Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center 

Physical Address: 650 FM 1011, Liberty, TX 77575
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 310, Liberty, TX 77575

Telephone: (936) 336-8821
Email: SamHoustonCenter@tsl.texas.gov
Hours of Operation: Tuesday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
 

 Internal Links
Museum and Historic Buildings | Stories | Getting Here | History | Why Liberty? | Regional Support

Related Links
Local Records Available at the Sam Houston Center | Martin Dies Papers Finding Aid | Hardin Papers


Museum and Historic Buildings

In its museum capacity, the Center features exhibits on a variety of Southeast Texas topics. Special collections include the papers of Governor Price Daniel; the Julia Duncan Welder Collection of private letters and artifacts; and the Jean Houston Baldwin Collection of Sam Houston images, the largest known collection of photographs and illustrations of the Texas hero.

In addition, four historic structures have been relocated onto the Center's grounds. Three of them, the restored 1848 Gillard-Duncan House, 1883 Norman House, and 1898 St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, are open to the public. The fourth, the 1930 Hull Rotary Building, is undergoing renovation. Please contact the Center for tour information. Tours are available by appointment and must be arranged two weeks in advance.

The 1848 Gillard-Duncan House
Built in 1848 by Dr. Edward J. and Emma DeBlanc Gillard, this restored home with original furnishings is open to the public for tours.

The 1883 Norman House
The Norman House features exhibits in an historical house setting. Current exhibits in the house are the "Victorian Parlor," with a display featuring housekeeping and food processing artifacts, and a Depression-era exhibit featuring glassware, furnishings, and games.

The Jean and Price Daniel House
Officially known as the "Jean and Price Daniel Home and Archives," the structure houses, preserves, and displays the library, archives, furniture and mementos that document their life and years of public service.

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Stories from the Sam Houston Center

Papers of U.S. Representative Martin Dies
Texas congressman famed for warning of communist dangers. A finding aid to the papers is also available.

Women Who Made a Difference
A case study of the women who lived in the Norman House.

William Waldo Partlow: He Made the Supreme Sacrifice
Partlow was one of the fifty-two men from Liberty County who lost their lives in World War II.

Charles Nutter Smith: A Community Leader
Smith was a dynamic individual who made Liberty County a better place to live. He took an active role in education, the legal system, the Baptist church, and fraternal organizations.

Elmer Woodard Boyt: Industrialist, Rice Farmer and Stockman
E.W. Boyt was one of the outstanding pioneers in the development of the cattle-rice-oil economy of the Texas Gulf Coast.

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Getting Here

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Located three miles north of Liberty, Texas, at 650 FM 1011, approximately 200 miles east of Austin or just 41 northeast of Houston. The Center is located between Houston and Beaumont off of State Highway 146.

Travel US Highway 90 east to State Highway 146 north, then exit on FM 1011. Road signs show directions to the Center.

For more help finding us, call (936) 336-8821.


History

The Sam Houston Center is a direct result of a community and area wide effort to preserve its history. On September 27, 1973, Judge and Mrs. Price Daniel donated 114 acres for the building site.

Local sponsorship and fund raising was organized by the Atascosito Historical Society with Charles W. Fisher, Jr. as President and by the building committee, cochaired by Ambassador Edward Clark and Mrs. Camilla Davis Blaffer Trammel from 1973 to 1976. The Lamar University Board of Regents voted on November 7, 1973 to join as regional sponsors. In 1975 the Center's construction was named as a Texas State Library American Bicentennial Project.

By the fall of 1975 when construction began, over $700,000 was raised from private donations. The majority of the funds were given by the following: The M.D. Anderson Foundation; The Family of E.W. Boyt; the Cullen Foundation; Governor and Mrs. Price Daniel; Will Daniel, Ann Daniel Rogers, Sue Daniel Parker and Dani Daniel Haberle; Mrs. Wirt Davis; The Mary Gay Trust; Mr. Fred Hartman; The Houston Endowment; The Humphreys Foundation; Mrs. Triphene Middleton and John Middleton; The Moody Foundation; Mr. & Mrs. Allen Neyland; Miss Miriam Partlow; the Family of Governor Ross Sterling; Thomas A. Wheat, Jr. and John Nixon Wheat.

Dedicated and opened on May 14, 1977, the modern archival facility has 17,600 square feet divided into exhibit areas, the archives and library, a meeting room, and offices. The building has modern environmental controls and a Halon fire suppression system. The Center is owned and operated by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.


Why Liberty?

Two reasons led to Liberty as the site for the Southeast Texas regional center:

It is the location of the 1756 Spanish outpost of Atascosito, which became the seat of government for the present ten-county area in 1826, with name of town and district changed to Liberty in 1831. All or portions of the ten counties were carved from the Atascosito-Liberty District.

Former Governor and Mrs. Price Daniel donated to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission the 114 acre tract of land, a beautiful and historic site in the original B.W. Hardin League, immediately South of the Hardin Cemetery and north of the site of Atascosito. Governor Daniel also served as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Texas Attorney General, U.S. Senator from Texas, and as a member of the Texas Supreme Court. Mrs. Daniel is a great-great granddaughter of General Sam Houston.


Regional Support

Original sponsorship of the project was furnished by the Atascosito Historical Society which has members from not only the ten county region, but throughout the United States. The society serves as the Friends of the Sam Houston Center, contributing funds for special events and acquisitions which otherwise would not be possible.

 

Page last modified: January 30, 2014