A Comanche Chief who was an instrumental part of the state’s history will be recognized annually by the state, and one of his descendants, a local businessman, can’t be more thrilled.
Quanah Parker — the great-great-grandfather of Doug Parker, of Parker’s City Pharmacy — was a war leader of the Quahadi band of the Comanche Nation.
The chief earned his recognition through his business dealings with the cattlemen who were driving their herds up north, Doug Parker said.
“Quanah got to be very powerful by helping Charlie Goodnight and a bunch of those trail guys running the longhorns up to the trailheads in Abilene and up to Kansas,” Doug said. “He gave them permission to pass through the reservation instead of going around, but they had to pay him grazing fees. They had to give him some cattle and some payment.”
While the Comanche were known as a savage tribe, they were also known as great horsemen, and in Quanah Parker’s case, a businessman.
His notoriety went far beyond the cattlemen, Doug said.
“He became such a well-known figure, a politician that crossed over into the white man’s world,” Doug said. “A lot with Charlie goodnight and some of those very influential cattlemen in that area.”
The cattlemen built Quanah Parker a home large enough for his family — seven wives and all of their children.
On the roof of the dwelling they painted four stars, Doug said.
“It was called the Star House because the cattleman painted four giant white stars on the roof,” he said. “He (Quanah) said the highest-ranking general in the US Cavalry and Army was three-star and ‘I wanted to be bigger than them.’”
In Doug’s home, he has a collection of relics and items of Quanah Parker’s. However, for a short time, many of them are on loan and on display at the Seguin Heritage Museum, where Doug serves as the president of the board.
Community members will be able to visit the display and learn about Parker’s great-great-grandfather.
Additionally, through a resolution, children will learn about Quanah and his efforts.
Texas Sen. Kel Seliger authored Senate Research Bill 7.
“During one of the greatest social and cultural shifts in American history, Quanah Parker served the Comanche people first as a warrior and then as a statesman, helping them retain their identity while adapting to a different way of life,” the bill reads. “And he stands as a pivotal figure in the history of the Lone Star State.”
Approved by the governor earlier this year, it resolves that the state will honor and celebrate the chief on the second Saturday of September.
“I was ecstatic about it,” Doug said. “This means a lot. It was a great transition in our history. I think this is going to be a wonderful history lesson.”
John Gesick, executive director of the Seguin Heritage Museum, said he thought the measure to remember the chief is important.
“I think what our governor did was a very good move in bringing Quanah Parker and not just Quanah Parker, but what he represents in terms of the indigenous inhabitants who preceded our culture, to the forefront of education,” he said. “What we see here through Quanah Parker and many of the other Native American groups is that Texas and America would not be today what it is unless it wasn’t for the help that many of the Native Americans gave to the new immigrants.”