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Dear Friends and Members of the Quanah Parker Trail:

Please find below and attached information regarding the steps now being taken to address the deteriorating condition of Quanah Parker's "Star House." Holle Humphries of the Quanah Parker Trail steering committee had forwarded the information regarding the most recent meeting on August 29 as a follow-up to the first meeting in June. One of the individuals figuring prominently in some of the preliminary preservation survey work of the "Star House" is our own Dr. Elizabeth Louden of Texas Tech University who has also been an active contributor to historic preservation efforts with the Texas Plains Trail region and affiliates such as Sammie Simpson and others.

If you have any follow-up questions regarding the current project please address those to Holle Humphries of the QPT steering committee.

Best wishes, tai

Tai Kreidler
Quanah Parker Trail Steering Committee


It's Good That Way, Don Parker

From: Holle Humphries []
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2015 12:06 AM
Subject: Report: Comanche Nation's "Save the Star House" meetings: 1. June 20, 2015; 2. August 29, 2015

Dear Quanah Parker Trail Steering Committee,

This is a report for you of this summer's two events surrounding the initiative launched by Wallace Coffey, Chair of the Comanche Nation, to save Quanah Parker's "Star House" from total deterioration.

The good news is that apparently, our efforts to create the Quanah Parker Trail throughout our region as a non-profit entity commemorating places and events in Quanah's life and that of The People, all undertaken with research, dignity, and respect, have gained the nod of the Comanche Nation's administrative leadership in this regard, as Wallace Coffey asked Ardith Parker Leming to see that a representative of the QPT was invited to the Star House proceedings.

Wallace Coffey called two meetings of all interested members of the Parker family and representatives of organizations affiliated with the interests of the Comanche Nation to bring them together on the grounds of the Star House to discuss possibilities for saving it from ruin.

The Star House has suffered years of weathering, with the final blow delivered this spring by 4-foot floodwaters that filled it as high as the electrical switches mounted on its interior walls.

Owing to the nature of its condition, inciting alarm in all who have witnessed its current state, these meetings were called to be convened on June 20, 2015, and August 29, 2015.

In doing so, Wallace Coffey has commendably utilized his considerable clout as a leader to bring together previously fragmented factions and groups of people inside and outside the Comanche Nation by enjoining them to join together in a last collective effort to save the Star House.

This is history resonating in our time on multiple fronts.

Wallace Coffey himself is descended from the formidable, notable and mighty Ten Bears (c. 1790 - 1872), a significant Comanche principle chief of the Yamparika band in the nineteenth century and a war chief whose warriors counterattacked Kit Carson to drive off his men after the First Battle of Adobe Walls in 1864.

Ten Bears repeatedly met toe-to-toe with the U.S. government at the treaty table and in Washington D.C. in a heroic effort to stave off encroachment on Indian lands, efforts that ultimately ended in futility, owing to the Zeitgeist of Manifest Destiny driving U.S. government policy during that time at the expense of all its indigenous First People.

Ten Bears is known famously for his eloquent speech delivered at the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867, decrying the U.S. government's efforts to force Indians who had lived and roamed freely throughout the continent onto the confined boundaries of reservation lands.

Following the leadership legacy of his great-great-grandfather, Wallace Coffey decided this summer to bring together The People in a collective effort to resurrect the Star House and save it from ruin.

He stated he wanted to this effort to rank as one among others to stand as his historical legacy left for the generations of those to come after him.

Ardith Parker Leming telephoned in early June and said that Wallace Coffey had asked her to contact the Quanah Parker Trail and Texas Tech University, and Parker family members to ask them to come to a meeting to discuss the fate of the Star House.

Ardith, like her great grandfather, Quanah Parker, also is a leader. And so she contacted them all, and so we all went.

First meeting: June 20, 2015:

Attended by over two hundred people, this first meeting provided Wallace Coffeey with the affirmation he needed from Parker family descendants and the leaders and people of the Comanche Nation to signify that all were willing to work together to surmount any political challenges posed in the past and join in a new collective effort to stabilize and hopefully eventually restore the Star House.

After the meeting, U. S. Army Ft. Sill Garrison Commander Col. Glenn Waters escorted visitors via automobile caravan to the original site of the Star House. In anticipation of doing so, Col. Waters had re-graveled the road leading to the original property site.

Despite the tall grasses, tribal members located on the Star House original grounds, the original well and the cement foundation for the windmill, that had been impressed with the mark of Quanah's brand.

This first meeting was reported in the news media, and concomitantly, the New York Times ran an article about its current deteriorated state.

2. Second meeting: August 29, 2015:

At this meeting, Wallace Coffey reported that:

a. Legal paperwork had been submitted as of the past week to create a 501c(3) non-profit entity for "Save the Star House", w/ legal status hopefully to be confirmed soon.

b. Several agencies were working to combine efforts and expertise to assist in assessing the condition of the Star House, so that projections can be made as to what needs to be done to first stabilize and then possibly restore it, and how much money needs to be raised to achieve such goals. These agencies include:
-- National Trust for Historic Preservation
-- Preservation Oklahoma
-- the State Historic Preservation Office

c. Under the auspices of the Comanche Nation and advising agencies (cited above), the TAP architectural firm, noted for its preservation work, had been contracted and paid by a grant to assess the current condition of the Star House.

The lead architect of the TAP firm gave the report of the firm's assessment, and distributed comprehensive documentation profiling the assessment made, to the audience.

It is estimated that $220K is needed for immediate stabilization; it is as yet undetermined how much $$ will be needed to restore the house in its entirety.

d. Benny Tahmahkera, direct descendant of Quanah Parker, performed a 10 minute monologue summarizing the history of the Star House.

This Comanche White House West of the Mississippi hosted within its walls such illuminaries and former adversaries as well as allies of Quanah Parker to include: President Theodore Roosevelt; British Ambassador Lord Brice; Commissioner of Indian Affairs Robert G. Valentine; U.S. Army Generals Hugh L. Scott, Nelson Miles, and Frank Baldwin, all of whom had fought Quanah and his Indian allies in the Red River War; ranchers Charles Goodnight, Samuel Burk Burnett, Tom Burnett, and Dan Waggoner; and many historic Indian chiefs of the time, to include Geronimo (Apache), Eschiti (Comanche), Lone Wolf (Kiowa), and American Horse (Sioux), to name a few.

3. Future PR efforts:

Donna Wahnee, Director of Special Projects for the Comanche Nation, reported that several events are in the works to profile the efforts to "Save the Star House."

There are hopes and plans for the Chair to travel to Lubbock for the Cowboy Symposium, and as well to Quanah, TX; Fort Worth, TX; and other destinations, as well as to work with civic and historical groups such as the West Texas Historical Association, to publicize the efforts and promote fundraising endeavors to save the Star House.

Noted asides:

A. In a private conversation with Johnny Owens, Comanche County Commissioner, he acknowledged that he is aware that there is a need as well to consider flood control for the future, as the Star House is located in a 100-year flood plain. This is indeed important.

B. It should be of interest to the QPT Steering Committee to note that one of architectural firm's staff members in private conversation with Tai Kreidler, QPT SC member, noted the importance of Tai having earlier referred Dr. Elizabeth Louden of the TTU architectural faculty to execute a laser scan of the entire structure, previously.

The house has deteriorated considerably since then, and her laser scan provides to architects an important resource of data regarding the structure of the building.

In closing:

Here are URLS from two media sources that profiled stories about the Star House: ... star-house ... .html?_r=0

See the PDF file attached that summarizes the Comanche Nation's "Save the Star House" efforts.

See attached: a few photos taken at the June 20 and August 29 meetings.

Sincere regards,
Holle Humphries

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