‘A Tribute to Courage’: 25 Years of the Sam Houston Statue

Photographer: Gavin Guinther

Standing at 67-feet tall on a 10-foot granite base, a statue of General Sam Houston greets passersby on Interstate 45. Impossible to miss, he has become a beacon of the City of Huntsville.

The 25th anniversary of the statue will take place Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sam Houston Statue Visitor Center.

The statue’s official name is “A Tribute to Courage,” created by Huntsville native David Adickes, who graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1948.

According to Adickes, Sam Houston took him three years to complete.

“To this day, it’s still the biggest piece I’ve done and the piece I’m most proud of,” Adickes told Community Impact in 2018.

Adickes started construction on the statue in 1992, using over 30 tons of steel and concrete. The statue is comprised of 10-foot sections, each containing five layers of concrete reinforced with steel, according to Roadside America.

Sam can be seen six miles out heading north on the interstate. The statue has a visitor center and gift shop where visitors can learn about the landmark as well as the man it was molded after.

General Sam Houston was born in 1793 and moved to Texas in 1832.

Upon his arrival, he stated that Texas is the “finest portion of the globe that has ever blessed my vision.”

He gained fame at San Jacinto by defeating General Antonio López de Santa Anna, effectively securing Texan independence.

After his victory, he was voted president in 1836 when he won in a landslide over Stephen F. Austin and Henry Smith. He won again in 1841, again running nonpartisan and beating his opponent by a comfortable margin.

Houston avoided war with Mexico and halted warfare with Native Americans. Though a slave-owner himself, Houston insisted that the Union be preserved when whispers of a

Civil War were afoot.

Houston, though not a Texan by birth, died a Texan at heart.

In a biography titled “Exiled: The Last Days of Sam Houston,” Houston is quoted as saying, “I would give no thought of what the world might say of me, if I could only transmit to posterity the reputation of an honest man.”

Houston died in Huntsville in 1863.

Here, almost 200 years after his death, Texans are still finding ways to celebrate his life.

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