Quanah Parker Day
September 11, 2021
On June 10, 2019, the Texas Governor signed a bill to make the second Saturday of each September Quanah Parker Day, celebrating the influence of Quanah’s life. This year the National Ranching Heritage Center presents a rare opportunity to see a 1908 Western film with Quanah as one of the characters.
“This film set the pattern for the stereotyped Western. The actors playing lawmen were actual marshals and the robbers had been real bank robbers. Bill Tilghman gained fame as a respected U.S. Marshal in the Oklahoma Territory and Al Jennings had been convicted of train robbery. He took up acting after getting out of prison. Frank Canton was a real gunfighter. Heck Thomas was another well-known sheriff. And Quanah, after years of waging war, became famous as a successful rancher and representative for the Comanche people. The movie begins by the bank robbers scoping out the bank in town. The bank is then robbed, and the bandits pick up their wounded and flee. Loyalty to their wounded comrade is shown as they go out of their way to leave him with a woman to be cared for. The bandits continue their flight and are followed by a woman. They set up a new camp and hide their horses. The posse comes upon the hidden horses and sets up an ambush and waits. The woman arrives in the new camp and tells the bandits of the close pursuit of the posse. They attempt to saddle their horses but are set upon by the posse, and the film ends in a manner that became traditional–the good guys get the bad guys and the money is returned to the bank.” – IMDB
Bill Tilghman was the director. He also set up the film company, the Oklahoma Mutoscene Company and shot two more films, A Round-up in Oklahoma and The Wolf Hunt, that same year. Some of the scenes from The Bank Robbery show up in the opening moments of the 1993 film Tombstone.