Cynthia Ann Parker’s tragic story is better known, but there were other individuals including Rachel Parker Plummer who were taken by the Comanches in the attack on Fort Parker. The battle occurred on May 19, 1836 at a fort near Groesbeck, Limestone County, Texas. At the time, there were thirty or more members of the extended Parker family living in or around the stockade fort. Killed were Silas Mercer Parker, John Parker, Samuel Frost, Robert Frost and Benjamin Parker. Those who were captured included Cynthia Ann Parker, her brother John Richard Parker, Elizabeth Kellogg, Rachel Parker Plummer and her three year old son James Pratt Plummer.
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Angelina Peyton Eberly is credited with having saved Austin as the capital of Texas by preventing the state archives from being removed to another location. While her name may not be as familiar as others, her story is one worth knowing.
Depending upon where you may have heard of Sally Scull, you might get the impression that she was a Texas Civil War heroine, a “black widow” husband-killer or just about anything between the two. You may also see her name spelled Skull as well as Scull, but for this purpose, we will use the latter. She had a reputation for being able to shoot as straight with her left hand as with her right. She usually carried two six shooters, often wore mens’ clothing and had a rough vocabulary that she used freely, and often.
Mexia is located in Limestone County in east central Texas. It was founded in the 1800s and lies just north of Fort Parker with Groesbeck being the nearest town to the south of the fort. Before the Anglo settlement began in the area, it was home to Native American tribes including the Comanche.
On March 27, some 21 days after the fall of the Alamo, James Fannin and roughly 345 captured soldiers were executed by Mexican General Urrea at the order of Santa Anna after the fall of the Presidio la Bahia. The bodies of the soldiers were burned.
Out of this story came another one of a Mexican woman who had shown mercy to those who had been captured at other times or feigned death in the massacre. In various accounts, the woman was referred to by several variations of the name, including Alvarez, but for this account, we will use Francita Alavéz or just Señora Alavéz.
She is the traditional subject of the song “Yellow Rose of Texas” and one of the more compelling characters in the miniseries “Texas Rising” which just completed its debut run on the History Channel. The song itself was composed in the 1800s, though the name of the composer is unknown.
Mary Ann “Molly” Goodnight was the wife of Charles Goodnight and was highly involved in the Goodnight ranching operation. She was born September 12, 1839 in Tennessee to John Henry and Susan Lynch Miller Dyer and her grandfather was the first governor of Tennessee. The Dyers were well established in Tennessee but her father, noted for his service in the Battle of New Orleans and a former Attorney General of the state, moved the family to a settlement near Fort Belknap in North Texas in 1854. Ten years later, her mother died shortly to be followed by the death of her father in another two years, after which Molly became the head of her family for her younger brothers. The oldest, Leigh, went to work for Charles Goodnight in 1867 while Molly continued to raise the younger brothers, several of whom also went on to work on the Goodnight ranches. Molly served as a teacher in Young County though she had no formal education. Read the rest of this entry »