Founding families and history
The founding families of League City were the Butler, Coward, and Perkins families. They traveled to the Clear Lake area around 1854 from Louisiana, with the goal of establishing a cattle ranching operation. By the mid 1870s, George Washington Butler—the patriarch of the Butler family—became a successful and influential stock breeder, and over the years served as the local Postmaster and the County Commissioner. Butler also constructed the first school in League City and planted the famous “Butler Oaks” that line Main Street today. His son, Milby Butler, was born in 1889. Milby would go on to play a significant role in saving the Longhorn Cattle breed from extinction through selective breeding efforts.
In the early 1800s, Father Miguel Muldoon was sent to Texas by Mexico to set up missions and try to civilize the Indians who lived in the area. He was given land in payment for his services but decided to return to Mexico.
J.C. League, an entrepreneur from Galveston, purchased the land.
The Butler family arrived by ox cart from Louisiana with several other families. They brought Longhorn cattle and all the equipment needed to set up a ranch. Mr. Butler had to go nearly to Pearland to cross Clear Creek and then came back the south side of the creek and settled along the railroad tracks here in League City. The other families spread themselves throughout the area and shipped their cattle by way of the GH&H Railroad. Butler also planted the giant oaks that are seen along Main Street.
In 1874, Clear Creek became the first name of the town. Some people thought that the name should be League City, after J.C. League, who gave parcels of land for churches and a school. It was changed to League City in 1896, changed back to Clear Creek in 1897 and finally back to League City in 1902.
Many of the original homes, schoolhouses, live oaks and churches still can be visited today.