In the News: Jabez Curry

A statue of Helen Keller was unveiled Wednesday, October 7 in the United States Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection. Each state is allowed two statues honoring persons notable in their history in this collection, and there is little surprise that Texas is represented by Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin. But in recent years the Capitol has allowed states to replace statues – for example, California swapped out Thomas King for Ronald Regan a few years ago – and it’s who Keller replaced that caught our eye.

Keller's statue replaced one depicting Jabez Curry, whose statue represented Alabama since 1908. Curry was originally from Georgia and served as president of Howard College (now Samford University) and it is this university where the statue will now reside.

Curry also has a slight tie-in to SHSU, too. In 1881, Curry was chosen as General Agent of the Peabody Education Fund. The fund sought to establish educational opportunities across the southern United States following the Civil War; because of a $2 Million endowment from this fund, Sam Houston Normal Institute was able to open in 1879. Following his death, a stained glass window was presented in his honor by the SHNI senior class of 1903 for placement in the Memorial Hall of Old Main. The window, like the many others honoring campus luminaries, was lost in the 1982 Old Main fire.

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