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.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Place type

Buffalo is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Cane Branch)


  • Latitude

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Buffalo by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
1,986 2019 Texas Demographic Center
1,856 2010 Texas Demographic Center
1,804 2000 Texas Demographic Center
1,555 1990 Texas Demographic Center
1,507 1980 Texas Demographic Center
1,242 1970 Texas Demographic Center
1,108 1960 Texas Demographic Center
966 1950 Texas Demographic Center
737 1940 Texas Demographic Center
470 1930 Texas Demographic Center
510 1920 Texas Demographic Center
310 1900 Texas Demographic Center
190 1880 Texas Demographic Center