Clear Creek, TX (Hemphill County)

By: H. Allen Anderson

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: June 18, 2020

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Clear Creek, or Hogtown, was Hemphill County's first settlement and the forerunner of the county seat, Canadian. It rose on the north bank of the Canadian River, near its junction with Clear Creek, late in 1886 as a camp for the construction crews of the Southern Kansas (Panhandle and Santa Fe) Railroad. Soon the town won considerable notoriety as a "desperado city." Saloons, gambling dens, and stores were erected, and tents were pitched for temporary sleeping quarters. Sam Pollard, a local rancher, constructed a hotel and restaurant. The brothers John J. and George Gerlach, who had operated a mercantile store for ranchers on Horse Creek since 1884, moved their one-room establishment to Hogtown.

The name Hogtown was supposedly derived from the town's generally shabby appearance and seamy atmosphere. One former resident, however, later stated that the town was so named because everyone was subject to the imperative "root, hog, or die." A dispute between Pollard and the railroad company over the price of town lots, along with the founding of Canadian on the south bank after completion of a bridge in 1887, led to Hogtown's rapid demise. Only a few settlers remained at the site, which was renamed Clear Creek. A schoolhouse, which doubled as a church, was in use until 1913. For years thereafter, a siding and flag station for the Santa Fe line retained the name.

Canadian Record, September 9, 1937. Sallie B. Harris, Cowmen and Ladies: A History of Hemphill County (Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1977). Glyndon M. Riley, The History of Hemphill County (M.A. thesis, West Texas State College, 1939). F. Stanley [Stanley F. L. Crocchiola], Rodeo Town (Canadian, Texas) (Denver: World, 1953).


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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

H. Allen Anderson, “Clear Creek, TX (Hemphill County),” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 20, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 18, 2020