Early History of Leander

The City of Leander, originally called Bagdad, was established on July 17, 1882. The first settlers arrived in the area around 1845, receiving bounty land grants in exchange for service in the Texas Revolution. These settlers lived in log cabins and were frequently subjected to being attacked by Indians that also called this area of central Texas their home. If it had not been for the many Indian attacks, the area of Bagdad would probably have been settled earlier. Although, because of these frequent attacks, the Texas Rangers were called in to protect the settlers and they constructed a building that would house up to sixty men. This was one of the first buildings of what is now Williamson County.

It was near Leander that the Leanderthal Lady, a skeleton dating back 10,000 to 13,000 years, was discovered; the site was one of the earliest intact burials found in the United States.

In August and September 2011, destructive wildfires swept through two central Leander neighborhoods, burning a total of 330 acres (130 ha) and destroying 26 homes.

The town grew rapidly, and a number of businesses were established there. Wesley Craven and J. Sampley soon built cotton gins at the community. Ranching increased, and cedar fenceposts were sold locally and shipped around the state. Doctors, lawyers, and a bank were soon established in the community. A Masonic lodge furnished the only free school in the area from 1870 until June 1899. The Leander High School Association, incorporated under the laws of Texas on June 27, 1899, was formed without profit for a period of fifty years. Shares sold for ten dollars each.

Leanderthal Lady,” the prehistoric woman whose burial site was discovered in 1982 during construction. Carbon dating suggests “LeAnn” lived over 10,000-13,000 years ago. At the time of the discovery, her site was one of the earliest intact burial sites in the United States.

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