from The History and Geography of Texas as Told in County Names.

Z.T. Fulmore. published by E. L. Steck,  Austin, 1915.
pp. 45-46

Leon County was named for Martin de Leon.

Martin de Leon

This county [Leon County] was named for Martin de Leon, a native of Tamaulipas, Mexico, where he was born in 1765; in 1795 he married in Sota la Marina. In early life he was much engaged in the wars against Tamaulipas Indians. He entered Texas in 1805 and established a ranch on the Aransas River. Not being able to get a grant of land there, he moved to the east bank on the Nueces, but the Indians became so troublesome, that he removed to San Antonio. He was a zealous partisan in the revolution against Spain.

In 1816 he moved to Burgos, in Tamaulipas. In 1823, he drove mules from his ranch to New Orleans. He then chartered and loaded the first seagoing craft to arrive at Matamoras. In 1823 he made known his purpose to establish a colony on the lower Guadalupe, and received authority to locate forty-one families upon any vacant land in that vicinity. His grant was ratified Oct. 6, 1825. In 1829 he obtained a contract to settle one hundred and fifty families within an area of ten leagues from the coast, and complied with that contract, founding the town of Victoria. He died of cholera in 1833. There was some friction between the first settlers and those of DeWitt on account of boundaries.

Submitted by Janelly Lopez