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Morris L. Britton

COFFEE'S STATION. Coffee's Station, also known as Coffee's Trading Post, was operated by Holland Coffee and associates and occupied several locations on the Red River from 1834 to 1846. After leading a trapping expedition to the area of the forks of the Red River in early 1833, Coffee established the trading post near the "old Pawnee village." This was probably the abandoned north bank village of the Pani Piques (Taovayas or Wichitas) that Athanase de Mézières had named San Bernardo, across the river from the site of present Spanish Fort. The post housed thirty men and was surrounded by a picket fence. It was considered to be within the Choctaw Nation. Contacts were conducted out of the post that convened the plains Indians for the Camp Mason treaty negotiations of August 24, 1835, held near the site of present Lexington, Oklahoma.

Mexican agents tried to force evacuation of the post, and in early 1836 it was moved upriver to the mouth of Cache Creek, near the site of present Taylor, Oklahoma. Although later proved to be much in error, Coffee contended that this site was in Texas by virtue of being west of the 100th meridian. Various complaints were made that the post's trade encouraged Indian depredations, and members of the Texas House of Representatives recommended that it be placed under surveillance or even suppressed. By April it was moved downriver and located on Walnut Bayou, near the site of present Burneyville, Oklahoma. Abel Warren subsequently operated the post (called Warren's Post) at Walnut Bayou from 1836 to 1848 and later returned it to the Cache Creek site. In September of 1937 the post was moved across the river in Washita (Preston) Bend, a site north of modern Pottsboro, Texas. The early locations served the Comanches, Kiowas, Wichitas, Keechis, and Tawakonis primarily.

The last and lowest river location catered more to various eastern refugees and the removed tribes. Ransomed white captives were often brought to the post. In 1839 Coffee's Trading Post became a post office of the Republic of Texas, called Coffee's Station. After settling in Texas in 1837 Coffee turned his attention to landholdings and agriculture. In 1845 he developed the town of Preston near the site of his post. Thereafter the name Preston was used to designate the area, and the trading post was abandoned after Coffee's death in 1846. The site of Coffee's Post in what became Grayson County was inundated by Lake Texoma in the 1940s. A historical marker commemorating the post is located near the Preston Bend Cemetery, just north of Pottsboro.

Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed. and trans., Athanase de Mézières and the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1768–1780 (2 vols., Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark, 1914). Grant Foreman, Pioneer Days in the Early Southwest (Cleveland: Clark, 1926). Sherrie S. McLeRoy, "The Short Life and Hard Death of Holland Coffee," True West, December 1989. Audy J. and Glenna P. Middlebrooks, "Holland Coffee of Red River," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 69 (October 1965). Rex Wallace Strickland, "History of Fannin County, Texas, 1836–1843," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 33, 34 (April, July 1930). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Morris L. Britton, "COFFEE'S STATION," accessed May 29, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/dfc01.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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