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 and a Texas Main Street City. 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 the city. The historic downtown area is home to antique and arts-and-crafts shops. The mural of Sam Houston by architectural illusionist Richard Haas is on the northeast side of the square.