|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8426 — Austin College Building|
|The Presbyterian Church established Austin College in Huntsville in 1849 and erected this structure in 1851-52. Austin College moved to Sherman in 1876, and in 1879 this building was deeded to the state for use by the newly-established Sam Houston Normal Institute (now Sam Houston State University). The Greek revival-era building features a three-bay front facade, two-story portico, and Doric columns. A third floor, added in 1882, was removed in 1926-27. — Map (db m8084) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 13707 — Camp Huntsville — World War II Prisoner of War Camp|
|Camp Huntsville, completed here in 1942, was one of the first prisoner of war (POW) camps built in the U.S. during World War II. Designed to house 3,000 POWs, it had more than 400 buildings, as well as eight branch camps. The first POWs, part of Germany's Afrika Korps, arrived in Spring 1943, and by fall the population peaked at 4840. Late in the war the camp became a branch of Camp Hearne (Robertson Co.). In Sept. 1945, Camp Huntsville sent its German POWs to Camp Hearne in preparation . . . — Map (db m49725) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Charles Norton Shaver — Sixth President of Sam Houston State University — 1937-1942|
|Shaver received a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1923. He served n the Texas Legislature and as President of the Texas State Teachers Association, helping to create the State's Teacher-Retirement System. Shaver received an honorary doctorate from Southwestern University and was named president of SHSTC in 1937. His administration stressed curriculum expansion and additions to the physical plant. Poor health necessitated his resignation in 1942. — Map (db m8048) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Elliott Toulmin Bowers — Ninth President of Sam Houston State University — 1970-1989|
|Elliott Bowers entered Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1937 and completed his bachelor’s and master's degrees in Music by 1942. He earned a doctorate in Educational Administration at the University of Houston in 1959. After military service in World War II, Bowers returned to SHSTC to serve as director of several activities and as vice president before being elevated to the presidency in 1970. His administration promoted new construction and student recruitment. — Map (db m8046) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8453 — Forrest Lodge No. 19, A.F. & A.M.|
|One of 25 lodges started during the Republic of Texas, Forrest Lodge No. 19, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, was chartered on Jan. 11, 1844. It is the eighth oldest lodge in Texas. Among its early members were Sam Houston and Texas historian Henderson Yoakum. Another outstanding member, William Martin Taylor (1817-1871), is known as "The Father of the Texas Work". He published a handbook called "Taylor's Monitor" brought uniformity to Texas Masonic ritual. It was approved by the Grand Lodge . . . — Map (db m29067) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Harmon Luther Lowman — Seventh President of Sam Houston State University — 1942-1964|
|A native Texan, Lowman saw World War I military service before attaining a bachelor's degree at Southwest State Teachers College in 1923, a master's degree at the University of Texas, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Chicago in 1930. Appointed president of Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1942, Lowman emphasized new construction, acquired the Country Campus outside Huntsville, and equipped SHSTC as the country's first completely air-conditioned college. — Map (db m8054) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Harry Fishburne Estill — Fifth President of Sam Houston State University — 1908-1937|
|Estill was valedictorian of the Sam Houston Normal Institute's first senior class in 1880 and spent 55 years on campus as student, faculty member, and president. He authored early United States history texts for public-school students in southern states. In 1907 he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from Austin College. As president he introduced new programs of study, extracurricular activities, campus publications, and student and alumni organizations; upgraded faculty . . . — Map (db m8049) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8456 — Henry Opera House — (In service 1883-1913)|
|Built in 1880 as lodge hall. First floor soon became a dry goods and grocery store, and second was made into a fine theater by owner, John Henry (1828-97). Here traveling troupes played Shakespeare and dramas of the times. Famous magician Hermann the Great made Texas debut here; and Blind Tom, self-taught Negro piano virtuoso, once performed on this stage.
After period as skating rink, opera house showed first motion picture in the city, about 1909. But with building of new theater, it . . . — Map (db m29241) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 12367 — Joshua Houston — (c. 1822-January 8, 1902)|
|Born a slave and reared on the Alabama plantation of the Lea family, Joshua Houston was brought to Texas in 1840 by Margaret Lea and Sam Houston. During the years after the Civil War, he became a prominent businessman and respected community leader. He served as a Huntsville city alderman, Walker County commissioner and delegate to the Republican National Convention. Houston was a devoted supporter of education for African Americans. Married three times, he was the father of eight children. At his death he was interred near General Sam Houston. — Map (db m8079) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Law Office (Sam Houston)|
|Law office built and used at various periods of his later life by Sam Houston: Soldier, Statesman, Master Mason. — Map (db m8081) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 14506 — Margaret Moffette Lea Houston — April 11, 1819 - December 3, 1867|
|Margaret Moffette Lea was born on her family’s farm in Pleasant Valley, near Marion, Alabama. She graduated from Judson Female Institute in Marion in 1837, and in 1839 she met General Sam Houston. Houston, who had completed his term as the first president of the Republic of Texas, was visiting Alabama for business ventures. Despite their 26-year age difference, the two married in 1840. During their marriage, Margaret was successful in curbing the general’s use of alcohol and encouraging him to . . . — Map (db m22031) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8467 — Oakwood Cemetery|
|This cemetery existed as early as 1846, for three graves were placed here that year. Pleasant Gray, Huntsville's founder, deeded in 1847 a 1,600-square foot plot at this site. The original tract has been greatly enlarged by other donations from local citizens. Numerous graves bear the death date 1867, when a yellow-fever epidemic swept the county. Among the many famous persons buried here are General Sam Houston; Henderson King Yoakum, author of the first comprehensive history of Texas; state congressmen; and pioneer families. — Map (db m8074) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8455 — Old Gibbs Store|
|Old Gibbs Store, oldest business in Texas under original ownership and on first site. Established 1841 in Republic of Texas by Thomas Gibbs. Building erected in 1847 after Sanford Saint John Gibbs joined firm. General Sam Houston was steady customer of the partners, who became bankers after lending use of their safe to neighbors. Gibbs National Bank, established 1890, was forerunner of First National Bank, established 1922.
Recorded Texas Historical Landmark — Map (db m29017) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8461 — Old Main Building|
|First permanent structure built by state of Texas for teacher training--when Joseph Baldwin was president of Sam Houston Normal Institute, L. S. Ross was governor, and A. T. McKinney was chairman of the S.H.N.I. local board. Cornerstone was laid Sept. 23, 1889, with main address by The Hon. O. M. Roberts, Governor when S.H.N.I. was chartered in 1879. Also present was state school superintendent Oscar H. Cooper, a member of the first faculty. Completed in 1891, Main gave institute its first . . . — Map (db m8032) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 12281 — Original Site of The Steamboat House|
|Dr. Rufus W. Bailey, a teacher, minister and attorney educated in New England, came to Huntsville as a language professor at Austin College in 1855. He acquired an eight-acre tract on this site and erected a house which he named "Buena Vista," but which became known as "The Steamboat House" because its unusual design evoked the image of a double-decker steamboat. According to local tradition Bailey gave the house to his son, but the younger Bailey and his wife did not care for the architecture . . . — Map (db m8037) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8469 — Peabody Library Building|
|The first campus structure to be used exclusively for library purposes, this building was erected in 1902. Built with assistance from the Peabody Education Fund (a philanthropic program created by northern banker George Peabody soon after the Civil War), the library exhibits classical revival and Romanesque revival style influences. Designed by J. L. O'Connor, it served as a library until 1929 and has had other academic uses since that time. — Map (db m8033) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8457 — Sam Houston|
|Born March 2, 1793, in Rockbridge County, Va.; son of Samuel and Elizabeth Houston. Moved to Tennessee in 1807 with widowed mother and her family. In 1813 joined U.S. Army under Gen. Andrew Jackson, with whom he formed lifetime friendship and political ties. In Tennessee, taught school, kept a store, served in U.S. Congress, was state governor. In 1829, after his young bride left him, resigned as governor and went westward. Settling in 1833 in Nacogdoches, became a leader in cause of Texas . . . — Map (db m8072) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Steamboat House|
|Built in 1858 by Dr. Rufus Bailey, 1858-62 president of Austin College, as a wedding gift for son. Unusual house caused such joking, however, the couple refused to live in it.
In 1862, after Sam Houston left governorship of Texas, he rented Steamboat House, and here he died in 1863. His funeral was held in the upstairs parlor.
In 1933 Houston businessman J. E. Josey bought house and gave it to state. Texas Centennial Commission restored building, moved it here 1936. — Map (db m8038) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — The Bedias Indians|
|The Bedias (Bidai, Bedai) Indians, a small southeastern Texas tribe, were probably the earliest inhabitants of the Walker County region. "Bidai" is thought to derive from a Caddo word meaning "brushwood". The peaceful Bedias lived in scattered villages and subsisted by hunting, fishing, cultivating maize and trading with other Indians and early settlers. As their numbers dwindled, they were assimilated into other cultures of the area.
"The Source" Sculpture created by:
Monica A. Taylor and Lawrence T. Zink — Map (db m50171) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 12278 — The Five Courthouses of Walker County|
|The first Walker County Courthouse was available for county commissioners court meetings in July 1848; the building was finally completed in the center of the Huntsville public square in 1850. Because of a defective foundation, a second courthouse had replaced it by 1853.
Repairs made in 1856 did not hold long. The design for the third county courthouse featured a grand jury house in the southwest corner of the grounds rather than inside the courthouse itself. Dubbed "The Little . . . — Map (db m29060) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — The Presidents Tree|
|During the summer of 1911, the "State Residence" built by President H.C. Pritchett was moved from its original location to the Wilson lot, current site of the Lowman Student Center. While the residence was being remodeled for President Harry F. Estill, it was lost to a fire that spread from the nearby Mitchell Boarding House. A new State Residence was subsequently constructed on the site, and Southern Magnolia tree that stands before you was planted in front of the home circa 1912.
The . . . — Map (db m8076) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Union Soldiers Graves|
|Seven Union Soldiers who died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1867 are buried here. They were sent to Huntsville during the reconstruction period to maintain order in Walker County four years after the soldiers had been in the penitentiary.
Six of the men buried here are:
Pvt. Wm. Eckhard Died 9/14/1867 Co. B, 26th, U.S. Infantry
Sgt. Arthur Volgner Died 9/15/1867 Co. B, 26th, U.S. Infantry
Pvt. John H. McBride Died 9/18/1867 Co. B, 26th, U.S. Infantry
Pvt. Patrick . . . — Map (db m50222) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 12282 — Walker County|
|The earliest known inhabitants of this area were the Cenis and Bidai (Bedias) Indians. Spanish explorers began to arrive in 1542, followed by the French in 1687. The area was thinly populated by Spanish and Mexican settlers until the early 1830s when colonists came from the United States. Brothers Pleasant and Ephraim Gray established a trading post near this site about 1835 or 1836, naming it for their home in Huntsville, Alabama. The region was included in neighboring counties until Walker . . . — Map (db m29045) HM|
|Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8482 — Woodland, Home of Sam Houston — (1793 - 1863)|
|General of the army which won the war for Texas Independence, 1836, and first President of the Republic, 1836-1838, Sam Houston was one of the most controversial and colorful figures in Texas history.
In his eventful career, Houston had resided in Nacogdoches, Liberty, Houston, and Austin. He and his wife Margaret (Lea) built this house, "Woodland", in 1847 to provide themselves with a town place. With enthusiasm, he wrote to a friend that the new home was a "bang up place!" and that the . . . — Map (db m8040) HM|