Tennessee Traveler: Sam Houston and his Tennessee schoolhouse

Published: Apr. 6, 2017 at 10:40 AM EDT
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He's in our history books, but many Tennesseans aren't that familiar with Sam Houston. Local 8 News Anchor Alan Williams took a closer look back at this statesman and his prominence in Volunteer State.

There are no computers or electricity at this school. It's just like it was in the late 1700's - sitting on wooden benches with a fireplace in the middle. It's nicknamed the Sam Houston Schoolhouse and sits on a farm on the edge of Maryville, Tennessee.

The one room schoolhouse was built in 1794 by a couple of East Tennessee farmers to give children in the area a chance to learn.

Houston was only 19 years old when he taught there. He took up the role of teacher only to pay back a $100 debt to his brothers, James and John.

Houston taught only one term; he then joined to fight in the War of 1812.

From there, he was elected as a Tennessee Congressman and Governor.

But it's Texas that really lays claim to Houston.

He became a Texas U.S. Senator, was instrumental in winning the state's independence and later became that state's Governor as well.

"He said in his later years when they interviewed him, that probably the most influential thing he did in his whole life was to teach in a one room school in East Tennessee," said Sam Houston School Marm, Marleitta Cooper.

The schoolhouse and museum is located in Maryville. Admission is just 3 dollars for ages 10 and up.

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