White Parker (1887–1956) was a son of Mah-Cheeta-Wookey and Quanah Parker, chief of the Comanches. He married Laura E. Clark (1890-1962), a daughter of Reverend and Mrs. M. A. Clark, a former Methodist missionary to the Comanches. They had at least three children: Patty Bertha, Cynthia Ann Joy, and Milton Quanah (1914-1930).
White Parker did Christian missionary work among the Comanche people. He studied for the ministry at Cook Bible School in Phoenix, Arizona. After graduation, Parker joined the Methodist Conference. The Parkers were active in the 1920s and '30s Saturday afternoon street meetings in Lawton, Oklahoma, which was led by Rev. J. Leighton Read, a European-American missionary from Colony, Oklahoma.
Parker had a varied religious background. His father was a member of and leader in the Native American Church. The Parker family brought the first non-Catholic church to the state of Texas. He received his education at a Presbyterian/Reformed institution, but affiliated with the Methodists when no Reformed missionary appointment was available.
In 1920, Parker played a lead role in the silent film The Daughter of Dawn, a silent film directed by Norbert A. Myles shot in the Wichita Mountains of Southwest Oklahoma. The story, played by an all-Indian cast of 300 Kiowas and Comanches, includes themes of love story, battle, dance, deceit, combat, and concludes with a happy ending.
This is a historically important film in American cinema as it is the first full-length movie of an American Indian story, and that uses all American Indian actors. The film was restored by the Oklahoma Historical Society and has been digitized.
Death and legacy
White Parker and his wife are buried in the Highland Cemetery, Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma.
- Harper, Richard H. "THE MISSIONARY WORK OF THE REFORMED (DUTCH) CHURCH IN AMERICA, IN OKLAHOMA." Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 18, No. 4, December 1940. Accessed 22 March 2014.
- "The Daughter of Dawn (1920)". IMDb. 1 October 1920. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
- "The Daughter of Dawn: Calendar: IU Cinema: Indiana University Bloomington". indiana.edu. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
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- "Daughter of Dawn - OK Historical Society". okhistory.org. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
- "Rare, 1920 film featuring 300 Comanche and Kiowa actors to premiere in Kansas". kansas. Retrieved 4 October 2015.