next to youngest child of Sam and Margaret Houston
drove everyone nuts with his shenanigans.|
One might say that Andrew
Jackson Houston was a brat.
After his father was elected governor of
Texas and the family moved to Austin,
young Andy regarded the state capitol as his own special playhouse.
the most infamous of Andy’s antics was the Senate lock-in. He locked the doors
of a room where state senators were meeting and wouldn’t let them out. They yelled
out the windows for help until finally freed.
Houston rounded up the usual suspects (actually, just one suspect) and gained
a tearful confession from Andy, plus the key to the meeting room.
governor’s mansion had a population explosion of fleas, thanks to Andy the dog-lover.
He was always bringing stray dogs home and the dogs came attached with fleas.
The staircase in the mansion gave Andy something to do.
down the banister, landing abruptly in front of anyone nearby. It was reported
that several people, distinguished guests included, were knocked to the floor
by The Slider.
A typical little brother, Andy enjoyed making his sisters
miserable. One such activity involved crawling under at table and pinning together
the skirts of one his sisters and her playmate.
regular basis, Gov. Houston
took Andy to his office, telling friends that “they can’t handle him at a home.”
The Civil War brought an end to the Houston
family’s residency in Austin. When Houston
refused to sign the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, Texas rebels told him,
thereafter, the family took up full-time residency at Cedar Point, their summer
home near present-day Baytown.
Although the modest home was a far cry from the governor’s mansion, Cedar Point
provided Houston with a sense
of peace and a source of income. The hero of San
Jacinto cut and sold timber from his land to support his family.
the move turned out to be good for Andy, who found an outlet for all that pent-up
energy. Around Cedar Bayou he enjoyed the wide, open spaces, riding horses, going
fishing and – for the most part – staying out of trouble.
family had to move to Huntsville
because, as a result of the Yankee blockade at Galveston,
Houston no longer could ship
his timber to various ports.
was only 9 when his father died, and there are no further accounts of his “bratty”
behavior. Apparently, the problem child matured and became more responsible.
His aspired for a military career but ill health forced him to drop out of West
He continued to have a strong interest in military life, though,
and helped Teddy Roosevelt round up recruits for the Rough Riders at San
After serving as a U.S. marshal, Andy joined the faculty
at St. Mary’s University in La
Porte, where he taught military science and led its cadet corps. St. Mary’s,
in addition to the seminary, then provided a standard university program.
his two daughters, Andy lived in the La
area and spent countless hours at St. Mary’s, teaching and visiting with friends.
of his friends was seminary student J.P. O’Sullivan, a future pastor of St. Joseph’s
Catholic Church in Baytown.
O’Sullivan once told a Baytown Sun reporter that he visited with Andy Houston
almost every day at the seminary, and he described Houston as a “great classical
A convert to the Catholic faith, Houston became an expert on
the history of the church.
He was an expert on Texas
history as well, and worked diligently to preserve the memory of his father.
Andy Houston was responsible for the state historical marker placed at the Cedar
Point site in 1936 and he played an active role in plans for construction of the
Houston's only surviving son, Andrew Jackson Houston, and Houston businessman
and current chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Jesse H. Jones,
and a crowd of attendees, admire the model of the San Jacinto Monument unveiled
at the monument's groundbreaking ceremony, March 27, 1936. Photograph courtesy
of the Briscoe Center for American History, UT-Austin, Bailey (Bob) Studios Photographic
|He wrote two books,
“The San Jacinto Campaign” and “Texas Independence.” |
to the U.S. Senate in 1941, he died soon after taking office. |
surviving son of Sam Houston
was buried in the state
cemetery in Austin, the city he
once terrorized as a “hyperactive’ child.
Although Andrew Jackson Houston
could never match his legendary father’s place in history, his development into
a scholar and a gentleman could teach a lesson to all frustrated parents.
give up – there’s hope for brats.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic
photos, please contact
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