A Teacher Before a Lecturer Walking Tour of Willow Wild Cemetery


Fannin County, Texas – When Sam Rayburn dropped out of East Texas Normal School (now Texas A&M Commerce) in 1901, he wanted to earn money to pay for his education rather than go into debt. So he earned a teaching certificate and taught schools in Hunt County, Texas until he earned enough to return to school. After graduating in 1903, Rayburn became a teacher in the Fannin County area. An oral history with one of his students at Dial School recalled a field trip where the students sat by a fire in the woods and the boys went opossum hunting.

The Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site invites you to join us on Saturday, October 29 for our Fourteenth Annual Walking Tour of Willow Wild Cemetery in Bonham, Texas. The program will offer a guided tour featuring teachers and educators from the Bonham area. After the guided tour, feel free to explore a self-guided tour of influential Bonhamites highlighted on previous tours.

The walking tour is free. Those wishing to attend are invited to meet with Texas Historical Commission staff at Sam Rayburn’s grave near the main entrance to Willow Wild Cemetery, located at 1220 W. 7th St. in Bonham. The guided tour will begin at 10:00 a.m. and staff will remain on site until 12:00 p.m. to provide maps and directions for the self-guided tour and to answer questions. Bring your smartphone to use our QR codes or be sure to take a guide when you check in. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.

After the walking tour of the cemetery, you are invited to join us at the Sam Rayburn House from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for a celebration of Texas Archeology Month, with a special display of some of the artifacts found at the site and crafts archeology themed for all ages!

Tours of the Sam Rayburn House will also be available at 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Admission for house tours is $4 for adults and $3 for veterans, seniors, and children ages 6-18. Children 5 and under and active duty military (with ID) are free. We also have special family rates of $8 for a family of three and only $1 for each additional child.

The Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site tells the true story of Sam Rayburn, one of the most powerful and influential politicians of the 20th century, in his authentic 1916 home. Preserved as a time capsule, the house two-story home contains all of Rayburn’s original furniture and housewares. The Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site is one of 34 historic attractions operated by the Texas Historical Commission. For more information, visit www.VisitSamRayburnHouse.com or call 903.583.5558.


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