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CANADIAN, TEXAS

"Oasis of the Panhandle"

Hemphill County Seat, Texas Panhandle

Highways 60 and 83
On the South bank of the Canadian River
52 miles N of Shamrock
44 miles N of Mobeetie
23 miles NE of Miami
105 miles NE of Amarillo via Hwy 60
Population: 2,722 (2010) 2,233 (2000) 2,400 (1990)

Book Hotel Here > Canadian Hotels

Canadian TX - Downtown
Downtown
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
History in a Pecan Shell

In early 1887 E. P. Purcell and O. H. Nelson, laid out a 240-acre townsite for the soon to arrive Southern Kansas Railway. The site, which was on the South bank of the Canadian River connected to the community of Hogtown (AKA Clear Creek) by a bridge that summer. Residents and businesses crossed from Hogtown to be near the rails.

A post office was granted in August of 1887 and the town's first hotel - The Log Cabin opened its doors. On Independence Day 1888, Canadian hosted the first annual Cowboys' Reunion rodeo - one of the first commercial rodeos in Texas.

By 1900 the town was thriving due to its being a division point fort the railroad. The town soon had cotton gins, grain elevators and even a private academy, as well as the usual businesses necessary to a vibrant town. It was estimated that the town once had as many as thirteen saloons.

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union set up their own building - which also houses the city library.

The Handbook of Texas acknowledges the names of early business pioneers as George and John J. Gerlach, Harvey E. Hoover, Edward H. Brainard, and Nahim Abraham, who immigrated from Lebanon.

Mr. Abraham, descendant, is the man responsible for the renovation of Canadian's beautiful Palace Theater.

Temple Lea Houston, Sam Houston's youngest (and most flamboyant) son once lived in Canadian before settling in what is now Oklahoma.
The railroad, which had long since been absorbed by the Santa Fe - closed the roundhouse in the 1950s. This might have been a deathblow to a lesser town, but Canadian survived. From the 1950 population of 2,600, it grew to nearly 3,500 by 1980.


Historical Markers:
  • Hemphill County Jail
  • Hogtown, Former Site of
  • Springer's Road Ranch, Site of Old
  • Canadian River Trails
  • Marcy Trail, Route of
  • Historic Trails
  • Robert R. Young

    Canadian, Texas Landmarks / Attractions >
  • Roundhouse in Canadian, Texas
    The Roundhouse in Canadian
    Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
    See Texas Railroads
    Canadian, Texas depot

    Canadian Depot
    Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
    More Texas Depots

    Canadian, Texas Landmarks / Attractions

    Photographer's Note:
    "Canadian is such a nice town to drive around in. It is very tourist friendly. I saw no junk. Everything was neat and well kept... [Here are photos] 'in and around' the town of Canadian." - Barclay Gibson
    Hemphill County Courthouse, Canadian, Texas today
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2008
    Hemphill County Courthouse
    Former Hemphill County jail, Canadian, Texas
    Former Hemphill County Jail in Canadian
    Barclay Gibson, January 2003
    More Texas Jails
    Historical Marker:
    Hemphill County Jail
    Built in 1890, first permanent public building in both town of Canadian and Hemphill County. Erected under administration of E. E. Polly, first county judge. Ironically, deception plagued construction of this jail, as building contracts were found to be fraudulent and citizens took legal action all the way to the Texas Supreme Court (1889).
    In mid-1920s, jail held outlaws from notorious oil boom town of Borger (65 miles southwest).
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1970.
    Canadian TX - church
    Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    More Texas Churches
    Canadian TX -  drug store
    City Drug
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Canadian TX - Palace Theatre neon sign
    Palace Theatre neon
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Canadian TX - Palace Theatre
    The Palace Theater: 210 Main Street
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Palace Theatre, Canadian, Texas
    The recently restored Palace Theater has a history going back 80 years.
    Photo courtesy Wes Reeves
    More Texas Theatres
    Canadian TX - Steakhouse
    Steakhouse
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Canadian TX - Dinosaur
    Dinosaur
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Canadian TX - Tank sign

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    More Texas Signs

    Canadian TX - Grain elevators
    Grain Elevators
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    More Texas Grain Elevators
    Canadian River Wagon Bridge, Canadian, Texas
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Canadian River Wagon Bridge
  • River Valley Pioneer Museum
    118 North 2nd Street.
    Tuesday to Friday 10 to 12 & 1 to 4. Sunday 2 to 4
  • Lake Marvin
  • Hemphill County
  • Canadian Hotels> Book Hotel Here
  • Historical Markers
    TX Former Site of Hogtown historical marker
    "Former Site of Hogtown" historical marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    TX - Site of Old Springer's Road Ranch Historical Marker
    Site of Old Springer's Road Ranch Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    TX - Canadian River Trails Historical Marker
    Canadian River Trails Historical Marker
    At Historical Wagon Bridge roadside park, off US 60/83

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    TX - Route of Marcy Trail Historical Marker
    Route of Marcy Trail Historical Marker
    on US 60 about 8 miles S of Canadian

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    TX - Historic Trails Historical Marker
    Historic Trails Historical Marker
    on US 60/83 about 6.5 miles S of Canadian

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    TX - Robert R. Young Historical Marker
    Robert R. Young Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Canadian, Texas Tourist Information
  • Chamber of Commerce: 216 South Second Street Canadian, Texas 79014 806-323-6234
  • Canadian-Hemphill County Economic Development Council
    216 South Second 806-323-5397
    Contact the Chamber for their complete, all-in-one, 60 page information guide. Although there is no table of contents, you'll probably see things you might have missed had there been one. Maybe that was the idea. There's an abundance of historic photographs which are usually left out of most brochures.
  • Canadian Hotels > Book Hotel Here
  • Hutchinson County Texas 1940s map
    1940s map showing the Canadian River & Canadian in Hemphill County
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office
    Canadian, Texas Area Destinations:
    Hemphill County
    >
    Shamrock
    Mobeetie
    Miami
    Amarillo
    Book Hotel Here:
    Canadian Hotels
    Amarillo Hotels
    Shamrock Hotels
    More Hotels
    More Destinations & Hotels:
    Texas Panhandle
    Texas Town List
    Texas Ghost Towns
    Texas
    Texas Hotels

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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