De Leon is a city in Comanche County. It was founded in 1881 by the surveying crews of the Texas Central Railway. De Leon was named after Alonso De Leon, a Spanish explorer who was also the honoree of the nearby Leon River. That same year, the post office was inaugurated and by 1882, the town had a physician and a newspaper. Cotton was the town’s economic mainstay until the infestation of the insect boll weevil destroyed the crop in 1906. Consequently, the town’s primary cash crop was changed to peanuts. To date, peanuts continue to be the town’s major crop; but, pecans, peaches, and melons also contribute to large agricultural revenue. Peach and Melon Festival is held annually in August. The occasion features a free melon slicing, a De Leon High School reunion, and the crowning of a festival queen.
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