DANIEL DUGAN was born 17 July 1784 in either Virginia or Maryland. Some sources state VA; while others say MD; so we can surmise he was born on or near the state boundaries, which were not stable at that time. He moved with his parents, whose identities are yet unknown, to Ohio while he was very young. When seventeen, Daniel moved to Kentucky.
While we do not yet know the identity of the parents of Daniel, we do know that he had a younger sister, Mary Dugan, who married William Burk.
Daniel Dugan married Catharine Vaden on 10 April 1808, at Little Prairie, MO, on the banks of the Mississippi River. This little settlement, also known as La Petite, was located at a point a short distance from the present town of Caruthersville. It was destroyed by a series of earthquakes in 1811-1812. Catharine Vaden, born in Shelby County, KY, was the daughter of William Vaden, Jr. and his first wife, yet unidentified. Her father's second wife was Hanna Johns. (Vaden Family)
Daniel Dugan claimed land in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, MO, in 1806 and 1809, but soon moved on to Indiana.
The Dugans became the parents of eleven children born between 1809 and 1833. It appears that they often moved from state to state leaving only a few traces. We know they left Missouri and lived in Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, and Arkansas before coming to Texas.
Daniel Dugan's oldest son, George Cox Dugan, preceded the family to Texas in 1835 to check out the situation. When he returned to Arkansas, where the family waited, the Dugans began their journey to Texas, which was filled with many trials and hardships.
On this wagon trip, there were Daniel and Catharine and eight of their 11 children. Cynthia, their eldest child, had married Arnold Hutton in Greene County, Illinois, 30 March 1824, and likely never came to Texas. They were thought to have migrated to California. Two other daughters, Millicent and Mary, had died young.
The children accompanying the family were George Cox, 24; Daniel Vaden, 19; Mary Pierceall, 17; Emily, 14; William Burk, 12; Catherine Cleopatria, 10; Henry Patrick, 7; and James Martin, 3.
The following description of the trip is taken from "Indian Depredations in Texas" by Wilbarger as told by Catherine Dugan Taylor
to her daughter, Mary Taylor Shearer:
"Our first camp fire on that journey," says my mother, "is a bright
spot in my memory, and will be as long as I live. I would paint it if I could draw figures. The campfire was burning low, the wagon, with its white cover, stood near by and the oxen were grazing not far away. Our beds were spread on the grass under the trees, among which were the beautiful dogwood, with its pale green leaves quivering above the dim firelight. Mother was sitting in one of the two chairs we had brought with us, holding brother James in her lap, and the rest of us were gathered around her. Father soon came, and standing by mother's chair, joined us in singing a hymn; then we all knelt down while he prayed for God's mercy and protection."
Proceeding upon their journey without special incident, they arrived at Red River. Here their youngest child, James, died . With sorrowful hearts they prepared the little body for burial. Daniel cut down a tree and from the trunk made a little coffin. A man who happened to be passing, fastened down the lid. Daniel and George dug the grave. There they buried little James.
They moved on to Bois d'Arc Creek, now in Fannin County. Their nearest neighbors were fifty miles away, and for a time they were in straightened circumstances, owing to the scarcity of provisions. Their principal food for a time was buffalo meat and other wild game, varied by a diet of turnips and water.
After remaining at their new homesite on Bois d'Arc Creek near the present day Orangeville, Fannin County, TX, for a few weeks and many hardships, the perils of their exposed position induced them to abandon this location and return to Rocky Ford. Here they remained a short while, but returned about the middle of summer to build a cabin and become the nucleus of the middle Bois d'Arc settlement in 1836.
In January of 1838, the family of Daniel Dugan left Bois d'Arc and settled near Choctaw Creek, now Grayson County, Texas, not far from Warren on Red River. This move was made chiefly because of increased Indian hostilities. They immediately took possession of a league and a labor of land. Buffalo, bears, deer, wolves, panthers, and wild turkeys roamed through the woods and over the prairies. Grass grew from three to four feet high and lovely flowers variegated the landscape. Wild fruit and nuts were to be had in abundance. The soil was rich, natural springs bubbled and flowed into clear running streams.
The family began to clear the land for crops and build a large log cabin
with puncheon floors. This log house, located very near where the Indian Cemetery stands today, was small by modern standards, but was palatial for that period. The house proper was a long log building of two large rooms with an open hall between facing north and south. The kitchen, a large separate cabin, was built at the west of the house, a part of it projecting beyond far enough to allow a port hole at that end to command a view of the yard and one side of the house. The Dugan sons and any other men or boys who might be there, slept in the east section of the main house where beds ranged around the room, head to head, and faced the large fireplace.
The west section was reserved for the parents and the daughters of the family. It was likely arranged somewhat differently from the east section in order to allow for more privacy. A large fireplace provided heat, as in the other two areas.
The kitchen, which was large enough to accommodate the Dugan family and their guests when eating and visiting, was the focal point of the home. Not only was the kitchen cabin used for cooking and dining, it also served as the utility room, playroom, and living room. It was also used as a sleeping area when necessary. In hot weather, the family could escape the heat of the kitchen, by crossing over to the larger cabin to work or visit. At that time a separate kitchen was a common practice as a precaution against fire.
The Dugans felt as if they had reached the "Promised Land" at last.
And so it was, as Daniel and Catharine and most of their children spent their remaining days there. Their cabin home was called Dugan Chapel because it soon became the meeting place for church and burials.
Their hope that this new location would provide much better protection
from the hostile Indians, proved futile. Their second son, Daniel Vaden Dugan and his friend, William Kitching, who was the brother of the girl Daniel V. planned to marry, were killed and scalped by Indians on 27 July 1841, as they cut logs for Daniel's new cabin. The boys were working near Choctaw Creek about two miles northwest of the Dugan place. Evidences of a long and desperate fight were all about the campsite. The boys had been shot with their own guns and scalped. The bodies were brought to the Dugan home. The following day Rev. Spivey conducted impressive funeral services. As Catherine, the youngest sister, looked upon the faces of the dead in their rough coffins, she vowed to avenge their deaths. Both young men were buried at Dugan Chapel in the Dugan family plot, known today as the Dugan Chapel Cemetery.
The Dugan family and the other early settlers had been plagued from the beginning with Indian raiding parties who were out to steal horses and other livestock from them. It was not long after Daniel Vaden Dugan was killed, that Catherine got her chance to avenge his death. Only Catherine and Emily Dugan were home as the rest of the family was away from the house at various midday tasks. The girls were alerted to danger by hearing the animals about the place become restless. Upon looking out the portholes in the door, they saw an Indian bobbing up and down and making wild turkey calls near the barn. One, or both girls, got off a true shot, and the Indian fell dead near the woodpile. The girls pulled the Indian's body to the chopping block, cut off his head, and nailed it to the gate post to warn other Indians to keep away. Daniel's death was avenged! Months later the skull was brought into the house to adorn the top of the spinning wheel. It was passed down in the family for years. When I was a child, it was kept upstairs in a trunk by my father, Claude V. Whiting, grandson of Emily Dugan.
Catherine Dugan married Rev. Barton Walton Taylor, a Methodist minister and educator. The real start of schools in Grayson County began in 1851 when Rev. Taylor began his boarding school at the corner of Mulberry and Travis in Sherman. He and Catherine, the parents of six children, moved to Santa Cruz,CA, soon after the Civil War. She was the only Dugan child to move on west after the family got to Texas. She and her husband remained in California where she died 21 March 1899.
The Dugan home was a focal point for new immigrants. Often several
families were camping in their compound for weeks at a time. One such family was the Timberlake family from Virginia, who came before the Civil War. When arriving James Timberlake and his wife were both ill and forced to remain until better. But alas, they did not improve; both died and were buried in the Dugan family cemetery. A small son, James Timberlake, survived and was taken in by the Dugans and the Vadens. He remained with them until about 1870, when an uncle was sent from Virginia by his Grandfather Lee to bring him back to Virginia to get an education. After about nine years, James returned to Texas, which he considered his home. (James Timberlake's Grandmother Lee, before her marriage, was Catherine E. Vaden, a kinsman to our Catharine Vaden Dugan.)
Catharine (Vaden) Dugan's half-brother, James Harding Vaden, brought his family to Texas in 1843, and stayed until 1845 in Red River County. At that time, the Vaden family arrived at the Dugan Chapel and stayed for some time before James purchased land northwest of Sherman for two dollars an acre from the Republic of Texas.
Henry Patrick Dugan, the youngest of the Dugan clan, narrowly missed being killed by Indians in 1841. Green, a young man staying with the Dugans, went to bed first and was asleep in Henry's usual place when Henry came to bed, so Henry reluctantly crawled over behind Green. During the night Indians dug out the soft mortar between logs near the door enabling them to reach in and pull out the peg holding the door to the large room which served as sleeping quarters for many men and boys. Two shots were fired toward the beds, one striking Green, killing him instantly. Hoover, another friend of the Dugans, sprang out of bed and sank to the floor with a very bad flesh wound in his side. While Gordon, as quick as a flash, jumped over a bed, ran in behind the door and pushed it with such force that he fairly knocked the Indians out the door. He fastened it with chains and tables the best he could; put out the fire in the fireplace; and went to the assistance of the wounded man. Twelve-year-old Henry sprang out of bed, threw back the covers, and tried to awaken Green by taking hold of his hand and saying, "Wake up, the Indians are upon us." Henry soon realized what had happened to Green and knew all too well, he would have been dead but by this chance of fate. Henry lived to a ripe old age; married Ann Eliza Spotts rather late in life; served in the Confederate Army; but had no children.
Another of Daniel's sons, William Burk Dugan, died of natural causes, believed to have been typhoid fever, in 1843, when he was nineteen years old.
Mary Piersceal Dugan, the eldest girl who came to Texas, became Daniel Montague's third wife in November of 184l. His first wife, Rebecca (Covington) McDowell, had died in LA; and his second wife, Sarah Margaret (Ross) Griffin died 21 March 1841. A large wedding was held at Dugan Chapel and they lived in Montague's home near Warren. Montague County was named for Daniel Montague as he was a surveyor and active in civic and military matters. He and Mary were the parents of two children, James and Catherine Montague, who both died young. Mary Montague came down with the "lung fever," and died 15 December 1846. She and her children are buried in the Dugan family cemetery.
Daniel Dugan's eldest son, George Cox Dugan, received a Republic of Texas land grant as a single man. George was appointed by the Texas legislature to help decide the location of the Grayson County seat. George C. Dugan married Harriet Jane Wall, and they became the parents of seven children. After the civil war, he moved his family to Sherman to better educate the children. He prospered in the merchandise business and was prominent in civic affairs.
Their children were William Preston, Daniel D., George Ann, Kate
Clyde, Lutie DeVere, George Henry, and Molly J. Dugan. William Preston, born 15 October 1849, married Lydia Vernon Jones. George Ann, born 1853, married William M. Shannon. George Henry, born 1859, married Lelia Brinkley Blackburn. Mollie J., born 1864, married Judge Dane Humphries. Many descendants of George Cox Dugan have lived in the Sherman/Bells area.
In 1844, George and Henry Dugan went to Houston to pick up a load of horses. While there they met Frederic Parker Whiting, who had recently arrived from Maine. Frederick agreed to help them herd the horses back to north Texas. He met their sister, Emily Dugan, and decided to remain in Texas. Frederick and Emily were married 19 April 1845 and a son was born 13 March 1846. They both died in December of 1846 of "lung fever," and are buried in the Dugan family cemetery. His Dugan grandparents and uncles reared their child named George Dugan Frederick Whiting. George Whiting, also known as G.D.F. Whiting, married Mollie Inge Fitzgerald, daughter of George S. and Sarah B. (Pritchett) Fitzgerald, on her nineteenth birthday, 19 December 1870. Their eight children were George Frederick born 1871; Henry Patrick born 1873; John Albert born 1875; Lora Lydia born 1877; Bird born 1879; Daniel Dugan born 1884; William Preston born 1887; and Claude Vernon born 1892. Many Whiting descendants live on or near the Dugan homestead today.
Those buried at Dugan Chapel with headstones still legible in 1960,
besides the Dugans, Whitings, and William Kitchins, were Jasper Harris 1833-1853, Millie Harris (wife of M. Harris 1798-1861), and six children of M. and R. C. Watson. Hundreds of others, both Indians and settlers, were also buried there in crudely marked graves. The Dugan Family Bible states. "Daniel Dugan born 17 July 1784 and departed this life 27 September A.D. 1861, Aged 77 years, two months, ten days; Catharine Vaden/Vaiden Dugan born 14 November 1789 and departed this life 13 September 1866, Aged 76 years, 9 months, 29 days." Of course, both are buried at Dugan Chapel in the Dugan Cemetery in the pasture of their homestead.
Compiled by: Lora B. Tindall
RESEARCH LOG: History of Fannin Co., TX, 1836-1843 by Wallace Strickland as reprinted in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly Vol. 33 p 264 (1929/30); Goodspeed's History of SW MO p 300 (locates Little Prairie, MO); American State Papers, Documents, Legislative & Executive of the Congress of the U.S. Public Lands Vol. I by Walter Lowrie p 568 (1834) [Daniel Dugan, Charles Creek, Cape Girardeau, 300 acres, 24 Feb. 1809]; Whiting/Dugan Family Bible Records; Indian Depredations in TX (1890) by Wilbarger PP 379-392; Second Census of Kentucky 1800, Garrard County, KY; Republic of TX 1840 Census; Grayson County, Texas. Census Records for 1850; Dallas (TX) News and Sherman (TX) Democrat newspaper articles about Indian raids; Sons and Daughters of the Republic of Texas #16289 & 14836; History of KY by Collins 1882, Vol. II p 114; Tombstone readings, Indian Cemetery, Dugan Chapel, north of Bells, TX; Original TX Land Grants to Daniel Dugan and George Cox Dugan; Grayson County Deed Book I, Book H, p 403 from Daniel and Catharine Dugan to G.D.F. Whiting, 1857; Same source, Book C p 70 Deed from Daniel & Catharine Dugan to Catherine Taylor; Same source, Book G, p 325 Deed to Cynthia Hutton; Same source Deed to George C. Dugan Book F, p 336; Same source Deed to Henry P. Dugan Books E, p 356 & Book F. P 331; History of Fannin Co., TX 1885 History of KY by Lewis Collins, Vol. II, 1882, p 114; SW Historical Quarterly, NE TX History Articles, Vol.I, Colorado Gen. Society, The Lamar Papers; Wright Press, Sesquicentennial Series, PP 86-118; Early VA Families Along the James River (1979) by Louise Pledge Foley Vol. I PP 46, 47, 66, 67; VA Colonial Abstracts, Vol. I, abstracted by Fleet (1961) PP 131-132; History of Grayson Co. TX by Landrum & Smith (1967) PP 10-14 & 138; History of Grayson Co. TX by Lucas & Hall (1936) PP 24-86; Genealogy of the Vaden Families (1970) by Tennie Vaden Winn PP 9-10, 29-51, 279-295; A Cameo Study of the Descendants of George William Dugan (1983) by Lucille Dugan, PP 164-165 (Kentucky notes); MD Records, Colonial, Revolutionary, County, and Church by Brumbaugh Vol. I, 1915, p 308; Maryland Census of 1775-1778
Historical Quarterly, NE TX History Articles, Vol.I, Colorado Gen. Society, The Lamar Papers; Wright Press, Sesquicentennial Series, PP 86-118; Early VA Families Along the James River (1979) by Louise Pledge Foley Vol. I PP 46, 47, 66, 67; VA Colonial Abstracts, Vol. I, abstracted by Fleet (1961) PP 131-132; History of Grayson Co. TX by Landrum & Smith (1967) PP 10-14 & 138; History of Grayson Co. TX by Lucas & Hall (1936) PP 24-86; Genealogy of the Vaden Families (1970) by Tennie Vaden Winn PP 9-10, 29-51, 279-295; A Cameo Study of the Descendants of George William Dugan (1983) by Lucille Dugan, PP 164-165 (Kentucky notes); MD Records, Colonial, Revolutionary, County, and Church by Brumbaugh Vol. I, 1915, p 308; Maryland Census of 1775-1778