The catalpa tree was chosen to symbolize SHSU’s Founders Day because of its association with Sam and Margaret Houston. According to legend, Margaret planted two catalpa trees on the Woodland House property symbolizing the couple’s relationship. While the family lived in Huntsville, Senator Houston spent much of his time away in Washington. Margaret, a romantic, wrote many letters to her husband professing her love and devotion. She would enclose the heart-shaped leaf of the Catalpa tree as an expression of her affection. While the original trees have been lost, a seedling took root in front of Sam and Margaret’s home – a testament to the legacy of strong bonds and enduring relationships.