Several groups of Indians occupied this area in prehistoric times. Some of the groups were probably related to the Tonkawa.
Mother Neff’s legacy
Mother Neff State Park was one of the first parks in the state park system, named for Isabella Eleanor (Mother) Neff, who owned six acres along the Leon River. Her youngest son, Pat M. Neff, served as Texas governor from 1921 to 1925. After his mother’s death in 1921, Gov. Neff created the Mother Neff Memorial Park on the six acres.
In 1934, Gov. Neff deeded 250 acres and Frank Smith deeded three acres to add to the park. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps developed park facilities, including roads and buildings. The 259-acre park opened to the public in 1937. Heavily wooded, it is ideal for camping, hiking, picnicking and fishing.
In 2012, the state acquired an additional 140 acres next to the park, bringing its total to nearly 400 acres. The new tract is prime golden-cheeked warbler habitat. Historically, many local folks fished here.
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