Fannin County TXGenWeb
Reprinted with permission by the :Leonard Historical Society
"Looking North from the South Side of Leonard Square in
1904. Building in the center was the Leonard City Hall
Built in 1883 and torn down in 1907. Grove Hill Masonic
Lodge occupied the second floor from 1883-1890"
From p. 8 :The History of Leonard, Texas 1880-1980

published by the Leonard Centennial Commission,
Leonard, Texas 1980
View the City Hall 1908-1963
New Leonard History Book

View Leonard Photographs and Articles
          The City of Leonard is named for Solomon Langdon Leonard
    who was born in 1811 in Ohio,  purchased land originally granted to Martin Moore by the 
    Republic of Texas and sold to H. Sampson and E.J. Hart. On his way from the north with his family and belongings he drowned in Indian Territory and never saw Texas again. His heirs 
    settled on the land and nearby were several small towns; Delba, Lane, Savage, Hickory Creek 
    and two larger ones, Valley Creek and Grove Hill (the post office there was called Oak Hill).
          The Railroad reached Denison, Texas from the north in 1872 and then it extended Southeast,and by 1878 nearby (15 miles) Whitewright came into being. On July 22,1880 a large picnic was held along with the sale of lots and the birth of Leonard was celebrated as the newest Railroad 
    town . By 1885 it had 350 people.
          The town incorporation date on paper is September 14, 1889 when a courthouse was built and 400 citizens comprised the town. Cotton was it's main business and the railroad was kept busy. A newspaper called The Leonard Graphic was started in 1890 and is still published. Today this small town of around a thousand celebrates the lovely new city hall 
    on the town square and like many small towns  in Texas it no longer has movie theaters , but many businesses survive and even thrive along with the continued emphasis on farming. Also the Annual Leonard Picnic continues to bring together generations of people connected with this area of Fannin County and is the continuing thread in the history of Leonard. Some early Leonard surnames:
         Leonard,  Boutwell,  Waller,
         Clymer, Groves,  Daniel,
         Connett,  Parmele, Scott,
         Yates,  Allison,  Albright,
         Grider,  Conklin,  Smith,
         Scales,  Keys,  Lee,
         Franklin,  Kuyrkendall,
         Menton, Rotan, Owens,
         Womack,  Thomas, Wilson,
         Evans, Smalleys, Blanton,
         Sudderths, Henry, Sims,  Mull,
         Pendergrass, Kemper, Freeman,
         Ring, Cobb, Neales,
         Crabb, and many others.

      Will's Point Chronicle , Thursday 11 Mar 1897 -
        "The most disastrous fire in the history of Leonard, Fannin County, occurred Monday night, sixteen business houses, the whole west side, being destroyed."

    Suggested reading;
    •   The History of Leonard, Texas 1880-1980
    published by the Leonard Centennial Commission,
    Leonard, Texas 1980
    (This book has been revised and reprinted under the title of The History of Leonard Texas II)


© 2005
Email Any Additions or suggestions

  Fannin Home page