and Bagdad Cemetery
note Leander and
Bagdad are closely related
also view Leander
The History of Bagdad - Established (1855) by Max Cacher
Despite the dangers of being attacked by Indian raiding parties, white settlers began moving in small numbers into what later became the town of Bagdad (named for Bagdad, Tennessee, the hometown of one of the early settlers) in the late 1840's and early 1850's. Soon a thriving little community existed on the South Fork of Brushy Creek just west of present-day Leander.
One of the settlers, John Frederick Heinatz built his home and adjoining store in 1850 near the intersection of present day Bagdad Road and Nameless Road. John later became the postmaster of Bagdad, served as a public school trustee, was a superintendent of Sunday School, banker, and practical advisor to his neighbors. He married Emilie Krohn and had nine children, six boys and three girls, seven of whom lived to adulthood in their home in Bagdad.
In 1854, Bagdad (named after the hometown of one of the residents) was surveyed by innkeeper Charles Babcock and a post office established in 1855; thus the town of Bagdad, Williamson County, Texas was established in 1855. Also in 1855, Bagdad became a stage-stop for the Austin to Fort Croghan (in present-day Burnet) stage line and later joined by a second stage-line, the Austin to Lampasas stage. Both stagecoach routes made a stop in the adjoining villages of Liberty Hill to the Northwest and Pond Springs to the Southeast....
The earliest schools in the area were held in the homes in Bagdad. In 1860, the Methodist Church log building was constructed and used as the Bagdad public school. In 1871, the Masonic Lodge was completed in Bagdad and became the public school for Bagdad. Then in 1893, a free public school opened in the new railroad town of Leander. The Leander business leaders then organized a high school association in 1899 to furnish support for the Leander educational system.
That same year (1899), the Masons moved their lodge to the new town of Leander where it still stands today just west of U.S. 183 near the new post office.
The original Masonic Lodge, Built in 1870/1871, became a public school in Bagdad. This building was built in 1899 as the Masons moved their lodge from Bagdad to Leander.
In 1881/1882 timeframe, the townsfolk of Bagdad were told of the approaching railroad line that was being built from Marble Falls to Austin to carry granite for the new state capitol building being built in Austin. However, the railroad officials met a solid wall of opposition from the already entrenched town of Bagdad. As a result, the railroad decided to move their tracks a mile or so to the east of Bagdad and establish a new town.
Leander is Established in 1882
Among the first settlers in the Leander-Bagdad area were Thomas Hornsby, born 1805, came to the area to become Bagdad, in the summer of 1846 and put up a 1og cabin, the first known home in that vicinity; Harmon Smilser, born in Tennessee in 1793, who came sometime between 1846 and 1850; Charles Babcock and his family, who came on Christmas Day, 1851. It was Babcock who surveyed the town of Bagdad in 1854. John H. Shaffer and John F. Heinatz were two of the first merchants in Bagdad, Heinatz also opening a blacksmith shop and succeeding the first postmaster, Thomas Huddleston. Others arriving in the early 1850s were James Williamson, George Craven, Robert Marley, Eli and Andrew Hamilton, John Faubion, Colonel C. C. Mason, William f. Carothers, John Schooley, E. A. Walker, W. R. Walker and Tom Cashion. Arrivals before 1850 in the Leander‑Bagdad area included two brothers, James and Nicholas Branch--James, born in 1807, and Nicholas in 1813; Greenleaf Fisk (1811-1887); M. J. Wells (1819-1893) and Henderson Upchurch.
As the railroad tracks were completed in 1882, land was sold to the railroad and surveyed into lots to form the new town of Leander. As was the case in most early-day railroad towns, the town of Leander was named after a railroad employee; in this case the town was named for Leander “Catfish” Brown who was one of the men responsible for completion of the rail-line. The post office was brought from Bagdad to Leander in 1882 and the first bank, Humble & Chapman, was established. Doctors’ offices, lawyers’ offices, and a drug store had also joined this new community. The business leaders of Bagdad soon realized the advantage of being located close to the railroad tracks and a rush was on to relocate businesses to Leander which virtually closed down the town of Bagdad in 1882.
click here for more History on Bagdad
Opened 1857 with burial of 3-year-old John Babcock, whose father Charles later gave tract to community. Other early burials were Civil War veteran John Haile and Col. C. C. Mason. Leander, founded 1882 when railroad bypassed Bagdad, shares use of this tract, enlarged in 1959 and 1966
1 mile west of Leander on FM 2243
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Latitude: 30.576995- Longitude:-97.870481
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