Sam Houston: American Statesman, Soldier, and Pioneer

Historical Documentary Incorporates Katy Residents

Sam Houston’s influence was important to Texas, but he contributed significantly on a national level as well in the expansion of the United States.

Several Katy residents had a hand in the filming of the first ever documentary about the life of Sam Houston, based on the book Sam Houston, by celebrated author and biographer James L. Haley.

One of those residents, Scott Griffin, a member of the Katy Area Retired Educators, taught history in Katy ISD for 32 years and has been involved in the Cane Island Volunteers reenactment group since its formation in 1986 for the Texas Sesquicentennial. Griffin portrayed the elder Sam Houston and was among approximately 30 other Katyites involved in the project. “The film could not have been done without the people of Katy who made such enormous contributions,” said Denton Florian, the film’s executive producer. “Their involvement was absolutely crucial to the level of authenticity we were going for.” Many important historical sites in the film are within easy driving distance from Katy.

In all, over 200 historical re-enactors participated, as well as politicians, family descendants and teachers. The film includes the people Sam Houston knew and interacted with, such as Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Alexis de Tocqueville, John James Audubon, Francis Scott Key, Dolley Madison and Thomas Jefferson, and it touches on the national reach of his influence since he was not just a Texas figure.  Filming took place at over 30 locations in four states: Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas.

Scott Griffin, a retired Katy ISD teacher and avid history buff, portrayed the elder Sam Houston in a documentary about his life.

“There wouldn’t be a Texas if there weren’t a Sam Houston, you could say,” said Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee. “Surely he’s the largest figure in the history of Texas, and in my view, one of America’s most interesting figures. He’s the one I admire the most.”

Several others with Katy ties were involved in the project and include Kenneth Welch, Maynard Ripper, Charles Cardiff and Neal Frank.

The filming took five years to complete. For more information about the feature, visit