessie Parker Asenap (____ - 1927)
Lena Parker
Esther Parker Tabbyyetchy (____ - 1919)
Goverson Parker
Cynthia Ann Parker Cox (1873 - 1946)
Neda P. Parker Birdsong (1877 - 1968)
Knox A. Beall (1878 - 1958)
Weyodee Parker Tahmahkera (1880 - 1965)
Honnie Parker (1882 - 1919)
Harold Parker (1883 - 1902)
Wanada Parker Page (1887 - 1970)
White Parker (1887 - 1956)
Johnnie Parker (1887 - 1922)
Baldwin Parker (1887 - 1963)
Len Parker (1888 - 1960)
Thomas Parker (1889 - 1975)
Mary Pache Parker Clark (1890 - 1952)
Alice Parker Purdy (1894 - 1971)
Kelsey Topay Parker (1899 - 1921)

Burial Fort Sill Post Cemetery, Fort Sill, Comanche County, Oklahoma

Maintained by Find A Grave, Record added: Jan 01, 2001
 -- Find A Grave Memorial #1371
--------------------------------

Quanah adopted Knox A. Beall.

------------------------------
Knox A. Beall
Birth Jan 3, 1878
Death Jan 29, 1958

Adopted Son of Quanah Parker. He is mentioned in the following article,
http://www.genealogyforum.rootsweb.com/gfaol/resource/NA/nale1.txt

Here is another story about Knox Beall,
http://digital.libraries.ou.edu/whc/pioneer/papers/10532%20Beall.pdf

Parents Quanah Parker (1845 - 1911)

Burial Cache Cemetery, Cache, Comanche County, Oklahoma

Created by Cokeman2 Jun 12, 2010
 -- Find A Grave Memorial #53587798

------------------------------

For more information on Quanah Parker and his family, see his entry in my RootsWeb genealogy.
Read more about the Jenkinses mentioned in my family research on Ancestry.com or here on my personal genealogy site.
For more about my life and interests, and some family information, see my web site Orville Jenkins Ideas and Interests.

Orville Boyd Jenkins
boydorville@gmail.com

Compiled from ongoing personal research of Orville Boyd Jenkins
Posted 29 April 2014
Last edited 26 May 2016

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2014 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Please give credit and link back.  Other rights reserved.

Article Menu
Genealogy Home

filename:  quanahparkerleader.html