Old Fort Parker, Limestone County Texas

Interior of fort. The split rail fence currounded the garden. Cabin in left of frame, blockhouse in center.

Old Fort Parker is the sight of the Comanche Indian raid in May 1836 during which 9 year old Cynthia Ann Parker was captured.  At first beaten and abused she came to accept Indian ways and was adopted by a Comanche couple.  She married Chief Peta Nocona and bore three children, two sons and a daughter.  Her eldest son, born in 1850 was the last great warrior Comanche chief, Quanah Parker.  The fort was constructed by the CCC in 1936 as a centennial project and restored in 1967 and 2002.  It is a replica of the stockade fort that the Elder John Parker and other settlers from Illinois constructed to protect their families and livestock from the Indians.  On May 19th 1836 Indians attacked the fort,  5 settlers were killed, 5 were taken captive and 21 survived.  All of the captives were eventually ransomed back except Cynthia Ann who reportedly refused to leave.  In the winter of 1860 she was recaptured by Texas Rangers along with her young daughter at the Battle of the Pease River.  She had lived among the Indians for 24 years.  Cynthia Ann could not adjust to living in white society and repeatedly attempted to run away to the only family she knew, the Comanches.  She was now captive by her Anglo relatives who did not understand why she could not re-adapt to their ways.  In 1863 her young daughter died and she received word that her young son Pecos had perished of smallpox.  She began refusing food and water and starved herself to death a few years later.  Her son the great warrior Comanche chief Quanah fought against the white man until 1875.  Quanah never lost a battle to the white man and was never captured.  He came to see that the Indians could not win and led his people to the reservation becoming leader of the entire Comanche Nation.  He encouraged his people to adapt to their new Anglo lifestyle.  He became a statesman and took his mother’s name Parker. The fort is open Wednesday – Sunday 9A.m.-5P.M.  Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children 6-11 years of age.  oldfortparker.org

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