This house was purchased by George S. Houston in 1845 and was his home until his death here on 31st December 1879. Houston served the people of Alabama in public office for thirty six years. His long and distinguished political career began in 1832 and included; one term in the Alabama state legislature, three terms as circuit solicitor, nine terms in the U. S. House of Representatives, two terms as Governor of Alabama and he was twice elected to the U. S. Senate. Due to his conservative fiscal policies while in Congress, he was known as "The Watchdog of the Treasury".
Huston's most notable service to Alabama was during his two terms as governor. For almost a decade after the Civil War, the people of Alabama suffered under the rule of Radical Reconstructionists.
In 1874 the white citizens of Alabama united behind Houston in his bid for the governors office. His election as a Democrat returned self rule to Alabama. During his two terms, the states huge debt was reduced, property owners were protected from excessive taxation and many other reforms were enacted that brought stability to the state.
After Houston's death, his home was occupied only occasionally until 1937 when it was deeded to the City of Athens with some stipulations, one of which was that it should house a library and meeting place for literary and patriotic societies and should be known as "The Houston Memorial Library".