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History Lesson: League City's Name

Aided by the railroads, the cattle industry thrived in North GalvestonCounty throughout the post-war decades. George Washington Butler in particular became a highly respected and influential stock breeder. Eventually owning 2,000 acres of rich grazing land, Butler specialized in the breeding of Brahman cattle which he imported to New Orleans and then drove overland to what is now League City. In 1872, Butler purchased a thirty-acre tract of land from Colonel Henry B. Andrews, an investor of the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad and owner of the local brickyard. The Butler Ranch and Cattle Station, located on the south side of Clear Creek, quickly became a passenger and mail-pick-up and drop-off point on the railroad. Today, Helen’s Garden, a beautiful League City landmark, occupies a portion of that property.

Butler’s increasing prominence and business success is reflected in a variety of community endeavors. Butler was elected a Galveston County Commissioner, a post he held for the next eight years, and also served as Post Master for the community. During the early 1890’s, Butler convinced the wealthy Galveston financier, John Charles League to purchase land on the east side of the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad located in the Muldoon and Stephen F. Austin survey, and plat a town. The original lots measured 50-by-140 feet, sold for $50 per lot.

In 1893, League, with the support of local congressman and close friend, Miles Crowley, renamed the town from the original “Clear Creek” to “League City”. This gesture met considerable derision among local residents living on the west side of the railroad tracks. By 1896, the local post office had become the focal point of a “feud” as the residents of Clear Creek and the new League City competed for the town’s name. For the next six years, depending upon which party held the political upper hand, the local post office building (with G. W. Butler at the helm) moved back and forth across the railroad tracks. The League City advocates eventually won the fight, and Butler’s Ranch, the community of Clear Creek on the west side of the railroad, and J. C. League’s new town merged to become League City.

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