Located at Interstate 10 and Boerne Stage Road near the northwestern edge of the San Antonio city limits, the Leon Springs Historic District contains three buildings that have had a significant impact on the architectural and cultural history of San Antonio's surrounding hill country communities.
German immigrant, Max Aue, was awarded 640 acres at Leon Springs in 1852 for service as a Texas Ranger. The Aue house/store became the first stop on the "Jackass" Stage route from San Antonio to San Diego, California. One day’s journey from San Antonio or from Boerne, Aue had built at a strategic location. Popularity as a horse changing station and rest stop prompted Aue to build the Settlement Inn in 1879. The ground floor served as the family residence while the second floor, reached by an exterior stairway, was rented as transient lodging. Around 1855, the limestone Saltbox house/store was built. Marriage to Emma Toepperwein in 1857 probably resulted in the construction of the dogtrot log cabin.
In 1887, the railroad came through Leon Springs and the town was renamed by the railroad as Aue Station. Later as automobiles became more popular, then the Aue family built a gas station that was expanded to a bar and restaurant. During World War I, with the expansion of Camp Bullis to the south, Rudy Aue Sr. built five saloons at Leon Springs. Unfortunately none of these buildings are extant. Also during WWI, the Leon Springs Hardware Store was used as a dance club/bar called "B29 Club".
Stagecoach routes provided a nineteenth-century network, making travel and mail delivery possible to all communities. The original 15 routes were mostly between the more populated communities. As the state’s population grew so did the number of stage lines. The first San Antonio-El Paso Mail stagecoach departed November 1851. At the beginning of the Civil War there were 31 stage lines operating in Texas.
The coming of the railroads signaled the end of the stagecoach era in Texas. By the early 1880s the stagecoach era was essentially over, although there was some stage service in rural areas past 1900. Through the years new settlements sprang up along the routes and near military posts. Thus, the stagecoach era can be regarded as an important factor in the development of Texas.
The former stagecoach stop that comprises the Leon Springs Historic District exemplifies the evolution of transportation in America. In addition to being designated a local historic district, the Aue Stagecoach Inn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.