Parker County Today August 2016 - Page 36

Continued from page 18 AUGUST 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY white people. Got great heart. I want my people follow after white way, get educated, know work, make living when payments stop. I tell ‘em they got to know [how to] pick cotton, plow corn. I want them to know white man’s God. Comanche may die today, tomorrow, ten years. When end comes then they all be together again. I want to see my mother again then.” In less than three months’ time Quanah Parker, 66, lay dead beside his mother. As reported in The Lawton Daily News of Feb. 23, 1911, the great chief “died at his ranch near here at five minutes past noon today… .” According to the article, Quanah was dying on a train ride home from Snyder, but with “primitive stoicism he determined to live until he reached his home… .” Once in Cache, the chief reportedly disembarked unaided and walked into the doctor’s office where a doctor administered “a heart stimulant.” Then his son-in-law rushed him home by automobile. A white physician and a medicine man attended him in his home, the medicine man wrap ping an arm around Quanah and flapping his hands as if in flight and mimicking the cry of the sacred eagle. Fittingly, “Eagle” had long been a name the People used when referring to Quanah. At the very end “an eagle bone was thrust into Quanah’s throat to open it and To-nicy, his favorite wife, squirted a mouthful of water down his throat. He coughed, gasped, moved his lips feebly, and died, just twenty minutes after his arrival.” His gravestone bore the phrase “Last Chief of the 34 Comanches.” The title of “chief” died with Quanah; subsequent Comanche leaders have been referred to as “chairmen.” One last move awaited Chief Quanah Parker and his mother in 1957. Expansion of a missile base resulted in their exhumation and reburial in Fort Sill Post Cemetery in Lawton. Even in death it seemed the U.S military could not let him be. But his one-time enemies did bury him with full military honors. And so the storied saga of the mysterious Indian captive who resisted reunification with her white family and her half-Comanche son who became a great warrior chief and later emissary for peace with the whites came to an end. Their story surely will long be remembered as one of the most compelling of the Texas Frontier and the American West. Sources: • The Last Comanche Chief: The Life and Times of Quanah Parker, Bill Neely, 1995, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. • www.history.com • Handbook of Texas Online • Last Days of the Comanches, S.C. Gwynne, May 2010 Texas Monthly • Charles Goodnight, Cowman and Plainsman, by J. Evetts Haley, University of Oklahoma Press, 1981. • Hobart Democrat-Chief, Aug. 4, 1925 • Other Internet sources