CANADIAN, TEXAS. 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.
In the early 1950s Canadian lost its railroad roundhouses and
division headquarters as a result of reorganization by the Santa
Fe. Nevertheless, it continued to thrive on ranching and farming,
as well as oil and gas production. The population increased from
2,671 in 1950 to 3,491 in 1980. In 1990 it was 2,417
Text from the Handbook of Texas Online