Houston, the only person in U.S. history to be elected governor in two different states (Tennessee and Texas), moved to Maryville when he was 14 years old. At 16, he ran away from home and was adopted by the Cherokee nation. He returned to Maryville at age 19 and founded the first school built in Tennessee.
He served with distinction in the War of 1812 and became a friend of Andrew Jackson. He studied law in Nashville and became a prosecutor and militia commander. He was first elected to Congress in 1822, as Jackson's political protege, then became governor in 1927. After the painful dissolution of his first marriage, Houston joined the Cherokee in Arkansas, was accepted into the tribe and given the name "the Raven." He was a staunch ally of the Cherokee throughout his life. He married a Cherokee widow, Tiana, who refused to go with him to Texas in 1832.
Houston eventually became President of Texas, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, and defeated Gen. Santa Anna for Texan independence. When Texas became a part of the United States, he served as that state's senator for 13 years, then, in 1859, became the first person elected governor in two different states.