Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sam Houston and Me

It's probably obvious to everyone that I'm a great admirer of Sam Houston, one of the most important men in Texas history and one of the most colorful historical characters who ever lived. I try to visit his grave site at least twice a year since he's buried only about 60 miles north of me. Yesterday morning I made another of those visits to the little Oakwood cemetery in Huntsville, Texas, during which I spent a few minute at Sam's grave and then walked around looking at the headstones of his friends and family as well as those of Union and Confederate veterans of the Civil War. Huntsville suffered a yellow fever epidemic in 1867 and it is always sad to see how many of the headstones are marked with that date, including that of the town doctor who treated a multitude of yellow fever patients before dying of the disease himself. In fact, Sam Houston's wife is not buried by his side because she died of yellow fever that year in Independence, Texas, and was quickly buried there. Houston himself died in 1863 at the age of 70.

A few miles south of Huntsville stands a 77-foot high statue of Sam Houston. I usually don't stop there because I somehow seem to zip right past the exit before I notice it but I did manage to make a stop there yesterday. I waited for a few visitors to stand in front of the statue so that I could give it some scale. Needless to say the statue, which sits along side Interstate 45, can be seen from a long way.



The shadows weren't good for picture taking, but this is a shot of Houston's grave.


This is the area that contains many of the Confederate graves. There are also graves for eight Union soldiers who were stationed in Huntsville after the war. Sadly, all eight of them died during the 1867 yellow fever epidemic that I mentioned and only seven of the soldiers have been identified by name.


Lastly, this is my favorite of all the grave markers in the cemetery. I always pause here for a minute or two because I find that the spot and its marker always leave me with a peaceful feeling.

10 comments:

  1. That's some statue! Things really are bigger in Texas! ;)

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  2. I believe it's the third highest statue in the country, Sylvia, with the tallest being the Statue of Liberty by far.

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  3. Thanks for sharing! I liked the last photo.

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  4. Thanks, egg, that's the marker over the grave of a 16-year old girl who died in the late 1800s. If you click on the photo, I think that you can read the details on the stone.

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  5. sylvia said it before I did--things are bigger in Texas! That is some statue! I really enjoyed your photos--thanks for taking us along on your historical journey :)

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  6. That statue is really something, gentle reader...every time that I drive up that way it puts a smile on my face.

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  7. Over in my part of the country (Blount Co., TN), we've got the Sam Houston School House, where he taught school when he was about 18. It's a lovely place to visit and picnic!
    homeschoolblogger.com/smallworld

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  8. Thanks for that information, Sarah. I'd love to see it someday because I find everything about old Sam to be absolutely fascinating. I'm going to have to try to find a photo of the schoolhouse.

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