About Huntsville, Texas
It all started with an Indian trading post on a hill in a pine wilderness in the Mexican state of Coahuilla y Tejas and was to become the town square of Huntsville, Texas. Founded in 1835 by Pleasant Gray and his brother and named after their hometown in Alabama, Huntsville grew quickly with settlers coming from Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia and other states. It became home to many of the “Texians” who fought for the independence of the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston is famous in more places than Huntsville; “Sam” served as both a U.S. Senator and then Governor of Tennessee. After arriving in Coahuilla y Tejas, what is now Texas, he distinguished himself as a hero in the Battle of San Jacinto winning Texas’s freedom from Mexico. After the Republic of Texas was recognized by the United States and a number of European nations, he became the first President of the Republic of Texas and later served as Governor of Texas and as a U.S. Senator. General Houston moved to Huntsville in 1847 and built his home just south of the town square where he would shop, visit friends and “hold court” on every corner. He is known for sitting outside popular businesses, visiting with passersby and whittling small wooden hearts and swords that he would present as gifts to the young daughters and sons of families as they walked by. General Houston died here in 1863 and is buried in the historic Oakwood Cemetery, just a few blocks and a short walk northeast of the Square.