Leander United Methodist Church
Photo Courtesy Williamson Museum
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Leander, town established in 1882 one mile east of Bagdad, when the Austin and Northwestern railroad built there. The line became the Houston and Texas Central, later the Southern Pacific. The new town was the namesake of Leander “Catfish” Brown, a railroad official. Along with a number of businesses from Bagdad, the post office was transferred from there to Leander in 1882, John F. Heinatz continuing to hold the postmastership. His successors were his son, Charles F. Heinatz (1891), Charles C. Mason (1894), George A. Cloud (1898 who declined the appointment), Archibald J. Rowland (1898), Oliver H. Speegle (1902), Archibald J. Rowland (1903), Eunice E. Craven (1911), Robert M. Hazelwood (1922), Newton L. Craven (1927), J. O. McBride (1943), Rex H. Mason (1949), Mrs. Jo Anne Giddens (1949), J. Smith Cluck (1950), Mary N. Bentley (1956), Darrell R. Sherman (1957), Mrs. Emogene M. Kirkpatrick (1960), Arthur W. Faubion (1963). At the turn of the century, the farmers near Leander raised cotton; Wesley Craven and John Sampley operated gins, later consolidating into Leander Gin Company; ranching and poultry raising were important along with the cedar post business, posts being sold at Leander and many more shipped out by rail. George Allen operated a small limestone quarry in 1894, hauling rock by tractor to the railroad. In the 193os an Indiana firm bought land and established a large quarrying operation and lime kiln, since which quarrying has been a major industry. The wool and mohair business has increased since about 1940. Residential and business development was rapid in the 1960s and 1970s.
Leander’s population count in 1998 was 5,723. The town had fifteen campuses in its Independent School District in 1998-1999, with an enrollment of 10,700 students. The system has two high schools, two middle schools and eight elementary schools. The large district covers almost 200 square miles.
Clara Stearns Scarbrough, Land of Good Water: A Williamson County History (Georgetown, Texas: Williamson County Sun Publishers, 1973, Fifth printing, 1998).