Pages Navigation Menu

Doan’s Crossing

Corwin Doan moved to a popular Texas Longhorn herd crossing on the Red River near the Western Trail, ten miles north of Vernon, Texas, to work with his Uncle Jonathon and establish a trading post there.

“In 1881 our present home was built, the year the county was organized. This dwelling I still occupy. Governors, English Lords, bankers, lawyers, tramps and people from every walk of like have found sanctuary within its walls.” C. F. (Corwin) Doan of Doan’s Crossing.

The fun part of book research is digging deep into the fascinating lives of people who made their mark in the American West. The down side about book research is that publishers limit our word count. I can’t possibly include all of the interesting tidbits I discover. A perfect example, is C. F. Doan of Doan’s Crossing.

Doan’s Crossing was critical to the success of the cattle outfits that traveled north and the little store did a thriving business receiving shipments of supplies from Denison, Sherman, Gainesville, and Wichita Falls. A post office was established in 1879 and Corwin became the first postmaster. His daughter, Bertha (Doan) Ross, was the first white child born in Wilbarger county. Their adobe house was destroyed by fire December 26, 1922.

Corwin was great friends with Quannah Parker, Chief of the Comanche. “He told me that he had often been invited to return to his white relations near Weatherford, Texas but he had refused.”

Doan recalls a conversation he had with Quannah: ‘Corwin,” he said, “as far as you see here I am chief and the people look up to me, down at Weatherford I would be a poor half breed Indian.’ “

Doan’s old store on Red River, an old trading post for cowboys and Indians in early days. Photo taken ca. 1889.

Corwin Doan kept meticulous records on the numbers of herds and outfits that passed his store, but unfortunately his notes were lost to a fire. Dating from 1884, the Doan’s May Picnic is the oldest continuously celebrated pioneer festival in Texas. To celebrate the arrival of spring and local heritage, friends gather every first Saturday in May at Doans, Texas, near Doan’s Crossing on the Red River north of Vernon. The family of Corwin F. Doan lived in the Adobe home which was built in 1881 and still stands on the grounds today.

“I am now 74 years old and looking back over my life I find the main part of it has been spent near the Old Chisholm Trail, or the the Dodge City, Kansas Trail.” C. F. Doan of Doan’s, THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS

You can read more about Doan’s Crossing, cattle trails and the history of Cowtown in my latest book, END OF THE TRAIL EATS, Cowboy-Approved Recipes from Cowtown Café to Saloons.

Globe Pequot / TwoDot / Pages: 172 • Trim: 7 x 10 ISBN 978-1-4930-7699-4 • Paperback • April 2024 • $24.95 • (£18.99) ISBN 978-1-4930-7700-7 • eBook • April 2024 • $23.50 • (£17.99)

For buy link, go to the book page HERE.

Natalie Cline Bright has written 20 books for adults and kids. She is a blogger at “Prairie Purview” found on the home page of her website, a hobby photographer, and speaker. Her cookbook, KEEP ‘EM FULL AND KEEP ‘EM ROLLIN” about chuck wagons, won a first place gold Will Rogers Medallion. Her newest book is END OF TRAIL EATS about the food and history of Cowtowns.  If you enjoy pictures from the Texas Panhandle, check out her Instagram account @natsgrams or Facebook page Natalie Cline Bright.