The Battle Oaks

E379S Fall 02

According to a story in the Daily Texan some years ago, "Even before the time of the white man, the trees grew. The legend is told of how the largest of the trees listened to the Indian tongue, loved it, and learned it. Later the tree brought happiness to an Indian brave by whispering to him of the maiden who loved him, for beneath the branches of the tree she had cried out her love for the warrior. Together they visited the oaks and were perhaps the first Americans and Texans to love them.

When the white man came, the oaks learned the ways of the new race and in times of trouble the white settlers sought comfort beneath their branches. It is related that the oaks brought solace to an old man whose only son had been killed in the war.

With the Civil war came the Northern troops. When word was received that they were in Galveston, the hill of oaks was destroyed so that a fortress might be erected to protect the Capitol. . . . All the oaks except the well-known three were sacrificed.

The University grew and the oaks became a favorite spot of the students. In the early days of the Institution, when men and women students were not allowed the freedom they now enjoy, the oaks served as a favorite meeting place."

When plans were being made to build the Biology building about 1923, the three oaks again became endangered. This time Dr. J. W. Battle took up their cause. The story is that he sat out with a shotgun under their branches and defied the administration axe. The Biology building was located farther east and the trees were saved.

RHE309K Fall 02

Return to Bump Home Page