Yancey Indian Fighters
involved in the recapture of
Cynthia Ann Parker from the Comanches in early Texas
Area Indian Fighter Dies, Seated in Ranger Hotel Chair
[From a Texas newspaper article in 1922]
[Louis Franklin Yancey (1842-1922)
son of Bartlett & Florilla Yancey of Tishomingo Co., Mississippi ]
L. F. Yancey was Border Warrior when Eastland County was wilderness, Aided in rescue of Cynthia Ann Parker from Comanches
L. F. Yancey, 80, one of the last of the old plainsmen of Texas and a resident of this section since 1858, died suddenly last night while seated in his chair at the Bernardo Hotel, where he was living with his nephews B. B. & J. L. Walker. Hale and hearty in spite of his four score years, largely spent as Indian Fighter, cattleman, and farmer. Mr. Yancey succumbed to a sudden attack of acute indigestion which came without warning. His passing marks the close of one of the most interesting careers in early Texas history and a lifetime spent largely on the frontiers of the West.
To the end, his memory of his early youth was clear and he was able, when prevailed on to recount them, to give vivid accounts of the settling of North and West Texas. The recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker from the Comanches in Wichita county and numerous skirmishes with Geronimo and his Apaches were among the stirring events in which he participated.
He will be buried this afternoon by the side of his wife and sister in Strawn.
Mr. Yancey was born in Mississippi, his family moving to Arkansas when he was a small boy. They came to Parker County, Texas in 1854, but were driven back to Arkansas by the Indian massacres. In 1858 the Yancey family returned, when the boys had become of sufficient age to take their places as family defenders on the frontier. Later Mr. Yancey and J. L. Walker settled in Stephens County, near Breckenridge. In later life he became a cattleman and lived in various parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. When the frontiers of the west disappeared and the ranges were fenced, Mr. Yancey took up farming. For the last several years he had lived with his nephews here.
Until the time of his death, Mr. Yancey showed little indications of his advanced age, having the appearance of a man ten or fifteen years younger. Few new acquaintance knew that he had been one of the men who recaptured Cynthia Ann Parker, the white woman who was stolen by the Indians as a girl and later became the wife of Chief Quanah Parker of the Comanches, or that he had battled with Geronimo.
[From a book about a brother of L. F. Yancey - named James Harrison Yancey]
James Harrison Yancey was born in Mississippi or in Giles County, Tennessee about 1839. He was a Texas Ranger stationed at Fort Wingate, Texas, and also worked on the Railroad. He had a brother, Charlie that we know of. James Harrison Yancey married Sarah Mattie Williams (one half Cherokee Indian) born in Missouri.
[story about James Harrison Yancey told by a son]
My father was James Harrison Yancey, a Texas Ranger stationed at Fort Wingate some of the time. He helped capture Cynthia Ann Parker. She had been captured by the Indians twenty years before on her sixth birthday. Her mother had just made her a new dress and they went for a walk, looked back and their house was on fire.
The Indians killed all her family except her and her twelve year old brother, he kept trying to run away so they tied him to a horse's tail and drug him until he died. They captured Cynthia.
Cynthia later married Peta Nocona, an Indian. They had two sons: Quanah and Pecos, and a daughter Topasannah (Prairie Flower).
Due to the continuing raids and massacres by the Comanches on the white settlements the Army and Rangers were ordered to raid all Comanche villages and kill all Comanches, including women and children, in hopes this would cause the rest of them to leave the area. During the last of May or June 1860, before the Civil War was over, Cynthia and her Indian family were eating wild plums in the woods. They had taken off their moccasins as it had been raining and the wet rain stretched their buckskin moccasins so they were easily trailed there by my father and Texas Ranger Captain Saul Ross.
Captain Ross had a new gun - a Springfield rifle. He fired it several times at someone he thought was an Indian woman and the gun wouldn't go off. When the Ranger tried to kill the woman again, his gun misfired. She cried "Me, Americana, me Cynthia Ann Parker".. My dad yelled. "You're trying to kill a white woman." Later Ross said "I'm going to fire this gun once more and if it doesn't fire, I'm going to bust it". It fired perfectly.
Ross and Yancey (My Dad) put Cynthia and her two year old daughter on a horse and her six year old son, Pecos, on behind Ross and took them back to the Trading Post. Her other son, Quanah Parker later became Chief and warrior of the Quanah band of Comanche Indians. He was the last chief of the Comanches.
Parker County, Texas was named after Cynthia's uncle.