Thursday, July 22, 2010

Odessa, Texas

I don't remember when or how I found Glenn Justice's blog, Glenn's Texas History Blog, but the answer is unimportant...I know about it now! If you are a Texas history buff, or just a casual dabbler, you'll find a treasure trove of information at Glenn's place.

A goodly portion of my visitors/readers have never been to Texas, much less to Odessa, Texas. Odessa was a "cowtown" until 1926 when oil was found by the Cosden Petroleum Company on the A. B. Connel ranch. Everything since then has been about bubbling crude.

I've never had any fondness for either Odessa or Midland; smelly flatland towns with nothing very memorable about them. Oh, the folks there are hardworking and important to the economy of the state, but the scenery there just ain't what I would term "pitcher-esk", (helping you enunciate Texas style, pod'ner). And yes, Laura Bush is from Midland. Whoop-dee-doo.

Back to the subject....

Glenn has written a short post on the history of Odessa, it's possible namesake, and a little vignette on some of the town's quirky citizenry. (I loved the story about the hidden tin box sealed up in a cornerstone of the old courthouse.)

Stop by and read, Odessa - Cowtown to Boomtown 1881-1926. Tell Glenn that Pattie sent ya.

OH! And don't miss this tidbit on Chief Quanah Parker. I love it!

Aside: I found this story about Quanah and his mother at another online link:

Quanah, Descendant From a Prominent Texas Family.
Jack Purmatah, Quanah, Sada-techka, Comanches, Loud Talker, Kiowa, accompanied by H.P. Jones interpreter are at present our guests.

Quanah is the son of a Texas white woman, whose surname, Parker, is that by which one of the counties of that state is today recognized.

This woman, when a child, was captured by a raiding band of Comanches. Alienation from home soon bred forgetfulness, and by the time maturity was reached she had become so inoculated with the habits and practices of her captors as not to be distinguished from the women of that tribe. Her identity was almost entirely lost by a union with Put-tark, a Comanche, by whom she had three children. A few years later the hostile Comanches raided the Texas border, Put-tark’s wife followed in his wake, when, by a strange chance of fortune she was recaptured by the whites.

It was not long until the fact of this capture reached the ears of the surviving brother of the woman’s father.

Impelled by the thought that the captive and his lost niece might be one and the same, Mr. Parker hastened to Fort Worth in the hope of proving this identity.

After an interview in which fruitless efforts vere made on the part of the interpreter to call up some forgotten memory of the past, Mr. Parker turned away disheartened and disappointed.

Stopping and looking back he said, “I will make one last throw, we called the little one Cynthia Ann.” Before the interpreter could speak, the woman bounded upon her feet and striking her breast cried in Comanche:

"Me! Me!”

That we “love our chains” was perhaps never better illustrated than in this case. Back to those of her own blood she was carried but she yearned for the people of her adoption.

Gladly would she have sacrificed the ease and comfort of her life for some word of her boys. This longing wore her life away before she learned that one had been killed in the raid in which she was taken, while Quanah lives to advocate progressive measures for the uplifting of his people.

Quanah’s maternal inheritance consists of two leagues of land granted by the Texas Legislature in recognition of the curious facts of his history, and also a portrait of his mother which is at present among the features of the exhibit
of the state of Texas at the New Orleans Exposition.



Jeff said...

What? No fondness for Odessa ... you sound like some Midlanders!


Peter Tibbles said...

This sounds like the plot of the John Ford – John Wayne, Natalie Wood film "The Searchers".

joared said...

Enjoyed the story!

Cowtown Pattie said...