Hemphill County Historical Markers

Texas Plains Trail Region

Map of Hemphill County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Buffalo Wallow Battle Ground | R. Dick Bussell | Canadian River Trail | Fletcher and Donley Stage Station | Hemphill County | Hemphill County Jail | Route of Marcy Trail | Site of Lyman's Wagon Train Battle | River Valley Pioneer Museum | Historic Trails | Sam Wood Cabin | Robert R. Young

Buffalo Wallow Battle Ground

Marker Title: Buffalo Wallow Battle Ground
City: Canadian
County: Hemphill
Year Marker Erected: 1925
Marker Location: from Canadian, travel south on U.S. 83, approximately 15.5 miles, turn left onto S.H. 277, continue approximately 7 miles to dirt road, take right turn, continue about 1 mile to marker.
Marker Text: Here on September 12th, 1874, two scouts and four soldiers defeated 125 Kiowa and Comanche Indians. Scouts: William Dixon, Amos Chapman Soldiers: Sergeant Z.T. Woodall, Co. I; Peter Rath, Co. A; John Harrington, Co. H; George W. Smith, Co. M, 6th Cavalry. Stand Silent: Heroes here have been who cleared the way for other men. Erected by Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, September 12th, 1925. This site marked under direction of J.J. Long, Mobeetie, Texas. Mrs. William Dixon, Miami, Texas. (1966)

R. Dick Bussell

Marker Title: R. Dick Bussell
County: Hemphill
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: at Courthouse, Main & 5th Street, Canadian
Marker Text: (1845-1935) Famed hunter, in 1870s killed buffalo on this square; was one of the first men to hunt commercially. Came to Texas in 1874. In 1887, helped to survey the townsite here, where he became lifelong resident, operating a livery stable and wagon yard. Is buried in local cemetery. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967.

Canadian River Trail

Marker Title: Canadian River Trail
City: Canadian
County: Hemphill
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: from Canadian, travel on U.S. 60/83 1 mile north, marker is in roadside park.
Marker Text: Trade, exploration and hunting trails along the Canadian are older than recorded history -old when used 1541 by Spaniard Coronado hunting golden cities of Cibola. Route in 1840 for Josiah Gregg and 34 Missouri men with goods worth $25,000 headed for trade in Santa Fe. Used by 1849 parties escorted by U.S. Army Captain R.B. Marcy on way to California Gold Rush. Hunters, cattlemen, settlers used Canadian River Trails in1870s and 80s, as Panhandle was opened to civilization. River's name,"Canadian," came from Spanish for "boxed-in." (1966)

Fletcher and Donley Stage Station

Marker Title: Fletcher and Donley Stage Station
County: Hemphill
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: Located 21 & 8/10 mile SE of Canadian on US 277.
Marker Text: A rest stop in the 1870s and 80s on military and stage line. Serviced wagon trains, buffalo hide caravans, and cattle herds. Was also mail pick-up station. Former buffalo hunter-scout Ed Fletcher ran the station. His partners were Jimmie Donley (the head cook) and Tobe Robinson. All had been Indian fighters. Station consisted of a log cabin with a sod roof (where springtime flowers grew) and 2 other buildings. A brush arbor shaded cabin door and a pump stood nearby. First election in the area that became Hemphill County was held here in 1882.

Hemphill County

Marker Title: Hemphill County
City: Canadian
County: Hemphill
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: from Canadian, travel on US 60, north about 1 mile, marker located at roadside park.
Marker Text: Formed form Young and Bexar territories. Created, August 21, 1876. Organized, July 5, 1886. Named in honor of John Hemphill, 1809-1862. First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Texas. Adjutant General of the Somervell Expedition. Member of the first State Constitutional Convention. Member of the United States Congress. Canadian, the county seat. (1936)

Hemphill County Jail

Marker Title: Hemphill County Jail
City: Canadian
County: Hemphill
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: Courthouse Square, Main & 5th Street, Canadian
Marker Text: 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.

Route of Marcy Trail

Marker Title: Route of Marcy Trail
City: Canadian
County: Hemphill
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Location: from Canadian, drive on US 60, south about 8 miles, marker is on west side of the highway.
Marker Text: This overland route, blazed in 1849 by energetic and efficient Army Captain R.B. Marcy, was best known as part of the California Gold Trail. Starting in Oklahoma, Marcy led an expedition across the Texas Panhandle and back through central West Texas. Both of the wagon roads he laid out served the emigrant traffic. In 1853, this section was planned as part of the route for the first transcontinental railroad in America, but the Civil War shifted sentiment to northern routes. Its importance declined after the railroad came through this county, 1887. (1969)

Site of Lyman's Wagon Train Battle

Marker Title: Site of Lyman's Wagon Train Battle
Address: 7 miles S on US 60/83; 10 mi. E on SH 33
City: Canadian
County: Hemphill
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: from Canadian, travel south on US 60/83 approximately 7 miles, turn east on SH 33 and go about 10 miles - marker is on south side of road.
Marker Text: During the U.S. Army campaigns in 1874 against marauding Indians, Captain Wyllys Lyman led a wagon train to Camp Supply, Oklahoma, for rations for General Nelson A. Miles' troops on duty in Texas. On the way, Indians attacked, and the longest Indian battle in Panhandle history ensued. Fighting from a wagon corral September 9 to 14, Lyman and 95 soldiers held off about 400 Comanche and Kiowa Indians. A scout escaped and reached Camp Supply for help. Company K, 6th Cavalry, traveled 80 miles without rest in a raging rainstorm to aid the wagon train. On its arrival, the Indians fled. (1967)

River Valley Pioneer Museum

Museum Name: River Valley Pioneer Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1201
City: Canadian
Zip Code: 79014
Street Address: 118 N. 2nd
Area Code: 806
Phone: 323-6548
County: Hemphill
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Natural History, Archeology, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History Type of Exhibits/Other:

Historic Trails

Marker Title: Historic Trails
City: Canadian
County: Hemphill
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Location: from Canadian, drive about 6.5 miles south on US 60/83, marker is on west side of divided highway
Marker Text: During the mass slaughter of buffaloes in the Panhandle, two trails arose to meet the needs of the hunters and their ever-hungry markets. Started about 1876, both moved vast convoys of wagons across the plains. Charles Rath-- transporting gun powder, lead, tobacco, whiskey, and food staples-- blazed a road from Dodge City to the Double Mountains. In two years, however, the best hunting was over and the route fell into disuse. Ed Jones and Joe Plummer forged a trail from Kansas to Fort Elliott. Their route became a freight road and finally a cattle road. (1969)

Sam Wood Cabin

Marker Title: Sam Wood Cabin
City: Canyon
County: Hemphill
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: located at Panhandle-Plains Museum, in Canyon, Randall County
Marker Text: Sam Wood cabin built in 1887 at Hog Town (now a ghost town). Wood, an Indian Scout, Union veteran of Civil War, buffalo hunter, was father of bride in first marriage recorded in the Panhandle, at Fort Elliott in 1877. Cabin housed (6) families during an Indian scare; in 1954 it was moved, restored. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1966.

Robert R. Young

Marker Title: Robert R. Young
City: Canadian
County: Hemphill
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: from Canadian, drive on US 60 about 1 mile north, marker is in roadside park.
Marker Text: (February 14, 1897 - January 25, 1958) A leader in America's finance and transportation. Born here, in house built by lawyer Temple Houston, son of Republic of Texas President Sam Houston. His grandfather was traildriver, pioneer rancher; his father, president of the first bank in Canadian. Educated at Old Canadian Academy, Culver Military Academy (where he won highest honors), University of Virginia. Married, 1916, Anita O'Keeffe, sister of the famous painter Georgia O'Keeffe. Had a daughter. One of close friends was King Edward VIII of England. Assistant to treasurer of General Motors, 1920s. Made fortune in stock market in 1929. After years on Wall Street, won acclaim of financial world in a proxy battle to gain control of and modernize New York Central Railroad. In this fight, enlisted aid of Texas friends Clint Murchison and Sid Richardson. Until 1939, retained banking interests in Canadian. Was a lifelong member of Presbyterian church here. Remembered native state with gifts of rare papers to University of Texas. Restored an historic local burial ground, naming it "Edith Ford Cemetery," to honor an aunt who reared him after early death of his mother. Maintained close ties (in visits, hunting trips, correspondence) with people known in boyhood. (1967)


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