Hemphill County, Texas

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Hemphill County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. In 2000, its population was 3,351. It is named for John Hemphill, a judge and Confederate congressman. Hemphill County is one of 30[1] prohibition, or entirely dry, counties in the state of Texas. The county seat and only incorporated community in the county is Canadian[2].


Early history

For the two hundred years leading up to 1875, nomadic Indian tribes representing the Apache, Comanche, Kiowa, and others roamed the Panhandle following the huge buffalo herds. In search for an alternate route to California through Santa Fe, New Mexico, Josiah Gregg (1840), and Caprain Randolph B. Marcy (1845) surveyed trails that crossed Hemphill County, following the south bank of the Canadian River.

The battles of the Red River War of 1875-1876, an effort by the United States Army to contain the Indians in the Panhandle, took place. In September,1874, two of thee major battles occurred in what would become Hemphill County: the Battle of Lyman’s Wagon Train and the Battle of Buffalo Wallow.

On April 12, 1879, Wheeler County became the first organized county in the Panhandle, with fourteen other unorganized counties attached to it, one of which was Hemphill County. Hemphill County was organized in July 1887.

On July 4, 1888, the first rodeo in Texas and perhaps the world was held on the Main Street of Canadian, Texas. It began as a competition among some of the larger ranches in the area the annual Fourth of July Rodeo continues in present times.

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