Canadian, Texas

Canadian, Texas

The City of Canadian is the seat of Hemphill County, Texas Photograph by Billy Hathorn.
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Map of Hemphill County

Canadian, on U.S. highways 60 and 83 in western Hemphill County, has been the county seat since its founding in 1887. In the spring of that year E. P. Purcell and O. H. Nelson, who headed the Kansas Railway Townsite Company, laid out the 240-acre townsite, which is on the south bank of the Canadian River near its junction with Red Deer Creek. By summer the Southern Kansas Railway had completed a bridge across the river from the settlement of Clear Creek, or Hogtown. As a result, residents of Hogtown moved their homes and businesses to Canadian. Soon the temporary tent city gave way to more permanent structures, as the townsite company's advertisements attracted more prospective settlers and businesses. Nelson Peet established the first hotel, the Log Cabin, and a post office was opened in August. On July 4, 1888, Canadian's reputation as a rodeo (see RODEOS) town began when the annual Cowboys' Reunion staged a commercial rodeo, one of the first in Texas. The event has been an annual custom ever since. Baptists, Methodists, the Christian Church, the Church of Christ, and other Christian communions soon established churches in Canadian.

By 1900 the incorporated town was a major shipping center with railroad division headquarters and roundhouses, cotton gins, elevators, banks, a public school, and a private academy, as well as various stores and other small businesses. Canadian also had as many as thirteen saloons before the county voted to go dry in 1903. Since then, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union has had an active chapter in Canadian; the old WCTU building also houses the city library. Canadian has had seven newspapers: the Free Press (1887–88), the Crescent (1888–93), the Record (1893-), the Enterprise (1891–1912), the Advertiser (which later became the Hemphill County News, 1938–71), the Sand Burr (1933–49), and the short-lived Monday Morning News (1916).

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H. Allen Anderson | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Adopted by: Sulaimaan Bhatti
Adoption Message: In honour of my American wife...You can take the girl out of Texas but you can't take the Texas out of the girl!
Until: July 6th, 2024

Belongs to

Canadian is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Canadian is classified as a Town


Latitude: 35.90978650
Longitude: -100.38381000

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2021 View more »