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Montague County TX
Montague County

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Texas Ghost Town
Montague County, North Central Texas

2 Miles S of the Red River
8 Miles NW of Nocona
17 miles NW of Montague the county seat
N of Bowie
Not shown on state maps
Population: 0

Red River Station Area Hotels > Bowie Hotels
Red River Station Tx Marker
"Here is the Red River Station Marker located on Red River Station Rd about 1/4 mile from the Red River and 1/2 mile from Red River Station Cemetery" - Barclay Gibson

History in a Pecan Shell

Hostile Indians 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 north.

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 County maps.
Red River Station Tx Marker close-up
Red River Station Marker Text
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

Click on image for whole marker
Historical Marker:

Red River Station

"Jumping-off point" 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.

Related Topics:
Texas Cattle & Ranching

Red River Station, Texas Update:

  • Subject: 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 Fort.

    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
  • Montague County TX 1907 Postal Map
    Montague County TX 1907 Postal Map showing Bowie, Montague, Belcherville, Nocona, Illinois Bend, Spanish Fort and Saint Jo
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip

    Red River Station, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Montague the county seat
    Fort Worth
    Wichita Falls
    See Montague County

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