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Texas Counties

Texas is divided into two hundred and fifty-four counties, more than any other state. Texas was originally divided into municipalities, a unit of local government under Spanish and Mexican rule. When the Republic of Texas gained its independence in 1836, there were 23 municipalities, which became the original Texas counties. Many of these would later be divided into new counties. The most recent county to be created was Kenedy County in 1921. The most recent county to be organized was Loving County in 1931

Hemphill County, Texas

Hemphill County Education, Geography, and History

Hemphill County, Texas Courthouse

Hemphill County is a county located in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, its population was 3,807. The county seat and only incorporated community in the county is Canadian. The county was created in 1876 and organized in 1887. It is named for John Hemphill, a judge and Confederate congressman

Etymology - Origin of Hemphill County Name

John Hemphill, a judge and Confederate congressman


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Hemphill County History

For the 200 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 Captain 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 14 other unorganized counties attached to it, one of which was Hemphill County. Hemphill County was organized in July 1887. It is named for John Hemphill, a judge and Confederate congressman. The county seat and only incorporated community in the county is Canadian

Handbook of Texas Online
The arrival of the railroad and the founding of Canadian led to the establishment of county government. Hemphill County was attached to Wheeler County for administrative purposes until 1887, when a petition for organization was circulated. An organizational election was held in July of that year, and Canadian was made county seat. Though Hemphill County developed steadily during the late nineteenth century, in 1900 it remained an isolated ranching area. The number of ranches grew from forty-two in 1890 to seventy-six in 1900; during the same period the population increased from 519 to 815. Aside from 159 acres devoted to growing corn and 1,858 acres on which forage was cultivated, almost no crops were grown in the county at that time. Meanwhile, the number of cattle had increased from about 6,300 in 1890 to almost 39,000 by 1900. More at
Donald R. Abbe, "HEMPHILL COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hch12), accessed January 24, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 912 square miles (2,362 km2), of which, 910 square miles (2,356 km2) of it is land and 2 square miles (6 km2) of it (0.26%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Lipscomb County (north)
  • Ellis County, Oklahoma (northeast)
  • Roger Mills County, Oklahoma (southeast)
  • Wheeler County (south)
  • Roberts County (west)


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