Festival, which began in 1937
and ran three consecutive years until WWII.
1930s vintage photo courtesy Jean Broussard
in a Pecan Shell
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
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."
Jeanson, 2008 photo
on Saint Mary's (Texas 7) across from the courthouse. The one marked
"Library" contains the Chamber of Commerce."
Jeanson, 2008 photo
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
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact