Lake Texoma

Because Life is Better at the Lake

The Queen of the Three Valleys: Durant and Bryan County

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Lumini Services
Kendall Davis is well-versed in the English language. She has over 25 years experience as a published author and writing for clients. Her published works include historical articles in museums and historical societies, magazines, newspaper articles and columns, content marketing, advertising copy, blogging, academic papers, and business writing. She also makes her way in the literary world as a copy editor. She commands another strong skill in the genre of research. Researching and writing about history is her first love interest. If you have editing or content needs on your website or for your books, articles, blogs, or columns, please visit her website to see details and more examples of her work, all of the services she offers, and contact information. 405.476.0345 luminiservices@gmail.com http://kdavis1836.wixsite.com/luminiwrites




The Blue River Valley


The Blue River Valley and the Blue River itself provides major drainage for the Red River watershed. Confederate General Albert B. Pike is credited with establishing Fort McCulloch close to Nail’s Crossing. General Pike stationed over 1,000 American Indian troops in this fort.



Today, Nail’s crossing is closest to Kenefic, Oklahoma. Kenefic saw a 2% population increase between the 2000 and 2010 census when it jumped from a population of 192 to 196. Jonathan Nail’s Crossing and Fisher’s Station, a.k.a. Carriage Point, were two stops on the Butterfield Overland Mail route. Both can be located about four miles west of Durant and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. (1)



I found this snippet of history written in 1934 about Nail’s crossing:


“Nail’s Crossing was one of the stopping places for the stage coaches which was on the Dallas to Boggy Depot route. Many celebrated people are said to have spent the night here, also a number of notorious outlaws who many believe have buried treasure near this place.



It has been told that one outlaw took up the bricks from the fireplace hearth of a house at the crossing and buried his gold there, then replaced the brick as was done by Silas Marner. Others say that certain signs, which are really to be found on trees growing along Blue [River], indicate where gold and other treasures are buried.



Nail’s Crossing became one of the popular places of Indian Territory, especially for picnics, which was a good advertiser for the spot. Nail’s Crossing lost its real popularity with coming of the M. K. T. Railroad.” (2)



Water spouts from its source in southeastern Murray County to the Blue River’s mouth with no man-made dams or other constrictions to its flowing waters making it one of the last of its kind in Oklahoma.


Most Texomans know that the stretch of the Blue River a few miles north of Tishomingo has the best Rainbow and Brown trout fishing spot in our region. However, anglers can also catch Smallmouth, Spotted, and Largemouth bass, and Longear, Redbreast, Redear, and Green panfish, plus Crappie and Catfish in the Blue River. (3)


The Blue River Valley Winery holds an annual benefit for the Durant Animal Rescue Alliance (DARA) every spring. DARAs exceptional program, the Furry Friends Food Bank, supplies Veterans, elderly, and low-income pet parents with pet food! (8)


The Washita River Valley


The Washita River used to flow north to south between Bryan and Marshall Counties. Lake Texoma has taken over a large section of this river. The Washita River also created the playground that is Turner Falls in the Arbuckle Mountains.


In 1842, U.S. General Zachary Taylor established Fort Washita which is common knowledge. General George Armstrong Custer had practiced in the Washita River Valley what he hoped to achieve during his “Last Stand” at Little Big Horn eight years earlier in 1876.


It is evidenced that General Custer kept a Cheyenne mistress who had his son in Tim Lehman’s book Bloodshed At Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull, Custer, and the Destinies of Nations. Custer called her Monahseetah (Meotzi). (4)


Even though he played a significant part in the Battle of Gettysburg, Custer was full of himself and his wife, Elizabeth Bacon Custer, was politically connected as the daughter of the extremely influential and wealthy Judge Daniel Stanton Bacon. Custer was convicted of desertion and mistreatment of his soldiers during his service in the Civil War, but reinstated after ten months to campaign against Native Americans in Kansas and Oklahoma.


Judge Bacon refused to let Custer in his house and vehemently discouraged Elizabeth from marrying Custer. Still, she married him and followed her husband throughout the Indian Territories while he murdered Native Americans in the name of the U.S. Army.* (5)


Custer came to the Washita River Valley where he committed an abhorrent and genocidal massacre against peaceful Cheyennes on November 27, 1868. He attacked 300 Cheyenne living with Chief Black Kettle in the early morning.


While Custer was stationed on a knoll, his army killed Chief Black Kettle, his wife, Medicine Woman, 103 Cheyenne, slaughtered 800 horses and mules, and took 53 hostages of mostly women and children. Black Kettle was leading his camp away from the U.S. Army, and Custer just ran across the camp in a fluke of happenstance. Custer’s original orders were to go to the Washita River and follow it until he found the hostile Indians.


This murderous attack is known as the Battle of the Washita River, and at the time, was called one of the first substantial victories against the Southern Plains Indians. I guess you had to be there to know the truth, and thank goodness we can know it was not a victory, but a murderous slaughter today. (6)


Check out the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site’s website at:


https://www.nps.gov/waba/index.htm


The Red River Valley


I write so many historical stories and geographical explanations that I hope will never be lost to modern and young Texomans, save for our Texomaland museums, websites, geographical wonders, and great archives that I am allowed to explore with excitement, wonder, and expectations, that I do not want to expand on the Red River Valley because I will continue to report her history.


I would love for readers to tell me about a place in time in their Red River Valley of the South memories for me to research. If I have not yet discovered it, I will eventually do so and write about it. But you, the reader, can help me do just that, and get our beloved, little known Red River Valley historical stories told to the 275,000 visitors per year to our editor and publisher’s website that is LakeTexoma.com. I will save Red River Valley stories of the past to publish in the future.


In conclusion, The Three Valley Museum, which is operated by the Durant Historical Society, is named after a book entitled Queen of the Three Valleys by Henry McCreary. It is unusual for one county to have three such powerful river valleys within its boundaries, and I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this subject. (7)


*Elizabeth Bacon Custer wrote prolifically about her travels and experiences.


(1) http://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=br028


(2) http://mem55.typepad.com/caddo_my_home_town/2016/12/nails-crossing.html


(3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_River_(Oklahoma) "Blue River Oklahoma." http://blueriverok.com/index.html, accessed 20 Jun 2012


(4) https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/history/events/did-custer-have-a-cheyenne-mistress-and-son-native-oral-history-says-yes/


(5) https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/elizabeth-bacon-custer/12030


(6) https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/history/events/native-history-custer-attacks-peaceful-cheyenne-in-oklahoma/


(7) http://threevalleymuseum.com/


(8) http://durantrescues.com/


http://www.bluerivervalleywinery.com/


 




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Lake Texoma Fishing Report from TPWD (Jul. 26)

Water lightly stained; 83–86 degrees; 17.26’ high. Black bass are slow on Texas rigged craws, topwater walking baits and shakyhead worms. Crappie are fair on minnows in deeper brush piles. Striped bass are fair on slabs. Catfish are fair on trotlines and cut shad.






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