The Sam Houston Schoolhouse is named for the soldier, statesman, and pioneer from East Tennessee. Built of hewn poplar logs, it is representative of field schools of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Desks are cleverly converted from the window apertures, and a seven-foot ceiling hovers over hewn log seats.
Born in 1793, Sam Houston had no taste for farming. Instead, he enjoyed the Cherokee way of life and spent much time living happily with the Indians. In fact, the Cherokees adopted him and gave him the name "Co-lonneh," or "Raven." Before the War of 1812, he taught in this field school, where tuition was eight dollars per term. As a soldier, he was wounded during the war, and later he resigned from the army.
After the war, he studied the law. He was appointed Adjutant General in the Tennessee State Militia and was elected to Congress for two terms (1823-27). In 1827 he became governor. Before his term ended, his wife of four months, Eliza Allen Houston, hastily and mysteriously left him, and he resigned as governor and went to Arkansas to live with his Cherokee friends.
In 1833 he went to Texas at President Andrew Jackson's request, and by 1836 he was commander-in-chief of the Texas Army. He was the first president of the Republic of Texas, from 1836 to 1838, and served again from 1841 to 1844. He served as U.S. Senator for 13 years. In 1859 he was elected the seventh governor of the State of Texas. Because Houston opposed secession, he was removed from office by Confederate forces on March 18, 1861. He died on July 25, 1863. His simple credo, "Honor," was carved on his tombstone.