SNYDER— Western Texas College announced today that it will hold an official ceremony for the dedication of the bronze sculpture “Quanah Parker” by Abilene artist Terry Gilbreth on November 16, 2017, at 2 p.m. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at the sculpture located on the front of the Western Texas College campus near the flagpoles. The public is invited to attend.
The bronze sculpture was made possible through the Diamond M Foundation and the Western Texas College Foundation.
“We are grateful and humbled by this gift,” said Kat Neilson, Western Texas College Director of College Advancement.
Guests of honor at the ceremony will include members of the Parker family and artist Terry Gilbreth. Representatives from Western Texas College, the Quanah Parker Trail Committee, the Scurry County Historical Commission, and the Texas Heritage Trails Program will also be in attendance. A reception in the Scurry County Museum will follow the dedication.
A Comanche blessing will be offered by Bruce Parker and Don Parker during the ceremony.
“Placing a statue of Quanah Parker at Western Texas College materially manifests in bronze the historical fact that Snyder and Scurry County were once part of Comanchería. Quanah Parker himself, a war chief of the Kwahada band and regarded by government officials as chief of the Comanche people, stood on the grounds of present-day Scurry County and in the vicinity of Snyder, Texas,” noted Holle Humphries, facilitator for the Quanah Parker Trail in the Texas Plains Trail Region, a cultural heritage trail of the Texas Historical Commission.
According to Daniel Schlegel, Director of the Scurry County Museum in Snyder, Quanah Parker and his band of Indians frequented the area known now as Snyder for approximately a year after he eloped with Weckeah. Parker later wintered in the area while evading Philip Sheridan during the campaign to put Native Americans in camps in 1874-1875.
“At the turn of the century, Parker exemplified enlightened leadership by rising to meet the challenge of guiding his people to successfully survive and adapt to lives straddling two worlds—that of the Comanche and that of the White Man,” added Humphries.
“It is only fitting that Western Texas College, an institution of higher learning, should see fit to honor such a leader of diverse ethnicity and background on its college campus in the hopes that its students can derive inspiration from seeing Quanah standing in their midst, every day.”