Recollections of my Grandfather Anderson
[ This document was transcribed from handwritten notes received from David Rothrock. -Mitch Fincher]
Recollections of Grandfather, Gen Robert Anderson III. Written by his granddaughter, Alice Evans. Septima Fincher was also his granddaughter, mother of Rose Fincher Rothrock.
Recollections of my Grandfather Anderson
When my father moved to Eastland County Mother's parents lived 16 mi N.W. from where Ft. Worth now stands. The farm was on a beautiful little stream called Silver Creek, on the line of Parker and Tarrant counties. She with her children, often visited them and many of my childhood days were spent in their house, a few of the reminiscences I shall try to recall.
While Grandfather was a noted educator, he loved the soil. He superintended the work of the farm and at the same time taught the first schools of Weatherford. There were very few schools at that time in the county and only attended by young men, old enough to carry a gun or pistol and knew how to use them. People would not send their children to school when Indians were likely to swoop and carry them away. These years were the worst Indian Depredations in Parker County.
Grandfather and his son-in-law, Lige Fincher had many thrilling experiences. (Lige Fincher was the father of Catherine Rosalie Fincher.) The family still has one of the guns in the raids. There was much excitement while they lived here over the capture of Cynthia Ann Parker by the Comanche Indians. She and her brother John had been captured in early childhood. Their uncle, Isaac Parker, for whom the county was named, with his distinguished family, lived in the neighborhood of Grandfather's home. Many and varied were the tales of her capture from the Indians. There was no town in Texas where the tales were not told. While much had been said about her capture; it all seemed so far away unless it had happened in your home community. She was brought back to live with her Uncle Isaac Parker. She had with her, her little daughter, Prairie Flower, but she was never happy and grieved until her death for her two boys and the wild Indian life. Prairie Flower only lived a few years and this made life sadder than ever for Cynthia. The story goes she was 9 years when she was captured by the Indians and 18 when she became
the wife of Chief Reta Nato. He was distinguished for his cruelty and hated of white people, but he was kind to Cynthia Grurr(?). Chief Naco liked good horses and Parker County had these. He became so notorious for his many raids and cruelty that the Governor sent a troop of Rangers, headed by Sul Ross to hunt out and destroy the band. The band of Rangers about 60 in number came upon Nacona's camp, Perse River. The camp was captured and many slain. The Chief fled at full speed with another Indian behind him, who was covered with a buffalo robe. Sul Ross fired his gun at the blanket and the Indian fell dead. She proved to be a squaw. There was another squaw on a fleet pony with her baby in her arms, racing beside him. The Chief as he proved to be, was wounded unto death. Capt. Ross told him through an interpreter his life would be spared if he would surrender, but he backed against a tree
and began singing a wild wind song, the death song of the tribe; then a shot from one of the scouts ended his life. The woman with the baby stopped and held it up. She was a white woman and said she was the wife of the chief. She wept incessantly. Capt. Ross told her she would not be harmed. She said, "I do not fear for myself, but I have 2 sons; I am afraid they are killed["]. She was taken to a white settlement and recognized as the long lost Cynthia Ann Parker. Then she was taken to her Uncle in Parker County. The child was called Prairie Flower, one of the two sons was slain. The other son, Quanah, who grew up with the Zuadahada band. After the death of his father, rose to influence as chief of that band as well as in the Comanche tribe. He was noted for bravery and cruelty, succeeding his father as chief of the tribe and led them in many raids on the white settlement in Parker County, over the trails made by
his father, on one raid made in April 1869 near Grandfather's farm there were 16 Indians in the band led by Quanah. Seven white men pursued them including Grandfather's son-in-law. The fight occured near Mineral Wells. It was a bloody fight. One white man and 11 Indians and 12 horse were killed. Quanah's last fight was on the Staked Plains in 1875. Quanah later admitted this. Up to this time he had been all Indian, but when he surrendered to Gen. McKinsie he said "now I can go to my Mother["]. His mother was dead, sleeping peacefully beneath the Texas soil. He learned of her death 2 years later. He took her name and became Quanah Parker. Quanah had been a great chief but Quanah became a greater leader for Peace, planning for the progress of his people. He came to be rich, but the thing he valued most was a picture of his mother. He took her body back to Oklahoma and in 1911 he died and was
buried by her side. Quanah Parker said he had been asked often to return to his mother's people in Parker County but he had refused saying. "I am chief and the people look up to me here. Down there I'd only be a half breed Indian["].
The Indian Massacre in Parker Co. during the years Grandfather lived on his little farm on Silver Creek would fill a large Volume, but only a few I would name(?) I leaned the following from Mrs. Robert Hickson of Strawn as told to her Grandfather, who was name, M.L. Dalton. He had marketed a heard [sic] of cattle in Kansas, on the return trip to Palo Pinto he, with seven companions were over taken at Weatherford by a band of Indians and he was killed. They were traveling in a hack, in which they had trunks filled with merchandise for the home; the Indians broke
open the trunks, taking all they wanted. The five teams of mules and 5 fine horses were taken. In their haste they over looked a shoe in one of the trunks, in which was concealed $11,400.00. This was returned to Mrs. Dalton.
Grandfather lived here four years, later moving to California where he and Grandmother died, each being past 80 years of age.