Today@Sam Article

Museum Honors Sam Houston On 160th Anniversary Of His Death

July 21, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd

death bed Sam steamboat

By Megan Buro

“Died on the 26th of July 1863 General Sam Houston, the beloved and affectionate husband and father, the devoted patriot, the fearless soldier, the meek and lowly Christian.”

These were the words written by Margaret Houston in her Bible after the passing of her husband Sam Houston on July 26, 1863, in the Steamboat House in Huntsville, Texas. The next day, July 27, a funeral service was held in the upstairs parlor of the Steamboat House followed by a procession to Oakwood Cemetery with members of the local Masonic Lodge accompanying Houston’s body. At the cemetery, a Masonic service was held. 

This year marks the 160th anniversary of Sam Houston’s death. The Sam Houston Memorial Museum and Republic of Texas Presidential Library will honor Sam Houston’s memory on Wednesday, July 26. 

“Commemorating Houston’s death is important as it gives us a chance to talk about an important local and national figure, and what made his life special in the 19th century, and how it applies to Texans today,” said Derrick Birdsall, museum director.

The day will begin at 10 a.m. with the Forrest Masonic Lodge No. 19 of Huntsville presenting a Masonic service in the museum’s rotunda to show what Sam Houston’s funeral could have been like. From 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Steamboat House will be open to the public where museum staff and partners from the Texas Historical Commission will be inside to talk about Sam Houston’s last days and 19th-century mourning customs. 

“As someone who remembers from back in the day when the Steamboat House was opened to visitors every day – it’s nice to be able to offer folks an opportunity on a special day to walk through the halls of Houston’s home once again,” said Birdsall.

Admission will be waived on July 26. For more information about this event visit, follow the museum on Facebook, or contact the museum at 936-294-1832.

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum and Republic of Texas Presidential Library is a part of Sam Houston State University and an important educational institution for the benefit of local, state, national, and international audiences. The museum’s primary focus is the life of Sam and Margaret Houston, their family, and other individuals and events important in the early history, cultures, and development of Texas and the Southwest, particularly during the period of 1832-1863 and as they relate to Texas today. The museum complex is located on the property once owned by Sam and Margaret Houston, which is today on the corner of Sam Houston Avenue and 19th Street in Huntsville and open Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m. 

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