The town was founded as a Native American trading post in 1835. Sam Houston was one of many prominent early Texans who lived here. Today, it is one of Texas' oldest cities. It's home to the headquarters of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division and Sam Houston State University. Restored turn-of-the-century homes dot city. The historic downtown area is home to a variety of antique and arts-and-crafts shops. It is a Texas Main Street City.
Be sure to see the mural of Sam Houston by architectural illusionist Richard Haas on the northeastern edge of the square.