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Anglo settlers
arriving in the area in the 1820s played a major role in the movement for Texas independence. The town of Independence was founded in 1835.


“…The refined society, splendid landscapes and beautiful live oak groves, all combine to make Independence an eligible point for a great literary institution.”

Baylor University Circular in The Texas Baptist
June 15, 1856

Independence, Texas

Looking northwest toward Old Baylor Park, from near the intersection of Highways 50 and 390.

urrounded by cotton-producing plantations, Independence had become the wealthiest community in Texas and a Baptist stronghold when selected to be the site of Baylor University in 1845. Reaching its peak during the 1850s, the town was recognized as an educational, economic, and religious center.

The Civil War, the by-pass of the railroad, and Baylor’s relocation in 1886 altered the Independence economy. The surrounding farmland, however, remained productive, often under the tillage of European immigrants, especially German families, who came in the late 19th century. African Americans, many of whom were former slaves from Washington County, also acquired and farmed the land.

Today, Independence remains a diverse community, its landscape dotted with many reminders of its rich and varied history. These sites and symbols, combined with the extraordinary natural beauty of the area—rolling hills, open vistas, and ageless trees—contribute to the past and present story of Independence.




Sam Houston was Independence's most famous resident and convert, he and his family living here in the 1850s and his widow returning in 1863.

Mrs. Sam Houston House
Early Texas Homes

So, come to Independence for a visit with history!

We have a walking and driving tour where you can see and learn much more
about this historic community.

Click on our Touring Independence page for a preview of some of the many
historic sites you will see along the tour.

Large photo: Jim Dunlap. Masthead photo: Seward Plantation. Sam Houston photo: Sam Houston Memorial Museum. Other photos: Ellen Beasley. Research and content by Ellen Beasley.

Independence Preservation Trust
Twenty Briar Hollow Lane
Houston, Texas 77027-2893
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