Apache healer Geronimo inducted into Texas Trail of Fame

The Texas Trail of Fame officially welcomed nine new members to its ranks at the Fort Worth Stockyards on Saturday, including Apache Chief Geronimo.

Some of the Healer’s descendants, including great-grandson Robert Geronimo and Robert’s niece Hope Geronimo Gonzales, attended a ceremony and dinner for the inductees on Thursday but had to return home to Mescalero, New Mexico, ahead of Saturday’s presentation.

Robert Kie, a close friend of the Geronimo family and a member of the Mescalero Apache tribe, accepted the award on behalf of the family.

“It was great to see everything, how everything turned out,” Kie told Star-Telegram. “I know a lot of Indigenous things go unrecognized, but it’s nice to see that, you know, people still know about Geronimo.”

Geronimo is usually portrayed in history books as a fierce warrior who led his people to resist the government of the United States. Kie said he hopes this recognition will help people see Geronimo in a different light.

Geronimo was the last Native American warrior to officially surrender to the United States Army. During his 23 years as a prisoner of war, he participated in President Theodore Roosevelt’s inauguration parade in 1905. He died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1909.

The Texas Trail of Fame was established in 1997 to recognize individuals, organizations, and even animals that have made significant contributions to Western heritage and culture.

Bronze plaques bearing the names of inductees are embedded on the sidewalks and roads of Fort Worth stockyards. Well-known inductees from previous years include Texas author Larry McMurtry and country music legend Willie Nelson.

Fort Worth Herd Trail Leader Kristin Jaworski, who was inducted into the Trail of Fame last year, said being chosen was a great honor.

“It continues as a legacy for millions of visitors around the world,” she said. “So they’re recognized as they come through the Stockyards, and then that allows people to recognize your story and…it’s a way to preserve the impact that each of these individuals had in Texas in the Stockyards.”

Event committee member Quentin McGown said the goal was to tell the story of those not included in the mainstream story.

“When you have the ability to go through the list of names and not just the names, but the key issues and milestones in the American West that they’re associated with, it’s pretty remarkable,” McGown said.

The other eight inductees for 2022 are:

  • Robert Duvall, the 91-year-old actor whose career included starring in the 1989 miniseries “Lonesome Dove.”
  • Sam Elliott, the actor who played several praised roles in Western films and television, including “1883”.
  • Rebecca Tyler Lockhart, founder of the Fort Worth-based American Paint Horse Association.
  • The Texas Rangers, Department of Public Safety, was established in 1823.
  • Jimmy Riscky, the Texas barbecue legend who turned his family’s store into the Riscky chain of restaurants. He died in 2020.
  • Mollie Taylor Stevenson Sr. and her daughter Mollie Taylor Stevenson Jr., breeders and curators who were the first living African-American women inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.
  • Buster Welch, the cutting horse breeder and trainer who is part of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. He died in June at the age of 94.
  • William “Bill” D. Wittliff, the late Texas storyteller and writer whose screenplays for “Lonesome Dove” won him a Writers Guild of America award in 1990.

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