a Pecan Shell|
The abundant water of the area drew many Indian tribes and the entire area
was one of the last strongholds of Lipan Apaches and Comanches who were not happy
about being displaced.
After the arrival of the first Anglo-settlers
the first industry established was the same as Bandera,
Kerrville and other riverfront
towns - shingle manufacturing.
Shingle production and lumbering of the
abundant Cypress trees was the major economic force until ranching and the raising
of Angora goats replaced those activities. Tourism increased as roads improved.
of significant events in Leakey1856:
John and Nancy Leakey with a handfull of others settled near the
site at springs that were to be named Leakey Springs.
The post office from the town of Floral moved to the settlement and opened in
the Leakey store
1884: Leakey became county seat of Edwards County
and remained until 1891 when it moved to Rocksprings.
1904: The population was just over 300 persons
1913: Real County
was organized and Leakey became the county seat. See Real
1926: The population was only 150 people
1951: Leakey gets around to incorporating
1956: Leakey's population
reaches its zenith of 762 people.
FM 337 as you enter Leakey from the East.
It contains the graves of the town founders.
It is perhaps a little
ironic that the first interments in the cemetery were the last to be killed by
Indians (in Real County).
on the Frio
The McLaurin Massacre
Photo courtesy Linda Kirkpatrick|
a low-water crossing in 1936|
Vintage photo courtesy Lloyd & Jackie Shultz
Photo courtesy Linda Kirkpatrick|
street on the courthouse square|
was the county seat of Edwards County from 1883 to 1891 when a vote moved the
seat to Rocksprings. Real
County, named for businessman and State Senator Julius Real, was organized from
parts of Edwards, Kerr and Bandera counties in April 1913. Leakey was named the
county seat and a temporary building was erected on the square. Controversy over
the site of the county seat continued for several years, so Judge D. D. Thompson
began planning for a permanent courthouse upon his election in 1917. Voters approved
bonds to finance a permanent structure. The bonds were financed through Hanover
National Bank of New York.
Architect H. A. Reuter designed the 1918 courthouse,
and the firm of McCreary and Schott served as contractors. According to oral history,
a local builder known as "Scotty" Archibald made a significant contribution, as
well. E. F. Vanderbilt was construction superintendent.
Using native limestone
quarried from Tucker Hollow near the site, workers erected Reuter's vision of
a Classical Revival edifice with a fortress-like façade. The rusticated limestone
bands were laid in regular courses with quicklime bonding to create the building's
texture and solid feel. A stone pediment with simple cornice topped by a standing
seam metal roof contributes to the building's character. Renovations and additions
made in 1978 transformed the original doors into large central windows with flat
arch and transoms. The fine structure retains its original flavor and distinctive
features and remains the center of Real County government.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2000
Texas Forum Leakey
I am one of many Leakeys in the UK, and stumbled upon your history
of Leakey in Real County, Texas. I was interested to read that the founders, John
and Nancy Leakey are interred in the Leakey cemetery
and were the last to be killed by Red Indians in Real County. I wondered if you
know anything about the origins of the founders. Do you know where they came from
and can you direct me to any websites to help? - Chris Leakey, June 03, 2004