Elder John Parker

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John Parker

Birthplace: Baltimore County, Maryland
Death: Died in Fort Parker, Bexar County, Republic of Texas
Cause of death: killed by Indians in the Fort Parker Massacre
Place of Burial: Groesbeck, Limestone County, Texas, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Nathaniel Parker and Ann Parker
Husband of Lucy Parker and Sarah Parker
Father of Elder Daniel Parker; John R. Parker; Abigail Dixon; Mary Jane Kendrick; Benjamin F.W. Parker and 9 others
Brother of Moses Parker; Elizabeth Parker; Nathaniel Parker; Mary Parker; Aaron Parker and 9 others

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About Elder John Parker



Elder John Parker (1758–1836) was an American settler and Predestinarian Baptist minister who immigrated to Texas before the Texas Revolution. He was killed during the Fort Parker massacre in 1836, along with several members of his family, and others of the "Parker clan".

Parker was born on September 6, 1758 in Baltimore County, Maryland. His family moved to Virginia while Parker was young, and in 1777, at age nineteen, he left home to fight in the American Revolution. Two years later, in November 1779, he married Sarah "Sallie" White before returning to war. After returning home in Virginia, the Parkers' first child, Daniel Parker, was born on April 6, 1781. Other children soon followed.

About 1785, Parker moved his family to Georgia in search of opportunities for a better life. In 1803, he once again moved the family, including Sallie, eight children, Daniel's wife, Martha "Patsey" Dickerson, and their daughter. They settled near Nashboro (present Nashville), Tennessee. By 1817, their family had grown to eleven children, many of whom had married and had children of their own. The family then moved to Illinois.

In 1824, Sallie died, and in 1825, Parker married the widow Sarah "Sallie" Duty, who had several daughters who had married into the Parker clan. At age seventy-five, Parker and most of his family moved to Texas in 1833.

During 1835, some of Parker's sons built a fort on the head-waters of the Navasota River, near present Groesbeck in Limestone County, Texas. Parker's Fort was built as protection for the families who all had land grants located on the frontier of what was then called the Comancheria.

On May 19, 1836, Parker and other members of the Parker clan were killed at the Fort Parker Massacre. He was initially captured and died after his genitals were removed and he was scalped. His wife was seriously wounded but eventually recovered.

He was grandfather of Cynthia Ann Parker, mother of the famous Chief of the Comanches - Quanah Parker.


Birth: Sep. 15, 1758 Maryland, USA Death: May 19, 1836 Limestone County Texas, USA

Founder of Fort Parker. He helped build the Parker Fort where he was one of the five that was killed during the Indian raid. He is buried under an oak tree in a mass grave approximately one and one half miles from the fort. Today, the area is known as the Fort Parker Memorial Park, and many relatives of the families are interred there too. (bio by: Helen L. Smith Hoke)

Family links:

 Sarah Pinson Parker (1758 - 1836)*
 Sarah White Parker (1759 - 1824)*

 Daniel Parker (1781 - 1844)*
 John Parker (1782 - 1831)*
 Mary Jane Parker Kendrick (1785 - 1846)*
 Benjamin F.W. Parker (1788 - 1836)*
 Isaac Parker (1793 - 1883)*
 Phoebe Parker Anglin (1796 - 1863)*
 James William Parker (1797 - 1864)*
 Nathaniel Parker (1799 - 1855)*
 Silas Mercer Parker (1804 - 1836)*
 Susannah Parker Starr (1807 - 1875)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Fort Parker Memorial Park Groesbeck Limestone County Texas, USA Plot: Mass Grave

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Created by: Helen L. Smith Hoke Record added: May 12, 2003 Find A Grave Memorial# 7433560


Fort Parker massacre

The Fort Parker massacre was an event in 1836 in which members of the pioneer Parker family were killed in a raid by Native Americans.Today these peoples are variously denominated Native Americans, First Americans, First Nation, and American Indians. On the Texas frontier in 1836, they would have simply been designated Indians.


Fort Parker was founded about two miles (3 km) west of present-day Groesbeck, Limestone County, Texas, USA by ElderElder - an ordained Baptist minister John Parker (1758–1836), his sons, Benjamin, Silas and James, plus other members of the Pilgrim Predestinarian Baptist Church of Crawford County, Illinois. Led by John and Daniel Parker, they came to Texas in 1833."The descendants of Elder John Parker were a strange and often brilliant family who may have changed the course of Texas and western history. Their obsession with religion and their desire for land took them from Virginia to Georgia, Tennessee, Illinois and finally Texas...From their line...came...Quanah Parker, last of the great Comanche war chiefs - and first of their great peace leaders." - Jo Ann Powell Exley Daniel's party first settled in Grimes County, then later moved to Anderson County near present-day Elkhart. Elder John Parker's group settled near the headwaters of the Navasota River, and built a fort for protection against Native Americans. It was completed in March of 1834. Fort Parker's 12 foot (4 m) high log walls enclosed four acres (16,000 m²). Blockhouses were placed on two corners for lookouts, and six cabins were attached to the inside walls. The fort had two entrances, a large double gate facing south, and a small gate for easy access to the spring.Fort Parker State Park was created in 1935, and a replica of the fort was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936 Most of the residents of the fort were part of the extended family of John and Sarah (Duty) Parker.

Soon the settlers were making their homes and farming the land. Several had built cabins on their farms, and used the fort for protection. Peace treaties were made with surrounding Native American chiefs. Perhaps the Fort Parker inhabitants expected that other tribes would honor the treaties as well.

On May 19, 1836, a large party of Native Americans, including Comanches, Kiowas, Caddos, and Wichitas,various stories relate differences in the size of the raiding party and the makeup of the tribes attacked the inhabitants of Fort Parker. Around mid-morning, riders appeared under a white flag, and Benjamin Parker went out to talk to them. He was killed, and before the fort's gates could be closed, the raiders rushed inside. Five were killed, some were left for dead, two women and three children were captured, and the rest escaped into the wilderness.killed were Samuel Frost, Robert Frost, Benjamin Parker, John Parker, and Silas Parker; captured were Elizabeth Kellogg, Cynthia Ann Parker, John R. Parker, Rachel Plummer, and James Pratt Plummer One of the captives was a nine-year-old girl, Cynthia Ann Parker, daughter of Silas and Lucinda (Duty) Parker. Cynthia Ann lived with the Comanches for nearly 25 years. She married Comanche chief Peta Nocona and was the mother of three children, including Quanah Parker. In 1860, she was among a Native American party captured by Texas Rangers. She was identified by her uncle, Isaac Parker, and returned to her family. Cynthia Ann never readjusted to the Anglo society, and died at the age of 43 in 1870. Quanah Parker became a leader among the Quahadi Comanches. After most of the Comanches and other tribes on the Staked Plains were defeated, Quanah Parker and his group surrendered to authorities and was forced to an Indian reservation in Oklahoma Territory. He was made chief of all the Comanche tribes on the reservation.

Fort Parker inhabitants on May 19, 1836

  • Elder John Parker and 2nd wife, Sarah Duty
    • Benjamin Parker
    • James W. Parker and wife, Martha (Patsey) Duty
      • Rachel Parker and husband, L. T. M. Plummer
        • James Pratt Plummer
      • Sarah Parker and husband, Lorenzo Nixon
      • James Wilson Parker
      • another son of James & Martha
    • Silas Parker and wife, Lucinda Duty
      • Cynthia Ann Parker
      • John Richard Parker
      • Silas Parker, Jr.
      • Orlena Parker
  • Elisha Anglin
    • Abram Anglin
  • Seth Bates
    • Silas Bates
  • G. E. Dwight and wife
    • Dwight children
  • David Faulkenberry
    • Evan Faulkenberry
  • Samuel Frost and wife
    • Robert Frost
    • other Frost children
  • Elizabeth Duty Kellogg (dau. of Sarah Duty Parker)
  • Oliver Lund
view all 20

Elder John Parker's Timeline

September 15, 1758
Baltimore County, Maryland
Age 16
Fort Parker, TX, USA

Parker Memorial

November 1779
Age 21
Culpepper, Virginia, United States
April 6, 1781
Age 22
Baltimore, Maryland
Age 24
Age 25
Virginia, United States
March 8, 1785
Age 26
Elbert County, Georgia, United States
May 13, 1788
Age 29
Elbert County, Georgia, United States
April 7, 1793
Age 34
Elbert, Georgia, United States
Age 36