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Leesville is an unincorporated city of 51 square miles in Gonzales County, Texas, United States; alongside Texas State Highway 80 and FM 1682. Under postal code 78122, the Leesville post office serves relevant areas from FM 466 (Capote Road) to Texas State Highway 97. Geographically, Leesville is defined by the south of its Capote Hills and the north of Sandies Creek. Straddling and nearing the southeastern border of Guadalupe County, the real estate origins of Leesville go back to the 1800s survey plots[1][2] of Texas Revolution figures Ezekiel Wimberly Cullen[10] (late owner of Sandies Creek) and Joseph de la Baume (late owner of Capote Hills).[11]

Leesville
Leesville, Texas State Highway 80
Leesville, Texas State Highway 80
Nickname(s): 
Sandies, Capote, Leesburg, E.W. Cullen[2][1][3]
Motto(s): 
Come and Grind It; Staying Happy
Leesville is located in Texas
Leesville
Leesville
Leesville is located in the United States
Leesville
Leesville
Coordinates: 29°24′25″N 97°44′42″W / 29.40694°N 97.74500°W / 29.40694; -97.74500Coordinates: 29°24′25″N 97°44′42″W / 29.40694°N 97.74500°W / 29.40694; -97.74500
TractsE.W. Cullen League (1.2); De la Baume Leagues (6) [1]
Granted1806 (de la Baume)[4]
Settled1830s-1936
Founded1874[5][6]
Founded byNewburn H. Guinn, Developer; Changed from Leesburg to Leesville by U.S. Postal Service
Named forLee Guinn, daughter of founder
Government
 • TypeDe facto
 • BodyVarious historical, event associations with the Leesville name
 • PatronLeesville Country Fair
 • ElectionsLeesville Cemetery Association
 • CountyGonzales County
 • School DistrictNixon-Smiley Consolidated Independent School District
Area
 • Total32,793 acres (13,271 ha)
 • Water.12 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Population
 (2016, estimated)[8]
 • Total447
 • Density8.8/sq mi (3.4/km2)
ZIP code
78122; Postmaster: 78122-9998; SH80/FM466/FM1682: 78122-42XX[9]
LocationSoutheast Guadalupe County Line; West Gonzales County; South of Belmont; North of Nixon; West of Bebe
WebsiteU.S. Post Office, Leesville
Sandies Creek, Leesville, Texas

ServicesEdit

In 2000, Leesville had 7 businesses.[12] It is situated in southwestern Gonzales County, approximately 26 miles west of Gonzales and 19 miles south of Luling.[13] The historical city center of Leesville is located alongside the street of FM 1682, where the city’s original church and cemetery reside; currently acting as a location for local events.[14][15]

HousingEdit

The local median cost of housing, as of 2016, is an estimated $546 per month;[16] with the households of the city paying an aggregate $23,500 in annual property taxes.[17] In estimation, of local workers 16 years and over who do not work at home, 16% commute within 5 minutes of their place of work; 28% commute within 15 to 24 minutes; 56% commute half an hour or more.[18]

An estimated majority of homes (40.5%) in the area were built from 1980 to 1999.[19] The estimated median year Leesville homes were moved into was 1996.[20]

In 2000, all occupied residential real estate in Leesville was valued at 13.9-million dollars,[21] leading to a residential value density of more than $400.00 per acre, of 32-thousand acres of Leesville land.

EconomyEdit

In 2016, Leesville business owners earned, in total, an estimated 1.3 million dollars.[22] In 1999, the aggregate household income for the city was 7.8 million dollars.[23]

All commercial and residential properties in Leesville paid a combined estimate of $192,500 in property taxes in 2016.[24]

CivicEdit

Leesville has a post office with the zip code of 78122.[25] The U.S. Postal Service offered to close the Leesville Post Office in 2011.[26]

Public education in the community of Leesville is provided by the Nixon-Smiley Consolidated Independent School District.[27]

Leesville relays issues of improper garbage disposal to state and county authorities.[28]

CemeteriesEdit

ChurchesEdit

  • Dewville United Methodist Church[34]
  • Leesville Baptist Church[35][36]
  • Leesville Encouraging Word Church, former election polling place[37]
  • Leesville Methodist Church,[38][15][14] acting as an election polling place[39]

AgricultureEdit

  • Leesville 4-H Club[40]
  • Sandies Creek Wildlife Management Association[41]

HistoryEdit

NameEdit

 
E.W. Cullen, an original owner of Leesville

The first settlement and commerce of the area began around Sandies Creek, said to be once landmarked by a giant granite stone; leading to the Leesville area once being referred to as Sandies. From the 1830s until the 1870s, significant amounts of social activity climaxed around this area; with theft of watermelon, corn and food occurring at a nearby property. The nearby proprietor destroyed the granite landmark in response, ending the original rapid growth of the area.[42]

The general area was then named Capote, named after its hills. In the late 1800s, local land developer Newburn H. Guinn attempted to name the town Leesburg after his daughter Lee. The local post office at the time refused to recognize the name, as another Texas town had already claimed the name Leesburg. It was then compromised that the city would be named Leesville.[5]

In 1880, a significant portion of Leesville's southern territory was owned by Ezekiel Wimberly Cullen, with Leesville alternatively and legally known as the Ezekiel W. Cullen League (E.W. Cullen).[2][1][3]

IndustryEdit

Sandies Home Guard
 
Captain C.S.A., rank of Sandies Home Guard commanding officer
ActiveAmerican Civil War
CountryConfederate States of America
BranchConfederate States Army
TypeConfederate Home Guard
Size70
Part ofMilitia
Garrison/HQSandies Creek (later Leesville), Texas
AnniversariesJune 22, 1861
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Capt. Michael Erskine

Original businesses and organizations since the area's settlement used to include, in greater capacity:[43]

  • Sylvester A. Hubbard‘s ox-driven corn grinder and lumber saw (1860)
  • Sandies Home Guard C.S.A., Captain Michael Erskine (June 22, 1861)[44][45]
  • Daniel Brown‘s general merchandise store (1868)
  • A brick kiln (1868)
  • A saddletree and stirrup factory (1868)
  • Leesburg Male and Female Institute, known as “Leesville school house” (January 21, 1873)
  • Leesville School System, elementary and high schools (closed in 1951)
  • Lumber production
  • Grain production
  • Beef production
  • Cotton production
  • Peanut farming
  • Melon farming
  • Various churches

CultureEdit

The culture of Leesville is defined by the history of the struggles of its formation and the overt focus upon its few landmarks that incubate its history.

1835 attackEdit

In 1835 at Sandies Creek in what is now Leesville, 13 traders of Mexican and French origin traveling from Louisiana to Mexico, were killed by Comanche Native Americans.[46]

Happy QuiltersEdit

 
Leesville School House with Historical Marker

Since 1998, an organization known as the Happy Quilters has produced quilts for auction at the annual Leesville Country Fair, to maintain Leesville landmarks such as the school house; while supporting local education, by raising $1,000 or more in support per quilt.[47][48]

Littlefield-MartinEdit

In 1880, two younger generations of Leesville families Littlefield[49] and Martin, received national attention after three Littlefield belligerents died in a revolver gunfight between the two families. It was postulated that the family feud would continue.[50]

FolkloreEdit

In folklore, locals claim to see a ghost of a little girl in a blue dress, playing in Leesville Cemetery; seen only at a significant distance.[51]

Ghost townsEdit

The border of Leesville once acted as a location of these former towns:

Southwest

East

  • Bebe, Texas; the community had an estimated population of 52 in 2000.[55] A post office called Bebe was established in 1900, and remained in operation until 2002.[56] The community was named after the brand-name Beebee baking powder.[57]

ClimateEdit

The Leesville-Belmont area has an annual average of 33.1 inches and 35.8 days of rainfall. The average day consists of 12.6 hours of light. Temperatures are high with very mild winters. Generally, described as a humid subtropical climate.[58][59]

FloodEdit

Leesville was once established with a number of grocery stores, barbershops, cotton production and a pharmacy; now said to be non-existent and depopulated due to flooding and displacement from a local creek in 1936, after 26 inches of sudden rain.[14][60]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Library of Congress; Gonzales County, Texas". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Lubbock Morning Avalanche, 1926". Retrieved 19 September 2018. ...State of Texas, being a part of the E. W. Cullen League, in the town of Leesville...
  3. ^ a b "...Leesville on the E. W. Cullen league..."
  4. ^ "...The Spanish government made one of the first land grants in the Guadalupe County area to José de la Baume in 1806 for land in the Capote Hills..." Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b ...Sometime between 1868 and 1887, Mr. Newburn H. Guinn divided land on the west bank of the creek into town lots and sold them to various businesses. In about 1870, Guinn decided to name the town Leesburg, after his daughter, Lee. When the town applied for a post office however, they had to do so under the original name of Capote -- there was already a Leesburg in Texas at the time. The post office opened in 1873. Finally, in 1874, the town became known as Leesville...
  6. ^ Current name adopted in 1874.
  7. ^ AREA CHARACTERISTICS
  8. ^ U.S. Census Bureau, 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates
  9. ^ "United States Postal Service". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  10. ^ Ezekiel Wimberly Cullen (1814-1882)
  11. ^ "La Baume of Bexar...He soon became interested, along with several Anglo settlers in purchasing more land, specifically, a 26,568 acre tract among the Capote Hills. Acting governor Manuel Antonio Cordero y Bustamante granted the right to the land purchase..." Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Leesville, Texas". The Handbook of Texas online. Retrieved 2009-08-29.
  13. ^ "Leesville, Texas". Texas Escapes Online Magazine. Retrieved 2009-08-29.
  14. ^ a b c d "Leesville celebrates 80th homecoming". Retrieved 21 August 2018. Used to be, a couple of thousand people lived in the area. There were two barbershops, two grocery stores, a cotton gin and a drug store...the flood of 1936 caused hardships that changed the dynamics of Leesville’s development in forcing people to move elsewhere.
  15. ^ a b c "Leesville lets loose this weekend...at the Methodist Church grounds, is a fundraiser for the Leesville Cemetery". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  16. ^ MONTHLY HOUSING COSTS...Median (dollars)...546
  17. ^ AGGREGATE REAL ESTATE TAXES (DOLLARS)...23,500
  18. ^ TRAVEL TIME TO WORK...U.S. Census Bureau, 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates
  19. ^ YEAR STRUCTURE BUILT...1980 to 1999, 40.5%
  20. ^ Median year householder moved into unit...1996
  21. ^ AGGREGATE VALUE (DOLLARS) FOR ALL OWNER-OCCUPIED HOUSING UNITS...13,985,000
  22. ^ Aggregate self-employment income in the past 12 months (in 2016 inflation-adjusted dollars); 1,314,300
  23. ^ AGGREGATE HOUSEHOLD INCOME IN 1999 (DOLLARS) BY TENURE AND MORTGAGE STATUS...7,864,200
  24. ^ Aggregate real estate taxes paid (dollars): 192,500
  25. ^ United States Postal Service...9606 N STATE HIGHWAY 80 LEESVILLE, TX 78122-9998
  26. ^ A review of business activities of the Post Office at this location revealed that the office workload has declined. This reduced workload suggests the maintenance of an independent Post Office here may no longer be warranted.
  27. ^ ...the Nixon-Smiley CISD school board election...The poll places include...Leesville Methodist Church, FM 1682, Leesville (Precincts: 5, 13)...
  28. ^ ...”We need to get something done about a certain property in the Leesville community”...Commissioner Donnie Brzozowski proposed that per state law, the constable for the precinct in question should be responsible for enforcing the laws that require people to keep their property cleaned up...
  29. ^ ...Highway 80...Leesville...battle was near the Antioch Cemetery...
  30. ^ Antioch Cemetery Photos
  31. ^ Caraway Cemetery Photos
  32. ^ Gravel bike race success in...Leesville Cemetery
  33. ^ Pct. 13 – Leesville Cemetery Assn., 1677 CR155
  34. ^ Dewville United Methodist Church, 5755 CR 121, Leesville, TX 78122
  35. ^ Lillie Lea Lay...Contributions may be made to the Leesville Baptist Church
  36. ^ Genelda Talley Pruett...contributions may be made to...Leesville Baptist Church
  37. ^ ...Election Day voting is usually held at...Leesville Encouraging Word Church...but certain factors came into play requiring a couple of adjustments...
  38. ^ Leesville Country Fair takes place Saturday...Leesville Methodist Church grounds
  39. ^ Leesville Methodist Church, FM 1682, Leesville (Precincts: 5, 13)
  40. ^ ...Whitney Pena, a member of the Leesville 4-H Club, showed the grand champion market hog. It was purchased for $1,400 by CGP Manufacturing Co...Keith Clifton, a member of the Leesville 4-H Club, showed the grand champion broilers. His chickens were purchased for $1,400 by State Bank of Gonzales, Holmes Foods and Nixon Feed. The reserve grand champion broilers were shown by Kayla Elkins, a senior at Nixon-Smiley High School and a member of the Leesville 4-H Club. Her chickens were bought for $750 by Tyson Foods....
  41. ^ "Texas Parks and Wildlife Department". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  42. ^ ...early settlers used to gather by Sandies Creek around a huge granite stone. From the 1830s until 1870, it was a spot for revivals, picnics and general get-togethers...The landowner of the property adjacent to this granite gathering became quite annoyed...They would raid his fields for watermelon, corn and other food. So, in 1870, he blew up the piece of granite.
  43. ^ ...One of the first businesses began there in the 1860s when Sylvester A. Hubbard built an ox-powered treadmill to grind corn and saw lumber. In 1868, Daniel Brown and his brother opened the first general merchandise store to be located at old Capote. About the same time, a brick kiln along with a saddletree and stirrup factory began operations...the Leesburg (Leesville) Male and Female Institute on January 21, 1873...At one time the school system had an accredited high school. It was later consolidated with the Nixon Independent School District. The last high school class graduated in 1947, but four elementary grades were taught at Leesville until 1951...The economy of Leesville depended mostly on cutting and selling oak as well as, other hardwood for use as building material. The residents also raised grain and cattle. Cotton became the big money crop after the Civil War, with three cotton gins operating at the same time. In later years, ranching along with peanut and melon farming contributed to the local economy...
  44. ^ At Sandies...In 1861 a volunteer cavalry company was formed. Called the Home Guard it was organized by Capt. Michael Erskine and was made up of 70 men.
  45. ^ ...One of the volunteer companies that organized in Gonzales County was the Sandies Home Guard. The Sandies Home Guard was organized June 22, 1861...under Captain Michael Erskine...The guard’s name probably came from Sandies Creek or Sandies Hill in Leesville, TX.
  46. ^ ...Leesville...marker...for the 1835 attack at Sandies Water Hole, where a party of 13 French and Mexican traders was ambushed by Comanches while going from Natchitoches, LA. to Mexico. All died...
  47. ^ Quilters keep patching a tradition since 1998...a group known as the Happy Quilters were hard at work on the premier attraction for the auction — a handmade quilt that brings in big bucks for the annual fundraiser...All agreed that the quilt is the big auction item that everyone looks forward to at the fair, with the highest bid fetching $2,000 one year, but the average is $1,000 or so. The money raised from the quilt and the fair goes to two scholarships for Nixon-Smiley students, upkeep of the old Methodist Church building — which is now used as a community center for the Leesville Cemetery Association — and upkeep of the cemetery next door...
  48. ^ Handmade quilt takes center stage at annual fair
  49. ^ WILLIAM W. LITTLEFIELD has for practically half a century been actively identified with the farming and stock-raising interests of Gonzales County, his home being at Leesville, and he has also for a number of years been a prominent political figure in that section of the state. The Littlefield family has been one of prominence in Texas and elsewhere for a number of generations. The name is of Scotch origin, and Philip Littlefield, grandfather of the Leesville resident, was one of three brothers who left the old country and came to the United States about 1801...
  50. ^ ...A triple tragedy lately took place at Leesville, Texas. Three leading citizens and brothers, Houston, William and Phipps Littlefield, while working on a road, met Orvie, James, and Edward Martin. Houston Littlefield had had a previous difficulty with the party, and separated without settling it. Meeting again, they renewed the quarrel. Houston Littlefield drew his pistol on Orvie Martin, who was unarmed. James Martin, seeing his brother in danger, ran up and struck Houston Littlefield with a hoe, felling him to the ground. At that Phipps Littlefield drew his revolver and shot James Martin, the ball hitting him on the head. By this time all hands had drawn revolvers, and a general fire began. Ed. Martin was wounded in the hand, but not before he had shot and instantly killed Houston and William Littlefield. The two Littlefields lay dead, while their brother, mortally wounded-cast his dying gaze upon their ghastly bodies, reddened with gore. The Martins then left...Phipps Littlefield died a few hours after the fight. It is thought the Littlefield family connections will take up the fight and wreak vengeance on the Martins.
  51. ^ The Leesville Cemetery Ghost...Many people have reported seeing a little girl in the Leesville cemetery, and they always see her from a distance. They also say the same thing – that she wears a blue dress and is playing in the graveyard like a living child would do in a schoolyard. But the second someone starts to walk toward her, she disappears...
  52. ^ Albuquerque was on the Clear Fork of Sandies Creek two miles south of the junction of Gonzales, Wilson, and Guadalupe counties in Gonzales County. The site was believed to be in Wilson County until a 1914 survey showed it inside the Gonzales county line...
  53. ^ Dewville is at the intersection of a country road and Farm Road 1117, near the southwestern corner of Gonzales County twenty-five miles southwest of Gonzales...
  54. ^ Sandies Chapel was on a country road off Farm Road 1116 near the confluence of McCoy and Sandies creeks twenty-five miles southwest of Gonzales in southwestern Gonzales County...
  55. ^ "Bebe, Texas". The Handbook of Texas online. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
  56. ^ "Gonzales County". Jim Forte Postal History. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  57. ^ Tarpley, Fred (5 July 2010). 1001 Texas Place Names. University of Texas Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-292-78693-6.
  58. ^ MONTHLY - ALL WEATHER AVERAGES
  59. ^ Climate Summary
  60. ^ ...On June 30, 1936, over 26 inches of rain devastated the town and the surrounding area. After the flood, many people moved out. Although some businesses were rebuilt a half mile west of the original site on Highway 80 -- the flood signaled an end to any future growth for the town...Leesville still exists, to some extend, and although it may not be the thriving place that it once was, before the great flood in 1936 -- the memories remain for those folks who were brought up there and the people who still call Leesville, home...

Newspaper ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit