History & About Us

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History

Samuel Walker Houston was born as a free man in 1864 to Joshua Houston Sr.. a former slave of General Sam Houston. Mr. Houston graduated from Hampton Institute, now Hampton University, and also attended Howard University and Atlanta University, now Clark-Atlanta. After recognizing that education was the key to the future for young African Americans, Mr. Houston established the first Training School for formerly enslaved people of color in 1906. For years, the Training School was the only school of its kind for African Americans in East Texas, and the first permanent classroom building opened in 1914. This was primarily built and financed by the African American community. The Training School produced the first generation of teachers, skilled craftsmen, and entrepreneurs post enslavement and at its peak enrollment totaled 400. The students completed 10 years of education, which qualified graduates to either enter collage or return as teachers after a certification process.

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Mission

To preserve the history and legacy of Samuel Walker Houston and support his core values and principals by educating, exhibiting, and maintaining a facility and environment that serves the community and public.

Purpose

To provide a permanent, Alumni Association-owned, repository for artifacts, historical memorabilia, photographs and official documents relating to the life of the school's founder, as well as post-slavery historical information on the African-American citizens of Huntsville and Walker County, Texas. A secondary focus is to provide a facility for cultural, educational and recreational activities for the enrichment of residents of the broader community.

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Timeline

1906: Established

1914: First Classroom opened

1926: Consolidated with Huntsville Negro School

1929-1930: Consolidated with Huntsville School System 1955: Samuel Walker Houston High School

1959: New Elementary at 10th street Location

1968: Samuel Walker Houston High School Closed 1991: Established in Brick Home West of Present Location 1999-2001: Closed for Construction

2001: Reopened

2009: Charted with a Board of Directors made up of Alumni & Citizens

2009: Acquired 23,32 Acres, Original Site of the Training School

2013: Gift Deed of .754 Acre incl. Buildings which is the Current Museum & Cultural center Location