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Leon County
The Leon County Courthouse in Centerville, originally built of slate brick in 1887. Two previous structures have occupied the current site.
The Leon County Courthouse in Centerville, originally built of slate brick in 1887. Two previous structures have occupied the current site.
Map of Texas highlighting Leon County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Texas
Founded 1846
Named for Martín De León
Seat Centerville
Largest city Buffalo
 • Total 1,081 sq mi (2,800 km2)
 • Land 1,073 sq mi (2,780 km2)
 • Water 7.5 sq mi (19 km2)  0.7%%
 • Total 16,801
 • Density 16/sq mi (6/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts 8th, 17th
Leon High School, Leon County, TX IMG 3030
Rural Leon High School is located off U.S. Highway 79.

Leon County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 16,801. Its county seat is Centerville.


The legislature of the Republic of Texas authorized Leon County in 1846 from part of Robertson County, and named it in honor of Martín De León, the founder of Victoria, Texas. However, local tradition holds that it is named for a yellow wolf of the region commonly called the león ("lion" in Spanish). The county was organized that same year with its first county seat at Leona. In 1851 the county seat was moved to Centerville since Leona was in the far southern part of the county.

The 1886 Leon County Courthouse was designed by architect George Edwin Dickey of Houston, incorporating remnants of an earlier 1858 courthouse that was destroyed by fire. The courthouse was rededicated on July 1, 2007 following a full restoration to a 1909 date.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,081 square miles (2,800 km2), of which 1,073 square miles (2,780 km2) is land and 7.5 square miles (19 km2) (0.7%) is water.

Major highways

  • I-45.svg Interstate 45
  • US 79.svg U.S. Highway 79
  • Texas 7.svg State Highway 7
  • Texas 75.svg State Highway 75
  • Texas 164.svg State Highway 164

Additionally, State Highway OSR runs along the south and southwest county line of Leon County where it borders with Madison County.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,946
1860 6,781 248.5%
1870 6,523 −3.8%
1880 12,817 96.5%
1890 13,841 8.0%
1900 18,072 30.6%
1910 16,583 −8.2%
1920 18,286 10.3%
1930 19,898 8.8%
1940 17,733 −10.9%
1950 12,024 −32.2%
1960 9,951 −17.2%
1970 8,738 −12.2%
1980 9,594 9.8%
1990 12,665 32.0%
2000 15,335 21.1%
2010 16,801 9.6%
Est. 2015 17,086 1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the census of 2000, there were 15,335 people, 6,189 households, and 4,511 families residing in the county. The population density was 14 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 8,299 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 83.53% White, 10.39% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 4.50% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 7.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,189 households out of which 28.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.20% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.10% were non-families. 24.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 23.40% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 20.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 96.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,981, and the median income for a family was $38,029. Males had a median income of $32,036 versus $19,607 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,599. About 12.60% of families and 15.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.20% of those under age 18 and 14.30% of those age 65 or over.

Vote Republican sign in Leon County, TX IMG 4440
Faded "Vote Republican" sign off U.S. Highway 79 in Marquez in Leon County


Cities and towns


Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

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