Oakwood Cemetery is best known as the burial site for Gen. Sam Houston, but it has many more interesting stories. It is also a very beautiful area filled with trees old trees and artistic monuments and markers. You can take a self guided tour with a smart phone or iPad with Internet access as shown below.
You can take a smart phone tour of the Cemetery by clicking here.
The Sam Houston grave and memorial is a "must-see" for anyone interested in Texas history.
Sam Houston returned to Huntsville in 1861 after being forced from the Governor's office for refusing to sign a loyalty oath to the Confederacy. He died in 1863 in the Steamboat House, which at the time was located just east of Oakwook Cemetery and is now inside the Cemtery's Addickes Addition. He was buried at a "self-chosen site" near his friend Henderson Yoakum.
His grave was very simply marked until the present monument was erected in 1911. It was scuplted at a cost of $10,000 by Pompeo Coppini, who also sculpted the Alamo Cenotaph in San Antonio as well as many other statues and monuments across Texas.
The relief shows Houston on his horse riding off into battle. Lady Victory is shown in front of Houston and Lady History to the rear. The upsided down torches symbolize that victory is won, and the laurel wreach symbolize peace. The fence by Alamo Iron Works also shows laurel wreaths of peace and upside-down Roman axes symbolizing that the battle is over.
The quotation from Andrew Jackson below Houston says, "The world will take care of Houston's fame."
When the monument arrived it was discovered that "Governor" was misspelled on the reversed side. At the insistence of Dr. Estill, President of Sam Houston Normal Institute, the offending letter was chiseled away and replaced with an apostrophe.
The grave site and memorial are located at the corner of 9th Street and Avenue I. From Highway 190 (11th Street), turn north opposite the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Walls prison unit on Avenue I. Drive north for two blocks.
Oakwood Cemetery is also home to a world class piece of art, a full-sized replica in bronze of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorwaldsen's "The Christus." Also known as the "Comforting Christ," It is considered by many to be the most beautiful sculpture of Christ ever executed. There are only four other copies of the sculpture in the United State and no others in Texas. The Oakwood Cemetery copy was commisioned by Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin H. Powell family to honor their young son Rawley, who died at age 5 after a tonsillectomy.
Following are directions to The Christus:
Other notables buried at Oakwood Cemetery include: