About Leander Texas
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.
During the 1850’s, the town of Bagdad was surveyed and many businesses began opening. One of the first stores was a blacksmith shop. The first post office was opened in 1858. Although the location was isolated the abundance of water and timber attracted many settlers. Farming became the mainstay of the area, with the settlers growing much of their own food and making most of their own clothing.
During the Civil war many men left to join the Southern forces. At the end of the war most of the men returned to the local community, as well as many of the freed slaves. Bagdad Cemetery was established in 1857 with the burial of three-year-old John Babcock whose father gave the tract of land where the cemetery now exists, to the community. Other earlier burials were Civil War veterans. The United Methodist church was established in 1860.
Bagdad was also a stop on the stage line from Austin to Lampasas; the settlers were now able to have goods delivered to them from Austin. By the 1870’s, Bagdad had a hotel, school, several general stores, two blacksmith shops, and several churches. In 1871, the first school was started in Bagdad by the Masonic Lodge; it was the only free school in the area. Church socials played a very important role in the lives of the settlers and were the main entertainment for the early residents of Bagdad.
For more information about Leander Texas
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