WASHITA RIVER. The Washita River rises in southeastern Roberts County (at 35°38' N, 100°36' W) and flows east for thirty-five miles, crossing southern Hemphill County to enter Roger Mills County, Oklahoma. From the state line the stream flows southeast for 260 miles to its junction with the Red River (at 33°55' N, 96°35' W) in Johnston County, Oklahoma. On its course through Texas, the river flows through flat to rolling country where clay and sandy loams support brush and grasses. Since the stream was a favorite campground for nomadic tribes, the upper Washita was the scene of much military activity during the sporadic Indian wars; Col. George A. Custer's attack on Black Kettle's village, known as the battle of the Washita, occurred near present-day Cheyenne, Oklahoma, on November 27, 1868. The Indian siege of Capt. Wyllys Lyman's wagon train took place near the Washita in Hemphill County on September 9–14, 1874. Hide hunters frequented the upper Washita, as did early ranchers, for whom the stream was a favorite place to water their herds. In recent years a series of dams and small reservoirs has been constructed along the Washita and its tributaries in Hemphill County.

Lester Fields Sheffy, The Francklyn Land & Cattle Company (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, "WASHITA RIVER," accessed April 18, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rnw01.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox