|Motto: The biggest little town in Northeast Texas|
|• Total||2.0 sq mi (5.1 km2)|
|• Land||2.0 sq mi (5.1 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||719 ft (219 m)|
|• Density||995/sq mi (390.2/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1374508|
Leonard is located at (33.383165, -96.245248).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), all of it land.
Leonard is located on U.S. Highway 69 and State Highway 78 in southwestern Fannin County. It is near the center of a tract of land that, on February 8, 1845, Anson Jones, president of the Republic of Texas, granted to Martin Moore. This 3,520 acres (14.24 km2), now known as the Martin Moore survey, was sold to Solomon Langdon Leonard in February 1859 for $10,560. It is located on the Blackland Prairie, which angles through southwest Fannin County from northwest to southeast. The prairie was bordered on the south by Wildcat Thicket and on the north by Bois d'Arc Thicket. Wildcat Thicket was an "area of trees, briar bushes, thorn vines, and tall grass, so thick and dense that it was almost impossible to see through it, even in the daytime." It was also a haven for outlaws and fugitives and the scene of several killings in the Lee-Peacock feud (1865–72).
On July 22, 1880, the town of Leonard came into existence on the Leonard survey with the sale of town lots at auction. H. L. Parmele negotiated the location of the town with the Denison and Southeastern Railway. A post office and a school were established the next year. Residents numbered fifty in 1881. In 1885 the settlement had a population of 350, nine stores, three blacksmith shops, a church, a school, a gin, two hotels, two doctors, and two lawyers. Leonard incorporated on September 14, 1889, with a population of 400 people. The first four churches in town were the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Church of Christ. The first city hall was located on the first floor of a two-story frame building in the town square. The Grove Hill Masonic Lodge occupied the second floor. Albert Ervin established the first newspaper, the Leonard Graphic, in 1890, which remains in publication.
On May 23, 1894, Leonard Collegiate Institute was organized. It began in a two-room frame building on Connett Street and in 1906 built a three-story building with the new name Dodson College. In 1908 the presbytery of the Paris Presbyterian Church took formal possession of the school and changed the name to Manton College Institute. The school closed in 1914. In the middle 1930s Dr. J. J. Pendergrass established a hospital in Leonard, which was then the trading center of southwest Fannin County and adjoining areas in Hunt, Collin, and Grayson counties. The town was known for its outstanding cotton market. The principal crops were cotton, corn, and wheat. In 1989 the main crops were wheat and grain sorghum; ranching had replaced some of the farming. The population of Leonard slightly exceeded 1,000 for most of the twentieth century, then grew to 1,509 in 1980 and 1,744 in 1990.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,846 people, 683 households, and 497 families residing in the city. The population density was 936.8 people per square mile (361.8/km2). There were 751 housing units at an average density of 381.1 per square mile (147.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.99% White, 5.53% African American, 1.90% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 5.69% from other races, and 15.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.85% of the population.
There were 683 households out of which 39.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had no one living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.16.
In the city the population was spread out with 30.2% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,318, and the median income for a family was $40,461. Males had a median income of $32,071 versus $20,888 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,747. About 12.9% of families and 17.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.5% of those under age 18 and 27.5% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Leonard is served by the Leonard Independent School District.
- Polly McLarry baseball player.
- Jack Black and Kyle Gass formed the famous band Tenacious D here in 1995.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- The Leonard Graphic | Home