Comanches and Capture
In 1835, when Texas was still part of Mexico, a large portion of the Parker family built a log fort near the present town of Groesbeck as frontier defense. On May 19, 1836, a group of Comanches and their allies attacked the fort and captured nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker and her younger brother John. The group took the children back to their villages where they became members of the Comanche family.
For years, most believed that the children had been killed, but there was an occasional story about settlers getting glimpses of a blue-eyed woman who was believed to be the wife of Peta Nocona, a Comanche chief.
Raid and “Rescue”
Then in 1860, a company of Texas Rangers under the command of Captain Lawrence Sullivan Ross attacked a band of Comanches who were camped by the Pease River. During the battle, the Rangers were able to capture two “Indians” who turned out to be Cynthia Parker and her daughter Topsannah.
Despite her desire to return to her Comanche family, the Rangers took Cynthia Ann and her daughter to Camp Cooper so she could be identified. The news that a white woman had been captured spread across the Texas forts and finally reached her uncle Isaac Parker. Parker went to Camp Cooper and confirmed that the girl was indeed his niece Cynthia Ann.
Against Cynthia Ann’s will, Isaac took her and the little girl to his cabin near Birdville. Cynthia always wanted to reunite with the Comanches and tried several times to escape. Legend has it that during her saddest moments, she would sit for hours under this stand of large post oaks and slash her chest. Despite her longing, she never again saw Peta Nocona and their two sons, Pecos and Quanah Parker, the last great chief of the Comanches.
The Parker Oaks are still alive today. They can be seen surrounding the Parker Cemetery in Hurst, Texas.
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