Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why did Sam Houston settle in Huntsville?
A: The hills here reminded him of his boyhood home near Maryville, Tennessee.

Q:Why are there two homes on the grounds that belonged to Sam Houston?
A: The Woodland Home is on its original site and the Steamboat House was moved here from a site in North Huntsville. Houston had sold the Woodland Home to pay off campaign debts. When he returned, he attempted to buy it back, but the owners refused to sell. Thus, he rented the Steamboat House.

Q: How many times was Sam Houston married?
A: Sam was married three times.

Q: What were the names of his wives?
A: His first wife was named Eliza Allen. They were married January 22, 1829. Sam Houston's second wife was a Cherokee Indian woman whose name was Tiana Rodgers, also known as Diana Rodgers. They were married in the summer of 1830. Margaret Moffette Lea was Sam Houston's third wife. They were married May 9, 1840 and remained married for the remainder of Sam Houston's lifetime.

Q: What happened to his other two marriages?
A: There was a mysterious quarrel between Sam Houston and Eliza Allen that resulted in her returning home to her family after eleven weeks of marriage. They were never reconciled. Tiana and Sam Houston "divided the blanket" in 1832 when he left the Wigwam Neosho, their trading post home, to journey to Texas. There were no children born to these two marriages.

Q: How many children did Sam Houston and Margaret have?
A: They had eight children, four girls and four boys.

Q: How old was Sam Houston when he died?
A: He was seventy years old at the time of his death on July 26th, 1863. He died at 6:15 pm.

Q: What was Sam's middle name?
A: Sam Houston had no middle name.

Q: Where is Sam Houston buried?
A: His grave is located in north Huntsville in the Oakwood Cemetery. Houston chose this location. It is across the street from where the Steamboat House once stood.

Q: How do you get to the grave site? (This is a good stop if you are planning to visit Huntsville.)
A: Exit right on 19th Street as you leave the park. Go to Avenue O (the first stop sign) and turn right. Continue on Avenue O until 11th Street. At 11th Street turn right. Travel six blocks to the intersection of Avenue I and 11th. Turn left and go three blocks to the grave site.

Q: When did Margaret Houston die and where is she buried?
A: Margaret Lea Houston died in 1867 during a yellow fever epidemic that swept Texas. She is buried in Independence, Texas, where she had gone to live after Sam Houston's death.

Q: How tall was Sam Houston?
A: His military records show that he was 6 foot 2 inches when he was 19 years old. His Texas legend puts him at 6 foot 6 inches on his death. His family holds that he was a bit shorter.

Q: Was Sam Houston a drunk?
A: As a matter of fact, Sam did have a bit of a drinking problem. In his early life, he drank quite a bit, and it was certainly no secret. Later in his life, after he married Margaret (his 3rd wife), she is reputed to have "reformed" him and stopped his drinking. However, Sam still consumed 'bitters', which were considered medicinal alcohol. While Sam was a drinker, probably for most of his life, most men in Texas were drinkers of a sort as well, so he did not stand out in that respect as heavy drinkers tend to do in today's society.


If you have a question about Sam Houston that is not presently listed here, or just need more information, please send it to us via our e-mail address at: smm_rbr@shsu.edu

Be sure to include your e-mail address so that we may answer you. We will try to answer your questions within a week depending on how thought provoking your question may be.