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Huntsville celebrates Sam Houston’s 221st birthday

News Editor

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 01:03


Molly Waddell | The Houstonian

Dr. Howard Horton protrayed the first Texas president, Sam Houston, giving a speech against secession during a ceremony celebrating his life. Houston’s anti-secession ideas later became a reason he left office.

Huntsville celebrated Sam Houston’s birthday and Texas Independence Day on March 2.

The celebration started at the Gibbs-Powel Home Walker County Museum where attendees enjoyed coffee and breakfast. More than 50 people showed up for this part of the day and were talking throughout the home.

Several descendants of Houston were also present, including great great grandson, John Murray and Isabella and Lyla, Houston’s great great great great grandchildren. Isabella and Lyla are cousins and just met for the first time at the Gibbs-Powel home. Isabella and Lyla are five and six.

Murray’s great grandfather was Andrew Jackson Houston. Murray said that he was a character.

“His grandmother was a pretty good size and she kept her coffin in the house... and he hid in it one time waiting on her to check on it,” Murray said. “She looked in it and there he was playing like he was dead.”
The next event of the day was the march to Houston’s grave. This was led by Erin Cassidy, sponsor of the Webb Historical Society.

Students, faculty and history lovers all showed up, despite the cold weather, to march to Houston’s grave.

Ed Anderson came out from Houston to celebrate Texas Independence day and because of a new found interest in Sam Houston.

“He was a very interesting man,” Anderson said.

Anderson said there was a church in Liberty County that Houston attended. There is a pew that they took out that Houston had carved his and Margaret’s name into.

Once the group reached the grave there was a ceremony in Houston’s honor.

The speaker for the ceremony was Dr. Howard Horton, who has portrayed Houston since 1998 in Salado Legends: An Outdoor Musical Drama. He performed a skit about Houston’s reaction to Texas wanting to secede from the Union.

The audience laughed and cheered during Horton’s skit.

The day ended with a “Toast to Texas,” and birthday cake. Horton returned to read the Toast to Texas  as Houston.


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