IN 1888, THE CITIZENS of Canadian lined Main Street to watch and bet on competitions between cowboys in roping and bronc riding for an event that later would be cited as the first rodeo in Hemphill County, and perhaps in Texas. On April 27, 1888, Freeman E. Miller, the editor of the Canadian Crescent newspaper, ran an editorial asking citizens to make plans for big doings on the Fourth of July weekend. While Miller gathered the crowds, the cowboys at the Laurel Leaf Ranch organized the competitors. Thus, the first rodeo was born. The festivities lasted for two days and ended with an all-night dance.