Margaret Lea Houston’s 200th Birthday Celebration

Margaret Lea Houston, the beloved First Lady of the Republic of Texas, is turning 200 years old on April 11.
Houston served as First Lady during her husband, General Sam Houston’s, time as the President of the Republic of Texas in 1841 as well as his tenure as governor.
“Margaret was all about her family,” Administrative Coordinator for the College of Health Sciences Carla Clark said. “With all that she was going through and around the time of the Civil War, she continued to hold down the fort for her husband.”
She was a very private person and was not interested in living an overly public lifestyle. Houston provided stability and strength for her husband during very tough and frustrating times.
As the community celebrated Sam Houston’s 200th birthday 25 years ago, it only seemed fitting to celebrate the woman Huntsville came to know and love. The College of Health Sciences will be in attendance at the celebration.
“This is due to the fact that Margaret dealt with many illnesses that included breast cancer and mental health,” Clark said.
In the last few years of her life, Houston became the keeper of her husband’s legacy and later opened his records to a biographer. She died at the age of 48 from yellow fever.
For fear of contamination, she could not be buried in a public cemetery next to her husband in Huntsville. She instead was buried alongside her mother on private property.
The event will consist of demonstrations of health and well-being throughout history from the College of Health Sciences, other historic demonstrations, tours of Houston’s Woodland Home and much more.
There will also be a silhouette cutting, birthday cake and a special exhibit on Houston’s life. Costumed historic interpreters will also be on hand to help with the festivities.
“This is a very big event for the Huntsville community, so we are expecting a lot of people to attend,” Clark said. “Even relatives of Sam Houston will be in attendance.”
The celebration will be held at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum April 11 from 12-6 p.m. It is open to the public and free of charge.
For more information on this historic celebration, contact the College of Health Sciences or the Sam Houston Memorial Museum at 936-294-1832.

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