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Leon County Texas
Leon County was officially formed from Robertson County by the First Texas Legislature in 1846. The first meeting of the county court was held on October 16, 1846, with R. E. B. Baylor as presiding judge. The naming of the county is the subject of much controversy. Some maintain that it was named for Martin De Leon, founder of Victoria. However, many residents insist that the name ("lion" in Spanish) came from the nickname of a yellow wolf of the region commonly called the leon.
The first county seat, Leona, on the southern boundary near the Old San Antonio Road, was picked in 1846. The first chief justice was David M. Brown; William B. Middleton served as sheriff for the first term in 1846. Centerville became county seat in 1851, as a result of a state requirement that county offices be as close to the geographical center of a county as possible. The first newspaper was published there in 1851, the Leona Signal, under the ownership of Judge W. D. Wood.
In the early years most Leon County residents engaged in subsistence farming, raising corn, cattle, and hogs. The citizens of Leon County fervently supported secession; 87 percent of county voters (534 of 616) cast their ballots for it. John D. Stell, a Leon County representative to the Secession Convention, was chosen to help prepare an address to the people of Texas about the convention's vote to secede. County residents responded enthusiastically to the call to arms. W. D. Wood, who wrote an account of Leon County during the war, estimated that more than 800 county men enlisted in the Confederate Army. Several units were recruited from the county: Company C of Hood's Texas Brigade, Companies D and E of Robert S. Gould's battalion, Captain Black's Company A of John H. Burnett's Thirteenth Texas Cavalry, and Company D of Xavier B. DeBray's Twenty-sixth Texas Cavalry.
[Excerpted from James L. Hailey and Christopher Long, "LEON COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online Published by the Texas State Historical Association.]
CITIES, TOWNS, AND POPULATED PLACES
* Buffalo * Marquez * Centerville * Oakwood * Jewett * Normangee * Leona *
Former Community Names and Ghost Towns
Bear Grass * Robbins * Flo * Friendship * Red Land * Nineveh * Blackgum * Centerview * Russell * Wealthy * Newby * Sand Lake * Cross Roads
Sardis * Sand Flat * Commerce * Corinth * Nip-and-Tuck * Vanetia * Cedar Creek * Lick Skillet * Flynn * Keechi * Malvern *
[Source: "A History of Leon County" Published by the Leon County News, May 28 1936]
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- Website Updates:
May 2017: County Records: 1900 Fugitives from JusticeMar 2017: Bio: VAUGHNSept 2016: County Records: 1891 Fugitives from JusticeJun 2016: County Records: 1916 County OfficersMar 2016: Brick Walls: BAKER - Submitted by Teresa Schreck
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