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CENTERVILLE, TEXAS

Leon County Seat, Central Texas South
I-45 and Hwy 7
Farm Road 1119
35 miles W of Crockett
45 miles NW of Huntsville
About midway between Houston and Dallas

Population 903 (2000) 812 (1990)

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Centerville Hotels

Blackeye Pea Festival, Centerville, Texas
Black-Eyed Pea Festival, which began in 1937
and ran three consecutive years until WWII.
1930s vintage photo courtesy Jean Broussard
History in a Pecan Shell

Centerville was the original spelling and the name was chosen for the geographic location in the county. Leona had served as county seat until it was discovered it was not exactly in the center of the county. Buffalo served for a short time, which was also off-center.

A timeline of significant events in Centerville's history
1846: Leon County is organized and named after Martin de Leon.
1850: Centerville becomes county seat, post office opens and a log cabin was built as a courthouse
1851: First school classes are held in the back room of a store
1852: The Leon Pioneer is published
1853: Frederick Law Olmstead (the landscape architect who designed New York City's Central Park) visits Centerville
1858: Leon County gets its first brick courthouse
During Reconstruction an infantry company was stationed in Centerville.
1872: The International-Great Northern Railroad bypasses the town
1884: Population reaches 300
1886: The 1858 Courthouse burns and is replaced
1910: First bank is opened
1914: Centerville population reaches 600
1930: Centerville is incorporated - population had declined to 388
1937: An annual Black-Eyed Pea Festival is established
1950: Population comes close to breaking 1,000 with 961 people calling Centerville home.
Leon County Courthouse & jail, Centerville Texas
1886 Leon County Courthouse
1913 county jail

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December, 2008

Centerville Attractions

  • The 1886 Leon County Courthouse
  • The Leon County Jails in Centerville
  • Centerville Hotels > Book Your Hotel Here & Save
  • Native Sons
  • Lightnin' Hopkins by Bob Bowman ("All Things Historical" column)
    Blues singer Lightnin' Hopkins was born Sam Hopkins at Centerville on March 15, 1902. When his father died, his mother moved the family -- five brothers and sisters -- to Leona... more
  • First Methodist Church, Centerville, Texas
    First Methodist Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2005
    More Texas Churches
    Centerville TX Commerce St Leon County  Annex
    "Buildings on Commerce (Texas 75) on the west side of the courthouse. The center building with the "PIX" sign looks like an old theater. The building on the far right is the Leon County Annex. A second County Annex building was completed in 2008 on the east side of the courthouse square." - Terry Jeanson, 2008 photo
    Centerville Texas courthouse  square St. Mary's street
    "Buildings on Saint Mary's (Texas 7) across from the courthouse. The one marked "Library" contains the Chamber of Commerce." - Terry Jeanson, 2008 photo
    Centerville TX Leon County Veteran's Memorial
    "Leon County veteran's memorial on the west side of the courthouse square." - Terry Jeanson, 2008 photo
    Centerville TX Water Tower Tiger Pride
    Centerville water tower
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, 2008
    More Texas Water Tower | Texas Towns
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.
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