Doan's Store on Red River
[From J. Marvin Hunter's Frontier Times Magazine, October, 1927]
All old trail drivers remember the Red River Crossing at Doan's Store. Above is shown a picture taken in the eighties of this famous establishment. Mr. Charles F. Doan, who conducted this store, is still living, at Vernon, Texas, and each year he attends the reunion of the Old Time Trail Drivers at San Antonio. Texas, where he meets many of the old cowboys whom he knew in the days when vast herds of cattle were driven from the Texas ranges to the northern markets. Captain Doan. in a sketch he wrote for the book, "The Trail Drivers of Texas," says:
"The spring and rummer of 1879, I saw the first herds come up the trail, though the movement had started several years before. My uncle, J. Doan, who had been with me two years in Fort Sill had established this post at Doan's April, 1878, and we had arrived, that is, myself, wife and baby, and the Judge's daughters, that fall. So we had come too late to see the herds of 1878. One hundred thousand cattle passed over the trail by the little store in 1879. In 1881 the trail reached the peak of production and three hundred and one thousand were driven by to the Kansas shipping point.
"The first house at Doan's was made of pickets with a dirt roof and the floor of the same material. The first winter we had no door, but a buffalo robe did service against the northers. The store which had consisted mainly of ammunition and a few groceries occupied one end and the family lived in the other. A huge fireplace, around which Indians, buffalo hunters and the family sat, proved very comforting. The warmest seat was reserved for the one who held the baby and this proved to be a very coveted }ob. Furniture made with an ax and a saw adorned the humble dwelling. Later the store and dwelling were divorced. An adobe store which gave way to a frame building was built. Two log cabins for the families were erected. In 1881 our present home was built. the year the county was organised. This dwelling I still occupy. Governors, English lords, bankers, lawyers, tramps, and people from every walk in life have found sanctuary within its walls. And if these walls could speak many a tale of border warfare would echo from the gray shadows."