Canadian is a city in and the county seat of Hemphill County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,649 at the 2010 census. It is named for theCanadian River, a tributary of the nearby Arkansas River. Incorporated in 1908, Canadian is sometimes called "the oasis of the High Plains." Canadian is on the eastern side of the Texas Panhandle adjacent toOklahoma.
City Hall and Municipal Auditorium
|Nickname(s): "The oasis of the High Plains"|
|Motto: "Wildlife, History, Tradition"|
Location of Canadian, Texas
The trails along the river are older than recorded history. Francisco Coronado came through the area in 1541 in a vain search for the Seven Cities of Cibola. In 1840, Josiah Gregg and thirty-four men fromMissouri passed through Canadian with trading goods worth $25,000 while en route to Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1849, parties headed for the California gold rush passed through, led by Captain Randolph B. Marcy. In the 1870s and 1880, hunters, cattlemen, and settlers alike used the trails as the Panhandle was opened for civilization.
By the first decadae of the 1900s Canadian was a railroad and marketing center; it was served in the late 1920s by the Clinton-Oklahoma-Western Railroad Company of Texas, one of the Frank Kell properties.
Canadian had a Baptist academy. Robert Moody (1838–1915), a banker,rancher, and academy trustee, built the Moody Hotel downtown to reflect on the future of the community. The three-story, brick-veneer structure replaced the former McIntosh Hotel. The Moody opened late in 1910 with forty guest rooms and an oak stairway. The hotel flourished until changing travel plans caused it to close. It was purchased by pioneer merchant Nahim Abraham in 1950 and now houses the Abraham Companies, operated by his great-grandsons. Robert Moody's grandson, Robert R. Young, also a native of Canadian, was subsequently the chief officer of the New York Central Railroad.
In the 1985 book Hemphill County History, Tom Abraham, the second of Nahim Abraham's four sons, found his fellow citizens of Canadian to have pride, purpose and determination: "I know Canadian folks - they just don't give up."
Canadian is the site of one of fourteen branches of the Happy State Bank and Trust Company, based in Amarillo.
A portion of the Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away, was filmed in Canadian.
The City of Canadian is served by the Canadian Independent School District.