Quanah Parker landed in Fort Worth prison in 1914. But he wasn’t the person people were thinking of.


All explained, the Comanche chief Quanah Parker visited Fort Worth frequently from 1885 to 1911. He once said he “loved” Fort Worth.

Parker was an honorable guest at the Fatstock Show, with strong Fort Worth friends in the cowherd Burkburnett and Dan Wagoner. Today, a statue larger than the real thing stands in the stockyard for him.

Fort Worcers was shocked to hear that Kwana landed here in prison in 1914. But the guy behind the bar wasn’t our Quanah Parker. Was this guy a star telegram called “Quanah Parker Jr.” because the old chief was dead and buried for three years? The newspaper identified him as his son-in-law, but no one in the family tree had that name. The news article began by looking at some son-in-law and sent us on a quest to identify a substitute Kwana.

Emir Quana had seven wives, who had nine known daughters, all of whom were married. All of their husbands may have called himself “Quanah Jr.” It will open more doors than using his real name. He could also be better treated by the Fort Worth authorities.

If his son-in-law had the will to borrow Kwana’s name, it wouldn’t happen until after 1911, when the legitimate owner was in his grave. Of the many children in Kwana, only Weyody or Veryoti (1880-1965), who married Louis Tarmakera, had a connection with Fort Worth. Their offspring lived in Fort Worth decades later, but in this case that particular Fort Worth connection is irrelevant.

Junior’s issue of law in the spring of 1914 would not have been noticeable in the newspaper without its name. Many men were taken to police courts for disturbing peace, but only one was named “Quanah Parker.”

When the accused informed Judge Hugh Birdin that he was a “whole blood Comanche Indian,” he asked, “What do you have to do with Quanah Parker?” .. The accused replied with pride. “I married his daughter. Then I took his name.” He did not explain whether it was to honor the legendary chief or purely for his own benefit. It was. Also, he did not identify which daughter, but only two of Kwana’s daughters were married to the whole-blood Comanche, which could narrow the possibilities. And Esther who married “Charlie Sunrise” Tabby Jecky.

“Kwana Jr.” He called himself, so it wasn’t what was known as the “Reservation Indian”. He has worked in a variety of jobs, including cowboys, stage performers, piano players, and sharp shooters. Most recently, he was doing “flashy ropes” and “sleight of hand” with his wife. They lived in Quanah, Texas, and were named after Quanah and had a young daughter. The arrested police officer charged Jr. for hanging out on an acre “resort” and said he threatened his life by arresting him. Judge Birdin assessed a fine of at least $ 5 and legal costs and let him go.

Jr. apparently didn’t learn his lessons because he returned to the police court in less than a week. The main crime this time was “insulting white people.” With very inhumane tears, the repentant Jr. swore that he had never insulted the white man and was “framed”. Probably because he was Native American. He asked the judge to send his wife and children, who he hadn’t seen for nine months, home and ridiculed some bystanders in court. They claimed they knew enough to call Junior a “real actor,” and they didn’t mean a stage actor.

The judge reminded Junior of his previous court appearance and fined $ 100 for wandering and legal costs, and $ 1 for drunkenness and legal costs. When the tearful junior couldn’t pay, he was sentenced to a city workhouse in Clearfolk on the waterworks grounds. It existed to expose low-level poor criminals to a useful workforce and allow them to be fined for $ 1 a day. The man sentenced there spent 10 hours a day breaking rocks, paving the streets, and picking up trash. It wasn’t an easy time.

Faced with hard work and imprisonment for more than three months, Jr. won the guard’s trust long enough to remove his bondage and fled. His luck with the police didn’t get any better as the police caught up with him and arrested him, only reaching Stop 3 on the Interurban line to Dallas. And children. He was returned to prison, where his story finally gained some sympathy for him. Police Secretary Bob Davies released him on parole, subject to his promise to leave Fort Worth “immediately” and never return.

I don’t know if Jr. returned to his family’s home, but he was never seen around Fort Worth.

Author-Historian Richard Selzer is from Fort Worth and is proud to graduate from Pascal High and TCU.

Posted on