In Blount County near Maryville, Tennessee sits a log schoolhouse the famed frontiersman, statesman and pioneer Sam Houston built. Houston taught one term with the tution $8.00 per pupil per term. He had enough students so that he earned enough to settle his debts. The term of his school lasted from corn planting in the spring until harvest or cold weather in the fall.
The one room building was typical of schools of the 1700s. Constructed of poplar logs, it is the oldest school building in Tennessee having been built two years before Tennessee became a state. Now owned by the state of Tennessee, the schoolhouse has many of the original logs. Moreover, it is located on the original site. The grounds also contain a gift shop and a picnic area. A museum has been started and will expand as artifacts are being acquired.
Sam Houston was born on March 6, 1793, in Lexington, Virginia. He was born into a farming family. Houston began his short stint as teacher at the age of 18 after returning from a three-year stay with a band of Cherokee. The chief liked him and adopted him. He took the Indian name The Raven. He is said to have preferred the Indian was better than working on the family farm.
In 1806, his father bought 420 acres in Blount County, Tennessee but died before the move to the farm could be made. But, the family subsequently moved there. Houston was expected to help out with the farming, but reportedly, he would wander away from the work he was engaged in.
Houston enlisted in the Army for the War of 1812. Due to his heroism in war, Houston became a rising star in the political arena. As a close ally of Andrew Jackson, Houston ran for Congress and later Governor of Tennessee and won handily for both posts.
He later was elected governor of Texas. To date, he is the only person to be elected governor of two states. He was very instrumental in gaining independence for Texas. As governor he was strongly against Texas seceding from the Union and wouldnt pledge allegiance to the Confederacy because he thought the Civil War was ill advised. Consequently, he was removed as governor of Texas in March of 1861. Thus ended his illustrious career in public office.
He retired to his home at Huntsville, Texas and died there in July of 1863