On Saturday, May 14, surviving members of J.C. League—the namesake for the City of League City—joined Mayor Pat Hallisey, fellow councilmembers, city staff, and members of the League City Historical Society, Parks Board, 4B Boards, and the Keep League City Beautiful citizen committee to dedicate a six-foot bronze statue to honor J.C. League’s contributions to establishing and building our community over 120 years ago.
During the ceremony held at League Park, League’s great-great-granddaughter Nancy Dunn and great-great-grandson Waters Davis IV spoke about League’s love for his daughter Sarah, who was nicknamed Daisy, and his passion for people, pets, and philanthropy, as well as his penchant for hats. Dunn and Davis also spoke of League’s friendship with fellow Galvestonians and brothers George and John Sealy. They believe it was “a healthy competition” between the men that spurred League in the late 1800s to purchase land to create a town near an existing farming and ranching community named Clear Creek located along the Galveston, Houston, and Henderson Railroad line in north Galveston County. League then began platting out his town, dividing and selling lots of his land, while also donating a portion for a school, church, and park. In 1902, League’s township and the surrounding community of Clear Creek were officially consolidated into one and named League City. In 1907, League shipped in two railroad cars full of live oak trees to landscape and beautify the town. These trees still exist today along Main Street, League Park, and throughout the city’s Historic District.
115 years later, on the 60th year of League City’s incorporation with the state of Texas, Mayor Pat Hallisey recognized League’s surviving ancestors—including Dunn, Davis, and several great-great-cousins and League’s great-great-great-granddaughter who traveled to Texas for the dedication. Hallisey also thanked them for their collaboration with city staff, the League City Historical Society, and the Keep League City Beautiful committee to create a public work of art so all League City residents will know the namesake of League City.
Also present at the dedication ceremony was Lori Betz, a professional sculpture artist commissioned by League City to not only create a statue in J.C. League’s likeness but to include one of his favorite companions—his dog Scout. The two bronze pieces are mounted together on a concrete pedestal at League Park in front of the main courtyard. A metal plaque will be added to the statue in the coming months, along with an informational sign about League’s life, legacy, and several hidden items or “Easter eggs” placed throughout the two statues. They include a daisy on League’s lapel in honor of his daughter and a live oak tree on his pocket watch to recognize his efforts in planting oak trees throughout League City.
Stop by League Park to see the two statues and take pictures with Scout and J.C. League.