Quanah Parker, the last Chief of the Quahada Comanche tribe.
Quanah was the son of Peta Nocona an Cynthia Ann Parker, a white captive of the Comanches who remained with the Indians for almost twenty-five years and became thoroughly Comanche. It is said that in the mid-1840s her brother, John Parker, who had been captured with her in the 1836 raid at Fort Parker on the headwaters of the Navasota River in what is now Limestone County and was later released, asked her to return to their family, but she refused, explaining that she loved her husband and children too much to leave them.
During the 1860s the Quahadas (“Antelopes”) were known as the most warlike of the various Comanche bands. Among them Quanah became an accomplished horseman and gradually proved himself to be an able leader. These qualities were increasingly in demand when, as a consequence of their refusal to attend the Medicine Lodge Treaty Council or to move to a reservation as provided by the treaty, the Quahadas became fugitives on the Staked Plains. There, beyond the effective range of the military, they continued to hunt buffalo in the traditional way while raiding settlements.
For the next seven years Parker’s Quahadas held the Texas plains virtually uncontested. In October, 1871 a raid led by Parker and his Commanche where they stole 70 horses from the army at Rock Station resulted in Commanding Officer Colonel Ranald Mackenzie chasing them. Attempts by the Forth Cavalry led by Mackenzie to track and subdue the Indians in 1871 and 1872 failed. Not only was the army unable to find the Indians but, at Blanco Canyon on the morning of October 9, 1871, the troopers lost many horses when Quanah and his followers raided the cavalry campsite. Afterward, the Indians seemingly disappeared onto the plains, only to reappear and attack again. Mackenzie gave up the search in mid-1872.