I am curious if anyone has any info regarding some of the methods for crossing the Red River into Texas circa 1880. Were there ferries in use near Ft. Towson and Doaksville? I think the fort was about five or so miles north of the Red River. The town and fort appear to be near enough to the Red River that perhaps there was a ferry operating near there. I am thinking that the Red River might have been difficult to cross any other way.
There were ferrys all along the Red, especially by 1880. The Choctaw Nation issued permits for toll bridges and ferrys. I'll check a few references and see about one near Ft. Towson.
I have a map showing all the ferry boat locations along the Red. There was one such crossing Southwest of Ft. Towson and south of Grant that went to Paris, TX.
The ferry south of Ft. Towson, or old Doaksville, was in the 1830-40s called Pine Bluff ferry and later Oakes ferry. By 1898 it was called Meggs ferry. On the Texas side, before the late 1840s there was a town called Jonesboro on the south side of the river. It washed away in a flood and most folks went to Clarksville. Both Doaksville and Jonesboro were also important steam boat ports for river boats coming up the Red River.
Thank a lot. The information was very helpful. Norm, where can a person see such a map as yours? And Tower, thanks for the info concerning Jonesboro and Clarksville. I'd like to find an atlas similar to the Historical Atlas of Oklahoma, but for Texas.
Anything further on this subject will be appreciated. John
The map I refer to is online at: http://www.okladot.state.ok.us...e-maps/pdfs/1927.pdf
Some of my kin, a Doctor in I. T. said "Those ferry boats were very dangerous of the person who did not keep an open eye. Many ferry boat operators were robbers. If they thought a passenger had coin they would knife him, rob him, and throw overboard. They knew to gut him a certain way so they would not float. "Gutted like a catfish".
May I ask why the interest in the ferry boats?
Go here for Texas historic atlas http://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/
says:One of first ports of entry into Texas for Anglo-Americans. Opened early as 1814; heavily used by 1817. Named for 1819-21 ferry owner Henry Jones (1789-1861). Claimed by both Mexico and the United States, town was 1828-37 county seat of Miller County, Ark. Community had 2,350 people by 1834. At this crossing Sam Houston (1832) and David Crockett (1835) entered Texas. A well-known road led southeastward to other colonies by way of Nacogdoches. In 1836, Clarksville became Red River District's capital. By 1840 Jonesboro had lots its trade and many settlers to other areas.
Norm - The interest in ferryboats really pertains to all history, not just The Red River. People had to get around, as you know, and there were lots of rivers and streams in the way. Here in my hometown, in Shasta County, CA, we still have a lot of areas, bridges and roads, and even small outposts, called "something" ferry. Ball's Ferry and Jelly's Ferry are two examples. Because I am researching some of the "goings on" in Oklahoma, one can't get a complete picture without looking over the border into Texas. And I've just wondered how people crossed that Red River. Could it have been forded at certain times? I don't know. Toll bridges are usually an impediment to navigation, but ferries are not. Anyway, I've already become too long winded. I really thank you and Tower for your responses.
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