Leggett is at the junction of U.S. Highway 59 and Farm Road 942, eighty-five miles north of Houston in central Polk County. The farming and sawmill community was named for Ralph Leggett, an early settler. Prominent in Leggett's early history was James R. Freeman, who moved to the area in 1873. His use of a red horse sign on his property, which included a gin, saloon, store, and sawmill, led many local residents to call the settlement Red Horse. However, when the post office was secured in 1882, Freeman agreed to a request to call it Leggett. A sawmill was established at Leggett in 1889, which Freeman purchased three years later. The community also became a stop on the Houston, East and West Texas Railway. However, the mill and much of the town burned in 1897. Drilling for oil near Leggett began as early as 1915, and discoveries of oil and natural gas in 1983 greatly diversified the local economy, which had been largely agricultural in nature. Leggett had an estimated population of 375 in 1984. By 2000 the population was 500.