Buffalo, TX (Leon County)

By: Maria Elena Kruger

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: September 30, 2020

Buffalo is on the Missouri Pacific tracks at the intersection of U.S. highways 79 and 75 and Interstate Highway 45, fourteen miles north of Centerville in northern Leon County. It was established in 1872 on the International-Great Northern Railroad and named for the herds of buffalo that had roamed the area. The last link of the railroad was completed four miles from the town in April or May 1872. Before the railroad arrived Buffalo residents had shipped cotton by river and driven livestock to market. The Buffalo post office was established in 1876. The community's first school was a two-story structure that later served as the community center—named the "Opera House"—and subsequently until the late 1940s as a hotel. Between 1890 and 1892 Buffalo's reported population grew from 200 to 500; during the 1890s the town had a general store, saloons, cotton gins, a milliner, druggists, a constable, the county commissioner, the notary, and churches established by the Baptists, the Methodists, and the Presbyterians. In 1913 the town was incorporated and had an area of four square miles. Buffalo lost its charter in 1917, but was later reincorporated. It reported a population of 650 in 1929, 470 in 1931, 850 in 1939, and 737 in 1941 and 1950. In 1927 the Concord Common School District consolidated with the Buffalo school district. Seven other districts were consolidated with Buffalo between 1929 and 1970. In 1938 the Buffalo schools had a combined enrollment of 510 students, 342 White and 168 Black. Railroad passenger service to the community was discontinued in 1970. In the 1990s Buffalo had an annual watermelon festival and a regular Labor Day-weekend festival known as the Buffalo Stampede. In 1990 Buffalo reported a population of 1,555. The population had grown to 1,804 by 2000.

Leon County Historical Book Survey Committee, History of Leon County (Dallas: Curtis Media, 1986).

  • Communities

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Maria Elena Kruger, “Buffalo, TX (Leon County),” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 22, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/buffalo-tx-leon-county.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 30, 2020

Currently Exists
Place Type
Town Fields
  • Has post office: Yes
  • Is Incorporated: Yes
Belongs to
  • Leon County
Associated Names

Cane Branch

  • Latitude: 31.46026420°
  • Longitude: -96.06272700°
Population Counts
People Year
190 1880
310 1900
510 1920
470 1930
737 1940
966 1950
1,108 1960
1,242 1970
1,507 1980
1,555 1990
1,804 2000
1,856 2010
1,986 2019