Texas Tech University

Quanah Parker

The National Ranching Heritage Center has one of the largest collections of items related to Quanah Parker of any museum in the country. Scroll down to learn more! Quanahandmom

The story of Quanah Parker's mother, Cynthia Ann Parker, being taken captive by the Comanche as a 10-year-old child is an integral part of Texas history. This 1897 photo shows Quanah in his bedroom seated next to his most prized possession, a photo of his grieving mother nursing his little sister Prairie Flower. The mother-daughter photo was taken by a Fort Worth photographer in January 1861 less than a month after her forced return to Anglo life.  

About our Collections: 

Items contained in the NRHC collections were given by Quanah to three generations of the Samuel Burk Burnett family, owners of the Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas. These gifts remained at the the Four Sixes Ranch house long after Burnett's death. The collection was given to the National Ranching Heritage Center by Anne Marion, Burnett's great-granddaughter.  

The collection includes headdresses, beaded items, clothing and ceremonial lances. Collectively they provide a glimpse of Comanche life, but the collection also includes items from the Apache, Kiowa and Cheyenne communities as well as the Native American Church.  The correspondence that exists between Quanah and Burk Burnett and Burnett's son, Tom, provides a clear picture of a relationship of mutual admiration and respect that existed between these legendary figures. 

Much has been written about the honors that Quanah received and his friendship with Texas cattlemen, but perhaps not enough has been written about his enormous generosity and what might have happened to his people of such a man had not existed.

The Comanche had no central government but were organized in bands. The most primitive and hostile band was the Quahadi. Quanah was a Quahadi, the only band that never signed a treaty and the last band to surrender to life on the reservation. Quanah became a leading figure among the Comanche people in their resistance to Anglo encroachment and settlement and later in the tribe's adjustment to living on their reservation.


Quanah Parker Day was designated in Texas in 2019 as the second Saturday in September. To commemorate the occasion, we are providing a list of resources.


National Ranching Heritage Center