Houston Pecan R.I.P.

Historical Period: Early Statehood (1845-1861)
Historical Topic: Pecan-Our State Tree, Sam Houston
Species: Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)
County: Walker
Public Access: No longer applicable; tree is dead

The house Sam Houston loved best was the one at Huntsville in which he resided for nearly twenty years.

In the south corner of the spacious yard only the stump remains of this native pecan which grew into a beautiful tree of immense proportions. This magnificent tree died in 1974. According to Houston’s granddaughter, Mrs. Jennie Morrow Decker of Houston, her grandfather planted the tree in 1847. While returning from a trip, he had need of a buggy whip to spur his lazy horse. Having none, he stopped beside the road and pulled up a small pecan sapling, which served his purpose well. Arriving at his home, he saw that the roots were still intact, so he planted the sapling in the yard and it grew.

The Sam Houston Pecan produced a fruit which was small but quite delicious. For many years, its pecans were distributed to Texas schools and colleges by Sam Houston State University at Huntsville. A number of the nuts also were sent to other state capitols and to the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

The old home place is now a Texas shrine and is located in Huntsville.