General Sam Houston Plaque
Location: Ballyboley Forest entrance, off Shanes Hill Road
Born in March 1793 at Timber Ridge, Virginia, Sam Houston was the fifth child of Samuel Houston and Elizabeth Paxton. His family are believed to have had connections with the Ballyboley/Ballybracken area of County Antrim, and they settled in an area of the Shenandoah Valley filling up with Ulster-Scot farms in the 1730s; among those also there, were the Lyle family of the Raloo area, who helped establish Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church.
The Houstons moved to Tennessee in 1807, and it was there that Sam Houston would come into contact with the Cherokee Indians. His association with the State of Texas remains the most remembered part of his life, however, for it was after the defeat of Texan forces at the Alamo - in which Ulster-Scots Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie lost their lives - that General Sam Houston played a leading role. His forces defeated the Mexican Santa Anna at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, and thereby secured the independence of Texas. Sam Houston, descendant of the Houstons of Ballyboley, was to become the first President of Texas and a folk hero.