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Sam Rayburn Library and Museum, Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

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1957, Roscoe DeWitt. 800 W. Sam Rayburn Dr. (TX 56)

The mausoleum-like library is a congressional version of a presidential library, built to honor Bonham resident Samuel T. “Sam” Rayburn, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for forty-eight years and as speaker for seventeen nonconsecutive terms. The classical building’s small scale is magnified by its formal siting elevated on a vast tree-framed lawn and by its gleaming white Georgia marble exterior and pedimented portico of four Ionic columns.

In 1916, three years after beginning his congressional career, Rayburn built a house 1.5 miles west of the library at 890 TX 56. It was modified to its present, plantation-like appearance in 1934 by architect W. B. Yarborough, who converted the original first- and second-story porches into a grand porch of Tuscan columns. The house museum contains all the original family furnishings, including Rayburn’s 1947 Cadillac.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Sam Rayburn Library and Museum, Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin", [Bonham, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 127-127.

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