• The Texas White House

    Lyndon B Johnson

    National Historical Park Texas

Boyhood Home

President Johnson's Boyhood Home

Photo by Art McCrea


"I know -from personal experience- that abiding values and abundant visions are learned in the homes of our people."

-Lyndon Baines Johnson


 
President Johnson at age 13 with brother and sisters

The Johnson children in 1921: (l-r) Lucia, Josefa, Rebekah, Lyndon, and Sam

Lyndon Johnson's family moved from a farm near Stonewall, Texas, to Johnson City (a distance of about fourteen miles) two weeks after his fifth birthday, in September 1913. For most of the next twenty-four years, this was their home. In 1913, the family included Lyndon's father, Sam Ealy Johnson, Jr.; his mother, Rebekah Baines Johnson; young Lyndon; and his sisters, Rebekah and Josefa. Over the years, two more children were born in this house - Lucia and Sam Houston Johnson. The family life that Lyndon Johnson experienced here as he grew to adulthood strongly influenced the man who became our thirty-sixth President.
 
Sam Johnson Jr
The interests of young Lyndon's parents had a profound effect on his subsequent political career and on the issues he championed both as a Congressman and as President. His father was a state legislator for twelve years. As such, Sam Ealy Jr. was a popular and effective participant in democratic party politics. At the age of ten, young Lyndon was on the campaign trail working for his father's re-election. At thirteen, he sat by his father's side during legislative sessions. These experiences taught Lyndon Johnson the "political facts of life" and the necessary skills of a successful politician.
 
Rebekah Johnson


President Johnson's mother, Rebekah Baines, was one of the few college-educated women in the area. Education was her passion. It was in this home that she taught elocution lessons and debating techniques to the neighborhood children. Lyndon must have listened well to her instructions, for he too taught debate strategies for a school team. Among other lessons, young Lyndon learned we should never form opinions based on first impressions and that power should be used for the public good, in the tradition of Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

 
Lyndon Johnson announces run for office from front porch of his Boyhood Home

LBJ Library Photo by Austin American Statesman

In February 1937, Lyndon Johnson returned home from Austin to seek the advice of his father - should he run for Congress? It was the first week of March, 1937, when Lyndon Johnson stood on the porch of his boyhood home to announce his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives for the Tenth District of the State of Texas. So began a career in public service that spanned more than three decades, culminated in the presidency of the United States, and ushered in landmark legislation such as Medicare, Head Start, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and forty-three national park authorizations or additions. As a boy he learned the value of education, and his administration passed more than sixty education bills - a fitting tribute to his mother. He didn't forget where he came from and worked hard to provide electricity throughout the rural counties that surround Johnson City. All his accomplishments have earned him a respect that is still alive today in the Texas Hill Country.

LYNDON JOHNSON'S NATIONAL ELECTORAL OFFICES

  • 1937 Elected to U.S. House of Representatives
  • 1948 Elected to U.S. Senate
  • 1951 Elected Senate Minority Leader
  • 1955 Elected Senate Majority Leader
  • 1960 Elected Vice President
  • 1963 Assumed Presidency upon assassination of President John F. Kennedy
  • 1964 Elected President

 

A visit to the Boyhood Home is a walk back in time to rural America of the 1920s - a window into the world that nurtured Lyndon Johnson. We welcome you and hope that you enjoy your visit here in Johnson City.

HISTORY

This Folk Victorian house was built in 1901 by W.C. Russell, sheriff of Blanco County. In 1913, Sam Ealy Johnson, Jr. paid $2,925 for the house and the surrounding 1.75 acres. During the presidential years, the home was used as a community center and public tours were offered. In December of 1969, Congress designated this home as part of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Site. The National Park Service has restored the home to its appearance during the mid-1920s, the teenage years of Lyndon B. Johnson.

 
LBJ Boyhood Home Floorplan

THE RESTORATION

When the Boyhood Home was given to the National Park Service, it had been altered considerably from how it was when Lyndon Johnson was a boy. To return the home to its 1920s appearance, materials of the same type and age and historic construction and furnishing techniques were used. In 1973, after three years of efforts by historians, architects, carpenters, stonemasons, and many local business people, the restoration was completed and the Boyhood Home was opened to the public. The home is restored for you and all future visitors to enjoy. Please help us protect and preserve it by not touching any furnishings or artifacts.

Did You Know?

Principal Johnson in 1928

Lyndon Johnson's first career was as a teacher and principal of a Mexican-American school in Cotulla, Texas. He later taught debate in Houston. Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park