Leakey, Texas

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Leakey (pronounced Lay-key) is a city in and the county seat of Real County, Texas, United States.[3] The population was 387 at the 2000 census. A U.S. Census Bureau estimate of July 1, 2008, placed the population at 359.[4]

The city is named for John H. Leakey (1824-1900), a pioneer former Tennessee.

Leakey depends heavily on tourism because of the existence of the nearby Frio River. The Alto Frio Baptist Encampment is located to the southeast of the community.



Leakey is located at 29°43′31″N 99°45′41″W / 29.725243°N 99.761463°W / 29.725243; -99.761463 (29.725243, -99.761463)[5]. It is situated at the intersection of U.S. Highway 83, and Farm Roads 336, 337, and 1120 in southeastern Real County, approximately 35 miles north of Uvalde and 90 miles northwest of San Antonio.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.5 km2), all of it land.


Archaeological excavations in the Frio Canyon region revealed Paleo-American, Archaic, and Neo-American occupations. Later, several Native American tribes, including Lipan Apache, Comanche, and Tonkawa inhabited or traversed the area.[7]

Anglo-American settlement of the area began in 1856 when John Leakey, his wife Nancy, and a few others settled near a spring along the banks of the Frio River. Shingles and lumber were produced from the abundant cypress and cedar trees. In its first few years, the community was a lonely outpost that was subject to frequent Indian raids, which continued until 1882. Growth accelerated after the Civil War as new families arrived.[8] In 1883, A.G. Vogel moved a post office from the community of Floral to Leakey. That same year, the Texas State Legislature created Edwards County and designated Leakey as the county seat less than a year later.[9] 1883 was also the year that the area's first school was established on land donated by the Leakeys.[10] A new school building was completed in 1890.[9] In 1891, the Edwards County seat was moved from Leakey to Rocksprings.[9] During the early 1900s, ranching superseded lumber, cotton cultivation, and corn production in importance to the local economy. The raising of Angora goats was a major component of the ranching industry. In 1902, the school in Leakey had a total enrollment of 102 students.[9] The town's population was estimated to be 318 in 1904.

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