Description: Old Fort Parker is a reconstructed fort that pays tribute to the Parker family and other pioneers who paid a high price to settle in Texas. The Parkers and other members of their church came to Texas from Crawford County, Illinois in 1833. In 1832, Daniel Parker, a staunch theologian, had gained permission to settle in Texas. After organizing those who wanted to go to Texas into the Predestinarian Baptist Church, they all left Illinois in July of 1833 in ox- drawn wagons. Daniel and the majority of his followers settled near the present City of Elkhart, where a replica of their Pilgrim Baptist Church still stands in their memory. Other members of the group preferred to settle farther west, near the Navasota River. Elder John Parker and three of his sons (Silas, James, and Benjamin) began in December 1833 to clear land and to construct "Parker's Fort." On May 19, 1836, Comanche Indians attacked the fort; 5 were killed, 5 were captured, and the 21 survivors made their way to where Palestine is today. The most famous of the captives was Cynthia Ann Parker. She adapted to Indian ways and later married Chief Peta Nocona. Quanah Parker, the last great Comanche chief, who was involved in the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, was the most famous of their three children.
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Partner: Tarrant County College NE, Heritage Room