Homer LaKirby Leonard

Portrait of Homer LaKirby Leonard Headstone Photograph


1899 - 1979


Nona Byerly
1908 - 1995

Back of headstone

Homer Leonard
Member, Texas House of Representatives 1931 - 1946
Speaker, Texas House of Representatives 1941 - 1942
McAllen's Most Valuable Citizen 1941
Texas Association for Retarded Children's
State Distinguished Service Award 1963
Texas Mental Health Mental Retardation
Commissioner's Annual Award 1971

O God, who blessed the world
bless thy servant Homer
who helped make the laws,
who helped make possible the
caring for little ones,
who found richness
in all thy people,
who made laughter more abundant
Full Name: Homer LaKirby Leonard
Location: Section:Republic Hill, Section 1 (C1)
Row:A  Number:4
Reason for Eligibility: Member and Speaker, Texas House of Representatives 
Birth Date: January 14, 1899 
Died: February 14, 1979 
Burial Date: February 16, 1979 
Confederate Home Roster Information:
Birth Place: Missouri 

LEONARD, HOMER LaKIRBY (1899 ~ 1985). Homer Leonard was born January 14, 1899 in Licking, Missouri to Edward L. Leonard and Lillie Ramsey Leonard. He graduated from the School of Mines and Metalurgy at the University of Missouri in 1922 with a degree in Mining Engineering. While at the University of Missouri, he was member of Pi Kappa Alpha and Theta Tau, editor of the "Missouri Miner" and director of the M.S.M. Players.

In 1927, he moved to the Rio Grande Valley where he published the McAllen Monitor, a daily newspaper. Mr. Leonard ran for the Texas House of Representatives in 1930 as a write-in candidate of the Good Government Party. Following his victory he would serve 16 years in the House and was Speaker of the House in 1941-42. Mr. Leonard was voted McAllen's Most Valuable Citizen in 1941, and served as president of the Rotary Club, director of the Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the American Legion. He spearheaded many war bond drives during World War II. He was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1939.

Following his legislative career, he was appointed general counsel for the Texas Brewer's Institute and stayed for 25 years. After his retirement he was a public speaker. In 1963, he and his wife, Nona, received statewide recognition from the Texas Association for Retarded Children. In the same year, Mr. Leonard was named honorary chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis campaign for Austin.

In 1971, the Leonard's became the first couple to receive the Annual Commissioner's Statewide Award from the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. Mr. Leonard was named in 1960 "Boss of the Year" by Austin Tower Lights Secretaries Chapter and then in 1963 was made an honorary life member of the National Secretaries Association. He also was an honorary life member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers and the Zachary Scott Theatre. He served as President of the Austin Club for 20 years, and he was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.

Homer L. Leonard died February 14, 1979 and was buried at the Texas State Cemetery on February 16, 1979.

Information taken from "Austin American-Statesman," February 15, 1979; and the "Texas Bar Journal," Vol. 42, Number 5: May 1979.


#8810) Served in the House from 1931-1945. Speaker of the House, 1941.
Entered by Administrator on 2/1/1998 12:11:25 PM

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