DOANS, TEXAS. Doans, also known as Doan's Store or Doan's Crossing, is at the junction of Farm roads 2916 and 924, a mile southwest of the Red River in north central Wilbarger County. Jonathan Doan and his nephew Corwin Doan established a trading post in 1878 to serve the cattle drivers who used the nearby Western Trail to get their herds to market. A post office was established at the store in 1879 with Corwin Doan as postmaster. The cattle drives on the Western Trail reached their peak in 1881, when more than 300,000 head passed by Doans; between 1879 and 1895 six million head came through the settlement. By the mid-1880s Doans had a school, a hotel, a general store, a saloon, and a population estimated at 300. A wide variety of people came to the town to do business: cowboys, ranchers, Indians, buffalo hunters, peddlers, and itinerant preachers; among the more famous visitors were Quanah Parker and A. J. Balfour, later prime minister of England, who impersonated a cowboy to help catch cattle rustlers on a ranch owned by the Francklyn Land and Cattle Company.
In 1885, when the Fort Worth and Denver Railway bypassed Doans by several miles, the cattle drives that had been so important to the town's economy were rendered obsolete, and the town had no rail service to help replace the drives with new business. By the mid-1890s the population had fallen to seventy-five; it fell to thirty by 1914, and at that time only the general store remained. Postal service to Doans was discontinued in 1919, and by the 1930s the number of residents had dwindled to ten. The Doans school was consolidated in 1935 into the Northside school district. From the 1940s through the 1990s the population of Doans was reported at twenty. An annual picnic, a tradition that began in 1884, was held at Doans each May. In 1931 a historical marker was placed at Doans to commemorate the trail drives.
T. Lindsay Baker, Ghost Towns of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Wilbarger County Historical Commission, Wilbarger County (Lubbock, 1986).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Lea Anne Morrell, "DOANS, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvd50), accessed June 17, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.