History of the Restoration Movement

Governor George Smith Houston


George Smith Houston was the first Democratic governor
elected after the Republican-dominated Reconstruction Era.
In Office 1874-1878
In addition to holding the governor's office,
Houston also represented Alabama in the
U.S. Congress from 1841 to 1861.
Courtesy of Encyclopedia Of Alabama

The Houston Family And The Restoration Movement

The Houston family was connected to the earliest revival of New Testament Christianity in North Alabama. The work that began on Cypress Creek in Lauderdale County enjoyed the contributions of Ephraim D. Moore, B.F. Hall and James Matthews. Assisting in the leadership in the church were George Houston's brothers, Ross and Pugh. Ross Houston was a school teacher. Among his many students was a young man by the name of Tolbert Fanning. Pugh Houston was a doctor, serving the community's medical as well as spiritual needs. Though these men were not preachers, they led the spiritual activities of the church.

The Houstons owned a farm in western Lauderdale County on Bluff Creek, in the Bartons community, later referred to as Gravelly Springs. Along with J.M. Hackworth, they assisted in the growth of the church in that part of the county. The church was small, and in the course of time, Pugh deeded property to the church. However the congregation that existed there is now gone.

When thinking of the early work of restoration in the state of Alabama, the name Houston must be included among the strong and lasting influences of those who lived during that time.

The younger brother of Ross and Pugh Houston was the man who would later become the 1st Democratic governor of the state of Alabama after the Civil War, George S. Houston. The ties this family had with churches of Christ in Alabama will long be appreciated.

Directions To The Grave of G.S. Houston & Family

Governor George Houston is buried in the Athens City Cemetery, Athens, Limestone County, Alabama. On I-65 take Exit 351. Head west towards Athens. Take S. Clinton Street north. Go eight or ten blocks and turn right on Washington Street. The rear of the cemetery will be on your left. Turn to the first entrance on the left. Go about 100 feet and stop the car. Look to the left toward the western edge of the cemetery. Look for a large obelisk. It will have an iron fence around the plot. This is the Houston plot.

GPS Location of the Houston Family Plot
34°48'10.5"N 86°57'50.0"W
or D.d. 34.802907, -86.963900

Plot of George S. Houston
January 17, 1808
December 31, 1879

Ellen Irvine Houston
wife of
George Smith Houston
Died August 4, 1909

George S. Houston
Died October 30, 1934

Margaret Irvine
Wife of
Geo. S Houston, Jr.

David Houston
Capt. Co H 9 Ala Infantry
Confederate States Army
November 6, 1836
September 8, 1880

John Pugh Houston
Died April 23, 1926
Son of George S. & Mary B. Houston

John Pugh Houston
Died April 23, 1926

Special Thanks

In May, 2010, Tom L. Childers, Scott Harp, and C. Wayne Kilpatrick some of the graves of church leaders of yesteryear, whose remains now rest in the Athens City Cemetery. Thanks to them for contributions of photos in information to make this page possible.

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