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Living Leader 2016 Community & Business Directory

HISTORY The City of Leander, originally called Bag- Bagdad Cemetery was established in 1857 dad, was established on July 17, 1882. The with the burial of three-year-old John Bab- first settlers arrived in the area around 1845, cock whose father gave the tract of land receiving bounty land grants in exchange for where the cemetery now exists, to the service in the Texas Revolution. These set- community. The United Methodist church tlers lived in log cabins and were frequently was established in 1860. subjected to being attacked by Indians that Bagdad was also a stop on the stage line also called this area of Central Texas their from Austin to Lampasas; the settlers were home. If it had not been for the many Indian now able to have goods delivered to them attacks, the area of Bagdad would probably from Austin. By the 1870s, Bagdad had a have been settled earlier. Although, because hotel, school, several general stores, two of these frequent attacks, the Texas Rangers blacksmith shops, and several churches. In were called in to protect the settlers and they 1871, the first school was started in Bagdad constructed a building that would house up by the Masonic Lodge; it was the only free to sixty men. This was one of the first build- school in the area. Church socials played a ings of what is now Williamson County. very important role in the lives of the set- During the 1850s, the town of Bagdad was tlers and were the main entertainment for surveyed and many businesses began the early residents of Bagdad. opening. One of the first stores was a black- THE RAILROAD smith shop. The first post office was opened COMES THROUGH in 1858. Although the location was isolated, the abundance of water and timber attracted By the 1880s many changes were on the many settlers. Farming became the main- way. The railroad industry expanded to Texas stay of the area, with the settlers growing with plans to build tracks through Bagdad’s much of their own food and making most of downtown area. The area was surveyed, lots their own clothing. were sold by the railroad and the new town 8


Living Leader 2016 Community & Business Directory
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