a Pecan Shell
prevented settlement of the area until the 1860s. During the opening
months of the Civil War, Confederate troops of the Frontier Regiment
were stationed here to patrol the border with Indian Territory. It
served as crossing for the Chisholm Trail after the war.
In the 1870s, the population was a respectible 250-300 people and
the community was served by a ferry. A post office opened under the
name Salt Creek in 1883 and the following year it was changed
to Red River Station. It closed in 1887. The 1880s were not
kind to the community. First it was hit by a tornado, and then in
1887 it was bypassed by the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad.
Nocona throve as Red River Station
declined. The final nails in RRS's coffin were the establishment of
another rival town (Belcherville)
and the establishment of the rival Western Trail for moving cattle
Red River Station became one of Texas'
early ghost towns - having
"enjoyed" a tumultuous span of barely 30 years. Only a cemetery
and the name appear on detailed Montague
|Red River Station
Photo courtesy Barclay
Click on image for whole marker
| Historical Marker:
Red River Station
on the famous Chisholm Cattle Trail, (1867-87), Red River Station
was a main crossing and last place on trail to buy supplies until
Abilene, Kan.--350 miles north.
During the cattle
drive era of Western history, millions of animals swam the turbulent
river here en route to Kansas railhead and markets.
An abrupt bend in the river checked its flow at this point, creating
a natural crossing which had been used for years by buffalo and Indians.
Even so, the water was wide, swift, and sometimes clogged with sand
bars. Frequently cattle were so jammed cowboys could walk across on
their backs. Besides a cattle crossing, the station was an outpost
of the frontier regiment, which patrolled Texas' northernmost border
during Confederacy (1861-65). During cattle era, a town began here,
its ferry serving drovers, soldiers, freighters, and settlers returning
from Indian captivity. Local cemetery (1 mi. SE) contains many graves
of these Texas pioneers.
Texas Cattle &
Red River Station,
Red River Station
The books of T Lindsay Baker have left me intrigued with Texas
ghost towns. I now make frequent week end road trips to try
to visit as many as practicable. Your
website has become a valuable tool in this diversion. Suspecting
I'm not the only person with these interests and pursuits, I offer
the following regarding Red River Station, which I visited on a
recent "tour" including Illinois
Bend and Spanish
Satisfied that I had accurately located the site, based on both
a Texas Road Atlas, and Mr. Baker's map and description.....There's
nothing there but an open field, apparently "the flats" where cattle
were held before crossing the river. The cemetery is on private
private property, obscured by dense creek bottom vegetation, and
not observed by me from the passing county road.
So for other ghost town
searchers, if you're looking to "see stuff," I'd suggest don't bother
with Red River Station, unless, like me, you enjoy driving to out
of the way places anywhere in Texas
. - Philip Abel, Fort
Worth, July 25, 2011
The main trail
to Red River Station passed near Saint
Jo where there were 7 saloons to serve the cowboy's needs. One
saloon, The Stonewall, has been restored and serves as a museum.
Much of the Saint Jo Square has been preserved by John Sickles,
whose wife, Donna
Howell Sickles, a descendent of Joe Howell for whom Saint Jo
was named, notably The Cowgirl Artist, has a studio and art gallery.
Saint Jo is truly a destination town for those interested in the
Trail Drive Days. - Martha Thompson, October 07, 2014
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and vintage or recent photos, please contact