Settlers began arriving in this area in the 1840s and 1850s. Solomon L. Leonard (1811-1861) planned to move here from Missouri because of his sympathy with the Confederate cause. Before his death, he accumulated holds of 10,000 acres on the prairie around wildcat thicket, where fugitives and outlaws often hid. Bob Lee (1834-1869), a leader in the Lee-Peacock feud and a Confederate army captain, was ambushed in the thicket by Union sympathizers.
In 1880 when the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad came through, the Leonard heirs had the 100-acre townsite of Leonard laid out. They donated land for a depot, streets, a small park, and this town square. On July 22, 1880, a public auction took place here to sell town lots. A picnic was held and continues as an annual event. Mark Daniels bought the first lot and erected a saloon. Soon there was a hotel, a post office, and "The Graphic" newspaper. By 1881 a schoolhouse was built and area churches moved into town.
Leonard was incorporated in 1889 and the town boundaries were extended one-half mile in each direction from the City Hall building on the town square. For years Leonard has been the marketing center of this agricultural area.
Location: Town square of Leonard