Leander ( lee-AN-dər) is a city in Williamson and Travis counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 26,521 at the 2010 census, and 62,608 at the 2019 census estimate. A suburb just north of Austin, and part of the Greater Austin metropolitan area, it was the fastest-growing city in the United States between 2018 and 2019.
Leander was established in 1882 on land sold by the Austin and Northwestern Railroad Co. to prospective citizens. The town was named in honor of Leander "Catfish" Brown, one of the railroad officials responsible for the completion of the line.
In 1836, a company of Texas Rangers, including John J. Tumlinson Jr. established Tumlinson Fort, the first Anglo-American post in Williamson County. The post was located on Brushy Creek, four miles south of present-day Leander, and was established to protect settlers from Indian attacks. The company abandoned the post to fight in the Texas Revolution, and a few years later it was discovered, burned down by Indians.
It was near Leander that the Leanderthal Lady, a skeleton dating back 10,000 to 13,000 years, was discovered; the site was one of the earliest intact burials found in the United States.
In August and September 2011, destructive wildfires swept through two central Leander neighborhoods, burning a total of 330 acres (130 ha) and destroying 26 homes.
Leander is located at the intersection of Ranch to Market Road 2243 and US Route 183 about 22 miles northwest of Austin. Georgetown lies 5 miles to the east on Route 2243.
According to the City of Leander, the city has a total area of 34.08 square miles (88.3 km2).