It was 17 years after the 1860 Battle of the Pease River before a white settlement came to the Red River Valley. The Pease battle, 16 miles northwest of Vernon, ended the life of Chief Peta Nocona and captured was his white wife, Cynthia Ann Parker, mother of Quanah Parker, greatest chief of the Comanche’s.
It wasn’t until 1878 when C.F. Doan and his wife and child came to the valley that a permanent settlement developed. Doan built an adobe house, which still stands, and operated a store soon known by thousands of cowboys on the Western Trail as Doan’s Crossing.
Vernon itself got its beginning in 1880 under the name of Eagle Flat, but in 1881 the community was awarded a post office when the name was changed to Vernon. A frontier trading post was located nearby at Condon Springs (present location of Hillcrest Country Club).
By 1882 Vernon was home to its first hotel, 2 mercantiles, 1 drug store and 4 saloons. Wild horses, bellowing herds of cattle, howling coyotes, boisterous dance halls and gambling houses, shooting, mixed with cowboy yells, made a strong medley of tunes that gave life and adventure to early day pioneer life.
By 1889 there were 2,000 residents and a railroad. This began a passing from blankets of buffalo and cattle, teepees and saloons to the modern trade and commerce center that remains today.