Archibald Franklin Leonard, farmer, surveyor, county official, and state representative, was born in Laurence Township, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, on June 19, 1816, the son of William and Barbara (Shaw) Leonard. Upon reaching maturity Leonard departed Clearfield County for Missouri. Here he married Mary Ann Foster on February 26, 1839. This couple had one son and six daughters. In the early 1840s Leonard and his family settled in Platte County, Missouri. In 1845 the Leonard family, in concert with a significant contingent of the Fosters, immigrated to Texas, settling at the Peters Colony near present-day Grapevine, Tarrant County. Leonard acquired several hundred acres of land and established himself as a farmer and as one of the leading members of the community. In February 1846 Leonard helped establish and was a charter member of the Lonesome Dove Baptist Church. Throughout the 1850s he engaged as a surveyor, assisting in laying out of the site of Grapevine. In addition he served the county as postmaster, justice of the peace, and clerk. During the late 1850s Leonard operated a number of area businesses including a general store and a mill. In June 1861 following the outbreak of the Civil War, Leonard volunteered for Confederate service, joining the J. R. Cummins' Company of the Twentieth Brigade, Texas State Troops. While serving in this militia unit, Leonard assisted indigent families of soldiers serving in the army. Following the Civil War Leonard relocated to Birdville, Tarrant County. Here he resumed his political activity. In 1870 he won election on the Democratic ticket as representative for Tarrant, Ellis, and Collin counties to the Twelfth Texas Legislature. In 1873 he served as chairman for the Birdville Democratic Executive Committee and later was master of the Birdville Grange. Around this time he was also a delegate to the Tarrant County Democratic Convention. Leonard died in Birdville on January 22, 1876, and was buried there at Birdville Cemetery. He is the subject of a Texas Historical Marker in Birdville, Tarrant County.
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Birdville Historical Society: Historical Markers (http://www.birdvillehistory.org/wst_page7.php), accessed June 22, 2007. Evelyn D'Arcy Cushman, Cemeteries of Northeast Tarrant County, Texas (Arlington, Texas: 1981). Charles H. Young, ed., Grapevine Area History (Grapevine, Texas, Historical Society, 1979). Weldon I. Hudson, First Settlers of Tarrant County, Texas, 1841–1859, Volume I (Ft. Worth: Weldon I Hudson, 1983). Tarrant County TXGenWeb: "Archibald Franklin Leonard" (http://www.rootsweb.com/~txtarran/citizens/archibald-leonard.htm), accessed June 22, 2007.
Twelfth Legislature (1870-1871)
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Aragorn Storm Miller,
“Leonard, Archibald Franklin,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 25, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
August 12, 2008
Most Recent Revision Date:
October 2, 2020
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: