Leon County History 1940
The area of Leon County is 1,101 square miles, the altitude about 375 feet, and the annual rainfall about 36 inches. In 1848 it had 167 voters and an estimated population of 998, and in 1850 the census gave it 1,946. In 1860 it had reached 6,781, with a considerable slave population, and in 1870 there were fewer people than before the war. By 1880, however, new immigration ran the total up to 12,817, double that of 1870.
"In 1878 ribbon cane matured stalks ten feet in length, which, crushed by horse power mills, yielded 500 gallons of molasses and 300 pounds of sugar per acre," says an official report of 1883. "In 1880 . . produced 21,300 bales of cotton and enough corn for two years supply . . . raw land 50 cents to $4 an acre, improved land $3 to $15 . . 20,900 cattle, 1,116 sheep and 16,851 hogs."
Coming down to 1890 we find fewer hogs and sheep but more cattle-28,911 head. In 1935 there were 25,192 cattle, and 26,215 hogs, more than any other Texas county. There were 1,610 farms in 1890, with about 55,000 acres of crops. In 1934 crops were harvested from 97,951 acres on 3,481 farms. Half a century ago (1890) the population of Leon County was 13,841, and its towns were listed as Centerville, 288; Buffalo. 310; Rogers Prairie, 239; Oakwood, 231; Marquez, 482; Jewett, 363 ; Leona, 58 ; Guy's Store, 158.
The 1930 census gives the county 19,898 people, and the towns (by census and estimate) are Keechi, 100; Buffalo, 850; Nineveh, 150; Centerville, 388, but is larger now; Leona, 200; Normangee, 869; Flynn, 300; Concord, 280; Jewett, 516; Newby, 100; Evansville, 200; Marquez, 700.
U. S. Highways 75 and 79 cross at Buffalo, and are paved throughout the county. The Old San Antonio Road, or King's Highway, follows the southern county boundary about half way.
During the first decade of this century the Trinity & Brazos Valley and the "Mexia-Navasota cut-off" of the Houston & Texas Central raced each other through the western part of Leon County, and for a quarter of a century their trains whistled defiance as they passed, often in a stone's throw of each other. Only one of them now operates, and the dump of the other is being turned into a highway.