Author Jack K. Selden Will Bring Legendary “Parker Story” to Life at Baylor University’s Texas Collection

Feb. 15, 2016
Jack K. Selden

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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275

WACO, Texas (Feb. 15, 2016) – Baylor students and the Waco community are invited to hear Jack K. Selden, historian and author of “Return: The Parker Story,” speak at Baylor University’s Texas Collection at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in the Guy B. Harrison, Jr., Reading Room in Carroll Library.

In “Return: The Parker Story,” Selden tells the tale of the capture of Cynthia Ann Parker by Comanche Indians living in Central Texas in 1836, a story of legend in Texas history and culture.

Selden is the former mayor of Palestine, Texas, and married into the Parker family in 1952. His wife, Gloria McCracken, was a granddaughter of Ben J. Parker, a direct descendant of Elder John Parker who settled in Central Texas in the 1820s.

During family reunions, Selden would hear stories about the Parker family that had been handed down through generations. His decision to learn more led to his study of the materials in a blue box full of legal papers and other writings dating back to the 1700s. The box of documents, which was kept in the family homestead, led him on a 40-year quest to uncover the truth about the story of John Parker, his granddaughter Cynthia Ann and her son, Comanche Chief Quanah Parker.

“We are excited to welcome Jack K. Selden to Baylor University to share his experience of peeling back the layers of the Parker family history,” said John Wilson, assistant dean for special libraries and director of the Texas Collection. “Jack is a passionate storyteller and his insight into the Parker family is unmatched by any other historian.”

Selden recently donated the “blue box” research materials to the Texas Collection. This lecture event celebrates the frontier story of the Parker family and Selden’s contribution to the development of the Texas Collection.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

The Texas Collection is located in Carroll Library, 1429 S. Fifth St.

For more information, contact Carl Flynn.

by Bethany Harper, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The Baylor University Libraries support excellence in teaching and learning, enhance research and discovery, and foster scholarship and success. Through its Central Libraries and special collections – Armstrong Browning Library, W.R. Poage Legislative Library and The Texas Collection – the Libraries serve as academic life centers that provide scholarly resources and technological innovation for the Baylor community and beyond.

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