EXPLORE CANYON

A Brief History of our City

The City of Canyon is a residential community located in the Texas Panhandle, just south of the City of Amarillo. The City name of Canyon comes from Palo Duro Canyon, located approximately 12 miles from the City. Canyon was incorporated in 1906, but it originated as a community in the mid-to late-1800s.

Canyon's History Timeline

1876

Colonel Charles Goodnight settled in Randall County with 1,600 head of cattle, and would eventually control almost 1,000 square miles of Panhandle Plains.

1887

Lincoln Guy Conner surveyed and settled at the site. He laid out the town in the spring of 1889, his dugout serving as home, general store, and post office. A. L. Hammond established the second business and a blacksmith shop, and suggested the name Canyon City, after nearby Palo Duro Canyon, when Conner refused to have the settlement named after himself.

1889

Randall County was organized. Conner's home was the voting place for that precinct, and Canyon City was chosen as the county seat.

1896

Mrs. R. W. Morgan began publishing the Stayer; George A. Brandon renamed this paper the Canyon City News after buying it in 1903.

1898

The Pecos and Northern Texas Railway arrived and made Canyon City a major shipping point for cattle and cotton and a receiving center for such necessities as coal and lumber.

1904

L. T. Lester opened the Stockman's National Bank, later the First National Bank of Canyon

1906

Residents voted to incorporate, with Jasper N. Haney as first mayor.

1910

West Texas State Normal College (now West Texas A&M University) opened on a forty-acre site donated by Conner, but classes were held in the courthouse until the completion of the college's first building in 1911.

1911

The town was renamed Canyon.

1915

The population was 1,500, and industries included two banks, grain elevators, a tannery, real estate firms, and the twenty-five-room Palace Hotel. As well as a school building and several churches.

1921

A fire destroyed several buildings on the south side of the town square. Nevertheless, during the 1920s Canyon enjoyed new growth because of above-average rainfall.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s the city's three banks were consolidated under the ownership of the First National Bank. The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum was established in 1932, new buildings on the university campus were constructed with Work Projects Administration funds, and a new post office building was opened in 1937.

Though Canyon's businesses decreased from 163 in 1967 to 137 in 1985, tourism was enhanced by the expanding Panhandle-Plains Museum and the nearby Palo Duro Canyon State Scenic Park, with its summer outdoor drama, Texas.

1987

Three public schools, two city parks, a hospital and nursing center, a radio station, a new county library and city hall, and new county government facilities attested to Canyon's continuing growth, as did several new housing developments such as Hunsley Hills, just north of town.

2002

Canyon established as a Texas Main Street City

Please contact us if you see something missing in the timeline.

Did you know?

Here are some Canyon Main Street numbers you may not know. We have an incredible community that takes pride in our Historic District.

4, 0
Main Street volunteer
hours logged since 2002
$53,705, 0
reinvested into the
Main Street District since 2002

Did you know?

Here are some Canyon Main Street numbers you may not know. We have an incredible community that takes pride in our Historic District.

4, 0
Main Street volunteer
hours logged since 2002
$53,705, 0
reinvested into the
Main Street District since 2002

What is Canyon Main Street?

The Canyon Main Street program is designed on community involvement and public-private partnerships to preserve a town’s unique assets and create an inviting atmosphere in town. It is also used as a powerful tool focused on economic development within the context of historic preservation.

Become a Canyon
Main Street Insider:

 

1605 4th Ave. Canyon, TX 79015
Mon – Fri: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

The Canyon Main Street program is designed on community involvement and public-private partnerships to preserve a town’s unique assets and create an inviting atmosphere in town. It is also used as a powerful tool focused on economic development within the context of historic preservation.

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