Briscoe County Creeks, Lakes, and Rivers



Briscoe County
Creeks, Lakes, and Rivers

ANTELOPE CREEK
BLACKTAIL CREEK
BARRELL CREEK
BATTLE CREEK (Armstrong County)
BIG SANDY CREEK
BLUFF CREEK
BULL RUN CREEK
CAMPBELL CREEK (Armstrong County)
CHEROKEE CREEK
DEER CREEK
GYPSUM CREEK (Armstrong County)
HACKBERRY CREEK
LITTLE RED RIVER
LONE TREE CREEK (Armstrong County)
LOS LINGOS CREEK
LOST MULE CREEK
MEXICAN CREEK
MULBERRY CREEK (Armstrong County)
PILGRIM CREEK
ROCK DRAW
TULE CREEK
PRAIRIE DOG TOWN FORK OF THE RED RIVER
RED RIVER

ANTELOPE CREEK

Antelope Creek rises east of Silverton in east central Briscoe County (at 34°32' N, 100°59' W) and flows northeast for seven miles to its mouth on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River in Hall County (at 34°38' N, 100°56' W). The surrounding area, once a part of the Shoe Bar Ranch, is now the site of Antelope Flat, a sparse ranching community. The creek crosses an area of flat to gently sloping terrain and shallow to moderately deep soils over limy earth. The vegetation consists mainly of mesquite and grasses.

BLACKTAIL CREEK

Blacktail Creek rises at the breaks of the Llano Estacado in northwestern Briscoe County (at 34°41' N, 101°21' W) and flows north for four miles to its mouth on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River, near the northern county line (at 34°44' N, 101°20' W). The creek was once part of the Tule division of the JA Ranch, and most of it still lies within the ranch's boundaries. The stream crosses terrain surfaced by silt loams that support mesquite and grasses.

BARRELL CREEK

Barrell Creek heads in the breaks at the edge of the Llano Estacado in east central Briscoe County (at 34°29' N, 101°08' W) and flows north for about nine miles to its mouth on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River (at 34°37' N, 101°05' W). Part of the land near the creek's upper waters, ten miles east of Silverton, was once known as Barrel Creek Ranch. The creek crosses terrain surfaced by shallow to moderately deep silt loams. The vegetation consists primarily of mesquite and grasses.



BATTLE CREEK (Armstrong County)

Battle Creek rises at the breaks of the Llano Estacado south of Paloduro and the JA Ranch headquarters in southeastern Armstrong County (at 34°48' N, 101°12' W) and flows southeast for twenty miles, across the sloping mesquite plains of northern Briscoe County, before emptying into the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River near the boundary between Briscoe and Hall counties (at 34°38' N, 100°57' W). The stream is so named because it was the site of a battle at Palo Duro Canyon on August 30, 1874, when troops under Col. Nelson A. Miles fought off an attack by about 500 Cheyenne warriors. Most of the action, which lasted five hours, occurred at the head of the creek (see palo duro canyon, battle of, and red river war).

BIG SANDY CREEK

Big Sandy Creek rises in two main branches that meet five miles south of Clarendon in southwestern Donley County (at 34°53' N, 100°54' W). The stream flows southwest for twelve miles to its mouth on Mulberry Creek, in the northeastern corner of Briscoe County (at 34°43' N, 100°05' W). Sandy Camp, one of the JA Ranch's twelve winter camps, was located near this stream. Big Sandy Creek flows through an area of moderately steep slopes with locally high relief and a surface of deep silt loams that support mesquite and grasses.



BLUFF CREEK

Bluff Creek rises in eastern Briscoe County (at 34°27' N, 101°01' W) and runs east for five miles to its mouth on the Little Red River, where that stream intersects with the western line of Hall County (at 34°30' N, 100°56' W). The streambed is on the former JA and Quitaque (Lazy F) ranches and is still the site of ranching activities. Burson Lake, a small reservoir on Bluff Creek, has concessions and other lake-resort facilities. The creek crosses terrain surfaced by silt loams that support mesquite and grasses.



BULL RUN CREEK

Bull Run Creek rises in Palo Duro Canyon, at the edge of the Llano Estacado in southern Armstrong County (at 34°51' N, 101°15' W), and runs southwest for eight miles, across the JA Ranch, to its mouth on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River, just south of the Briscoe county line (at 34°45' N, 101°17' W). It traverses sloping mesquite plains with loamy soils.



CAMPBELL CREEK (Armstrong County)

Campbell Creek rises south of the JA Ranch headquarters in southern Armstrong County (at 34°48' N, 101°12' W) and runs southwest for 5½ miles through sloping loamy plains of mesquite brush to its mouth, on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River just across the county line in northern Briscoe County (at 34°44' N, 101°16' W). The creek was named for the brothers W. A. (Jud), T. J. (Jeff), and L. M. Campbell, who were outstanding JA employees during the ranch's early years. One of the JA's twelve winter camps was located near the mouth of Campbell Creek.



CHEROKEE CREEK

Cherokee Creek rises in east central Briscoe County (at 34°31' N, 101°03' W) and runs north twelve miles to its mouth on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River (at 34°37' N, 101°00' W). It was on the JA Ranch properties and gave its name to Cherokee Camp, one of the ranch's twelve winter line camps. The creek crosses variable terrain surfaced by shallow to moderately deep silt loams that support mesquite and grasses.



DEER CREEK

Deer Creek rises at the breaks of the Llano Estacado in northwestern Briscoe County (at 34°43' N, 101°24' W) and runs northeast three miles to join the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River in Armstrong County (at 34°46' N, 101°21' W). The creek was in the old Tule division of the JA Ranch and is still partly within the JA properties. It crosses variable terrain surfaced by shallow to moderately deep silt loams that support primarily mesquite and grasses.



GYPSUM CREEK (Armstrong County)

Gypsum Creek, also known as Gip Creek, rises in the breaks of southern Armstrong County (at 34°53' N, 101°18' W) and runs south for seven miles to its mouth on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River, near the Briscoe county line (at 34°45' N, 101°18' W). The area terrain is broken by moderately steep slopes with locally high relief. Soils in the vicinity are made up of shallow to moderately deep silt loams that support rangeland grasses and mesquite. The creek remains part of the JA Ranch.



HACKBERRY CREEK

Hackberry Creek rises in northern Briscoe County (at 34°44' N, 101°10' W) and runs southeast for nine miles to its mouth on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River (at 34°37' N, 101°01' W). Near the creek's headwaters is the site of the old Woodburn Camp, one of twelve winter camps on the JA Ranch. The creek traverses an area of moderately steep slopes with locally high relief, surfaced by shallow to moderately deep silt loam soils that support mesquite and grasses.



LITTLE RED RIVER

The Little Red River, an intermittent stream, begins at the confluence of its north and south prongs (at 34°27' N, 101°03' W) in the breaks of the Llano Estacado in southeastern Briscoe County. It runs northeast for thirty miles to its mouth (at 34°34' N, 100°36' W) on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River in central Hall County. The creek traverses flood-prone flat terrain with local shallow depressions. The local clayey and sandy loam soils support water-tolerant hardwoods, conifers, and grasses. The creek was formerly part of the old Quitaque (Lazy F) Ranch owned by Charles Goodnight.



LONE TREE CREEK (Armstrong County)

Lone Tree Creek rises north of the JA Ranch in southeastern Armstrong County (at 34°50' N, 101°11' W) and runs southeast for six miles across part of Donley County to its mouth on Battle Creek, in northeastern Briscoe County (at 34°49' N, 101°02' W). It remains within the JA Ranch boundaries, in an area characterized by gently rolling terrain with shallow loamy soils. The vegetation consists primarily of mesquite and grasses.



LOS LINGOS CREEK

Los Lingos Creek, also known as Linguist Creek, rises in southeastern Briscoe County (at 34°24' N, 101°14' W) and flows southeast for ten miles to its mouth on Quitaque Creek, in northwestern Motley County (at 34°18' N, 101°02' W). The terrain through which this creek passes ranges from flat to gently sloping. Shallow to moderately deep silt loams support mesquite and grasses along its banks. It was formerly part of the old Quitaque (Lazy F) Ranch owned by Charles Goodnight.



LOST MULE CREEK

Lost Mule creek rises in eastern Briscoe County (at 34°25' N, 101°01' W) and flows northeast five miles to its mouth on the Little Red River, near the Briscoe-Hall county line (at 34°29' N, 100°56' W). The terrain is flat to gently sloping and surfaced by shallow to moderately deep silt loams that support mesquite and grasses. The creek was formerly part of the old Quitaque (Lazy F) Ranch owned by Charles Goodnight.



MEXICAN CREEK

Mexican Creek rises near State Highway 256 at the breaks of the Llano Estacado in south central Briscoe County (at 34°29' N, 101°08' W). Entirely within the JA Ranch, it flows northeast twelve miles to it mouth on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River (at 34°37' N, 101°00' W). A small reservoir and dam are located on its upper waters near the highway. The creek flows through an area of moderately steep slopes with locally high relief, shallow to moderate silt loams, and a cover of mesquite and grasses.



MULBERRY CREEK (Armstrong County)

Mulberry Creek rises seven miles west of Claude and near Fairview in northwestern Armstrong County (at 35°07' N, 101°37' W) and runs southeast for fifty-eight miles through southwestern Donley and northeastern Briscoe counties before reaching its mouth (at 34°37' N, 100°54' W) on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River in northwestern Hall County. The terrain near the source of the creek is flat to gently sloping with local escarpments. The soil is made up of sandy loams, and the vegetation consists primarily of grasses and scrub brush. Nearer the mouth the terrain is flat with local shallow depressions, and water-tolerant hardwoods grow by the stream banks. Much of the creek remains within the boundaries of the JA Ranch, which once encompassed almost its entire drainage area. The Mulberry Ranch is on the creek eight miles southeast of Claude.



PILGRIM CREEK

Pilgrim Creek rises (at 34°46' N, 101°12' W) in southern Armstrong County and runs southwest for four miles to its mouth (at 34°43' N, 101°16' W) on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River in northern Briscoe County. It traverses terrain of moderately steep slopes with locally high relief. The soil is made up of shallow to moderately deep silt loams, and the vegetation consists primarily of grasses and mesquite. The creek flows through the JA Ranch holdings.



ROCK DRAW

Rock Draw, the bed of an intermittent stream called Rock Creek, rises near State Highway 86 in western Briscoe County (at 34°27' N, 101°27' W) and flows north eight miles to join Tule Creek just east of Mackenzie Reservoir (at 34°33' N, 101°26' W). It runs through an area of steeply to moderately sloping hills surfaced by shallow, stony clay and sandy loam soils that support oak, mesquite, and grasses. The draw is on land formerly part of the JA Ranch's Tule Division.



TULE CREEK

Tule Creek rises in three main branches, North, Middle, and South Tule draws. The two longer headstreams, the North and Middle draws, rise in northeastern Castro County and flow eastward parallel to each other for twenty-six miles to unite in the gently rolling rangeland of central Swisher County three miles east of Tulia (at 34°33' N, 101°42' W). South Tule draw rises near Nazareth in Castro County and flows east to the main stream. In eastern Swisher County the sandy streambed drops into Tule Canyon, cut into the edge of the Llano Estacado, and continues until the canyon merges with Palo Duro Canyon and the creek merges with the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River in north central Briscoe County (at 34°41' N, 101°14' W). Tule Canyon, which is noted for the beauty of its colorful walls and for the unusual formations carved by centuries of erosion, has been identified as one of the canyons seen by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado in 1541-42, and as one crossed by the Texan Santa Fe Expedition in 1841. In September 1874 Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie and his Fourth United States Cavalry camped at the head of the canyon just prior to his decisive victory over the hostile Indians in Palo Duro Canyon on September 28. Back at the Tule Canyon campsite the next day, Mackenzie's troops slaughtered the captured herd of over 1,000 horses. The vast bonepile was for years a Panhandle landmark and gave rise to a legend of phantom horses in the canyon on moonlit nights. During the early 1970s the Mackenzie Dam and Reservoir was constructed on Tule Creek in western Briscoe County; the reservoir extends slightly into Swisher County.



PRAIRIE DOG TOWN FORK OF THE RED RIVER

The Prairie Dog Town Fork, the main tributary of the Red River, rises at the junction of Palo Duro and Tierra Blanca creeks in central Randall County, northeast of Canyon (at 35°00' N, 101°56' W). It flows 160 miles southeastward through the Palo Duro Canyon, across southwestern Armstrong and northeastern Briscoe counties, and out of the canyon and eastward across the broken country of central Hall and Childress counties, to its confluence with the North Fork of the Red River, twelve miles northeast of Vernon (at 34°24' N, 99°32' W); there the Red River proper begins. When the Prairie Dog Town Fork crosses the 100th meridian at the eastern line of Childress County, its south bank becomes the state boundary between Texas and Oklahoma and the northern county line of Hardeman and Wilbarger counties.

Spaniards were the first white men to see the Prairie Dog Town Fork; in the 1780s Pedro Vial and Santiago Fernández followed it during their trading expeditions between Santa Fe and the Taovaya villages on the Red River. Randolph B. Marcy and George B. McClellan first determined it to be the main fork of the Red River after exploring it in the summer of 1852; this designation later influenced the United States Supreme Court decision to award the disputed Greer County to Oklahoma in 1896. The road in Palo Duro Canyon State Scenic Park crosses the stream five times, and campgrounds are available on the creek. Lake Tanglewood was formed in the early 1960s by a dam on the Prairie Dog Town Fork in northeastern Randall County.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Duane F. Guy, ed., The Story of Palo Duro Canyon (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1979). Carl Newton Tyson, The Red River in Southwestern History (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981).



RED RIVER

The Red River is in the Mississippi drainage basin and is one of two Red Rivers in the nation. It is the second longest river associated with Texas. Its name comes from its color, which in turn comes from the fact that the river carries large quantities of red soil in flood periods. The river has a high salt content. The Spanish called the stream Río Rojo, among other names. It was also known in frontier times as the Red River of Natchitoches and the Red River of the Cadodacho (the Caddo Indians). Randolph B. Marcy and George B. McClellan identified the Prairie Dog Town Fork as the river's main stream in 1852. If one accepts their judgment the total length of the Red River is 1,360 miles, of which 640 miles is in Texas or along the Texas boundary. The drainage area of the river in Texas is 30,700 square miles. In 1944 Denison Dam was completed on the Red River to form Lake Texoma, which extends into Grayson and Cooke counties, Texas, and Marshall, Johnson, Bryan, and Love counties, Oklahoma, and was once the tenth-largest reservoir in the United States. Principal tributaries of the Red River, exclusive of its various forks, include the Pease and Wichita rivers in north central Texas, the Sulphur River in Northeast Texas, and, from Oklahoma, the Washita. The Ouachita is the main tributary in its lower course.

The Red River of Texas heads in four main branches: the Prairie Dog Town Fork, Elm Creek or the Elm Fork, the North Fork, and the Salt Fork. Water from the river's source in Curry County, New Mexico, forms a channel, Palo Duro Creek, in Deaf Smith County, Texas, which joins Tierra Blanca Creek northwest of Canyon to form the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. This main channel flows east through Palo Duro Canyon, then across the rest of the Panhandle. The Prairie Dog Town Fork forms Palo Duro Club Lake and Lake Tanglewood in Randall County before it crosses southwestern Armstrong and northeastern Briscoe counties. Out of the canyon and into broken country, it flows eastward across central Hall and Childress counties for 160 miles. When the Prairie Dog Town Fork crosses the 100th meridian at the eastern line of Childress County, its south bank becomes the state boundary between Texas and Oklahoma and thus the northern county line of Hardeman and Wilbarger counties. Twelve miles northeast of Vernon the North Fork joins the Prairie Dog Town Fork to form the Red River proper (at 34°24' N, 99°32' W). Elm Creek, or the Elm Fork of the Red River, rises in northern Collingsworth County and drains into the North Fork of the Red River near the Greer-Kiowa county line in Oklahoma south of Altus Reservoir. The Salt Fork rises in north central Armstrong County, crosses part of Oklahoma, and joins the Prairie Dog Town Fork at the extreme northern point of Wilbarger County, Texas, sixteen miles northwest of Vernon. At this junction an ancient buffalo trail and the Western Trail once crossed the stream. Below the junction of the North Fork and the Prairie Dog Town Fork, the Red River proper continues to mark with its south bank the state line between Texas and Oklahoma and thus forms the northern county line of Wilbarger, Wichita, Clay, Montague, Cooke, Grayson, Fannin, Lamar, Red River, and Bowie counties. The river becomes the state line between Texas and Arkansas at the northeastern corner of Texas. Afterward, it leaves Texas and enters Arkansas, then continues eastward, forming the northern boundary of Miller County, before turning south-southeast to form the eastern boundary of the county. It then flows southeast across Louisiana. It forms the line between Caddo and Bossier parishes and then proceeds southeast across Red River and Natchitoches parishes, forms portions of the lines between Natchitoches and Grant and Grant and Rapides parishes, crosses northeastern Rapides and northwestern Avoyelles parishes, forms parts of the lines between Avoyelles and Catahoula, Avoyelles and Concordia, and Concordia and Pointe Coupe parishes, and finally reaches its mouth (at 31°01' N, 91°45' W) on the Mississippi River forty-five miles northwest of Baton Rouge and 341 miles above the Gulf of Mexico. Though the river once emptied completely into the Mississippi, more recently a part of its water at flood stage flows to the Gulf via the Atchafalaya.

In the summer of 1541 the Coronado expedition explored the upper reaches of the Prairie Dog Town Fork in Palo Duro and Tule canyons. In the summer of 1542 the Moscoso expedition crossed the Red River in Louisiana on its way into East Texas. In 1690 Domingo Terán de los Ríos crossed Texas from southwest to northeast and reached the Red River, possibly as far down as the great raft and the Caddo Indian settlements in the area of present Texarkana. French traders used the river as an approach to establish a lucrative trade with the Caddos and associated tribes by the early eighteenth century. Farther up the river the Taovaya Indians had villages near the site of Spanish Fort in what is now Montague County, villages that in the middle eighteenth century were under French influence and flew a French flag. Diego Ortiz Parrilla, in charge of a Spanish punitive expedition, was defeated at the villages in 1759. In 1769 Athanase de Mézières was appointed lieutenant governor of the Natchitoches District with jurisdiction over the Red River valley. He was to suppress the traffic in stolen horses and Indian captives centered in the Taovaya villages, whose inhabitants by 1772 were trading with Englishmen from the east and Comanches on the High Plains. In 1778 Mézières visited the Red River villages and proposed a Tlascalan Indian settlement among them. Neither this proposal nor a suggestion in 1792 that a Spanish mission be built on the Red River was carried out. In 1841 the Texan Santa Fe expedition mistook the Wichita River for the Red River. In 1852 Randolph Barnes Marcy commanded an exploring expedition to the headwaters of the Canadian and the Red rivers, and a year later published a report on the trip, Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana in the Year 1852. The Red River War of 1874-75 ended Indian hostilities in the area.

The Red River has been a boundary almost since the first Europeans came to the area. In the 1700s the river was generally regarded as the dividing line between France and Spain, and a royal cedula in 1805 proclaimed the river the northern and eastern boundary of the Spanish province of Texas. After the Louisiana Purchase by the United States, several expeditions were sent up the Red River to explore that tributary of the Mississippi, and a struggle began between the United States and Spain over where the boundary should be. In 1804-05 William Dunbar explored the river as far up as the mouth of the Washita. In 1805 Dr. John Sibley supplied the United States with a detailed description of the area up the river and westward as far as Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Red River was again formally set forth as the northern boundary of Texas in the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. This treaty, as ratified by Spain and the United States in 1821 and by Mexico in 1822, established the Red River as the southwestern boundary of Louisiana-as far northwest as the 100th meridian, "as laid down on the Melish Map." Illegal infiltration continued across the river into Texas until the opening of Anglo-American colonization in 1821, when the river became the thoroughfare by which many pioneer settlers moved into Texas. Others came down the military road to Fort Towson and crossed the river at Jonesborough and Pecan Point. Many settlers along the river raised cotton in the rich blackland of Northeast Texas, despite its tendency to overflow, and the Red River County area was sufficiently settled to send delegates to the Convention of 1836.

The Republic of Texas recognized the Red River as a boundary when, in an act of December 19, 1836, Congress made the eastern boundary coterminous with the western boundary of the United States, as fixed by the treaty of 1819. The area between the true 100th meridian and the 100th meridian according to the Melish Map extended from the Red River north to 36°30" latitude and was more than 100 miles in width, embracing an area of 16,000 square miles. According to strict construction of the treaty of 1819, this strip belonged to Texas. The Supreme Court of the United States, however, on March 16, 1896, held that Texas was stopped from claiming this strip, for the following reasons: (1) In the Compromise of 1850, wherein Texas ceded all territory north of 36°30" latitude and west of the 100th meridian, Texas had agreed to the true meridian and not the Melish meridian. (2) The true 100th meridian had been made the eastern boundary of Lipscomb, Hemphill, and Wheeler counties when they were legally formed. (3) The true 100th meridian as ascertained had been acquiesced in, recognized, and treated as the true boundary by various acts of Texas, and both governments had treated it as the proper boundary in the disposition they made of the territory involved. The view was virtually conceded as to all the strip, except for 3,840 square miles east of the true 100th meridian and between the forks of the Red River. The United States contended that the line following the course of the Red River eastward to the 100th meridian met the meridian at the point where it intersected the lower fork of the Red River; Texas contended that her boundaries extended along the Red River to the point where the upper fork intersected the 100th meridian. In other words, the question was which was the main fork of the Red River. The Supreme Court held that the disputed territory belonged to the United States. The decision, known as the Greer County case, resulted in the loss from Texas to what is now Oklahoma of 1,511,576 acres. A quarter of a century later another argument between Texas and Oklahoma occurred when oil was discovered in the bed of the river. With the extension of the Burkburnett Townsite pool, known as the Northwest Extension, it was discovered that a part of the pool lay in the bed of the Red River. This brought up the old question of Indian headright titles and caused a controversy that reached the Supreme Court and resulted in fixing the boundary of Texas at the bluff on the Texas side. Militia of both Texas and Oklahoma, together with the Texas Rangers, engaged in several battles. The bridge was burned, oilfield equipment destroyed, and property confiscated.

The Red River has been significant also in commerce and transportation. Though its variable current and quicksands menaced settlers, gateways into Texas were established at Pecan Point and Jonesborough in Red River County, Colbert's Ferry and Preston in Grayson County, and Doan's Crossing in Wilbarger County. Indian trading posts on the river became the termini of important trails. In 1836 Holland Coffee had a post on the Oklahoma side at the mouth of Cache Creek; in 1837 he settled at Preston Bend in what is now northern Grayson County, Texas. Abel Warren had a post in northwestern Fannin County in 1836, one on the Oklahoma side of the river near the mouth of Walnut Creek in 1837, and a later post at the mouth of Cache Creek. The Central National Road of the Republic of Texas was surveyed to reach the Red River six miles above Jonesborough at Travis G. Wright's landing, then the head of navigation on the Red River. In 1853 Colbert's Ferry was opened across the river in northern Grayson County for the route that was subsequently used by the Butterfield Overland Mail, the partial direction of which had been determined by Randolph B. Marcy in his exploration of the Red River in 1852. Early crossings were made at Rock Bluff, Doan's Crossing, and Colbert's Ferry. As far as navigable, the river provided an outlet to New Orleans from Northeast Texas, and it became a highway for cotton, farm products, and eventually cattle boats. Sternwheelers, sidewheelers, and showboats plied the river alongside keelboats and pirogues. Before the railroad era, steamboats regularly navigated the Red River from New Orleans to the site of present Shreveport, but navigation of the upper river was hampered by the "great raft," a mass of driftwood and trees that obstructed the channel for seventy-five miles. In 1834-35 Capt. Henry M. Shreve removed the raft, but the river was not kept clear, and by 1856 the logjam again obstructed the river for thirty miles above Shreveport, backed up the waters of Big Cypress Creek to form Caddo Lake, and so made Jefferson the principal riverport of Texas until the removal of the raft again in 1874.

With the westward movement of the frontier and the establishment of the cattle trails to the north, the Red River became an obstacle to cross on the way to market. Cowboys relied on well-used crossings such as Ringgold, Red River Station, and Doan's Crossing. Above Clay County the Red River provides recreational use only in periods of heavy run-off. The Wichita joins the Red River in Clay County, and from this point downstream the river is used for recreation year-round, though quicksand is common. From Denison Dam at Lake Texoma to Arkansas the river flows through remote, wild country. The Ouachita National Forest and a portion of the Kisatchie National Forest of Louisiana lie within the Red River basin. As a boundary, the Red River remained in dispute as late as 1987. See also BOUNDARIES.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Peter Zachary Cohen, The Great Red River Raft (Niles, Illinois: Whitman, 1984). Harry Sinclair Drago, Red River Valley (New York: Clarkson-Potter, 1962). Carl Newton Tyson, The Red River in Southwestern History (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981). C. A. Welborn, History of the Red River Controversy (n.p.: Nortex, 1973).

Diana J. Kleiner

(information from The Handbook of Texas Online --
a multidisciplinary encyclopedia of Texas history, geography, and culture.)

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This page was last updated August 16, 2000.