Maribeau B. Lamar was a Brother Mason and a member of
Harmony Lodge #6.
He was born in Georgia in 1798. Early in life he became
an expert horseman and a proficient fencer. He briefly
attended private academics but rebelled against the
routine of formal schooling and pursued a course of self
education. He became an insatiable reader, a gifted
speaker, a skilled writer, an artist, a student of ancient
history and knowledgeable of the liberal arts and
He moved to Texas in 1835 and immediately declared for
Texas Independence and returned to Georgia to settle
personal affairs. While in Georgia he learned of the fall of
the Alamo and the defeat of Goliad. He rushed back to
Texas and joined the Texas Army as a private. He was
later commissioned a Colonel on the battle field and
assigned a Calvary to command during the battle of San
Shortly after San Jacinto he was appointed Secretary of
War for the interim government of Texas. He became the
first elected Vice-President of the Republic. And on
December 19 1838 he was inaugurated as the second
President of the Republic of Texas.
He distinguished himself as the “Father of Texas
Education” for his support of a public school system. In
his first address to the congress, he pleaded for the
creation of a public school system in Texas. He declared,
“If we desire to establish a republican government upon a
broad and permanent basis, it will become our duty to
adopt a comprehensive and well regulated system of
mental and moral culture”
He proposed the set aside of public lands for the creation
of a permanent endowment to support public education.
His proposal was approved by the congress and land was
set aside to support primary public schools as well as two
colleges. Texas A&M and the University of Texas.
Provisions were also adopted for the certification of
While these acts were important in the establishment of
public education in Texas, the lasting impact was in the
creation of a permanent endowment for the support of
public education that lives to this day. Furthermore,
Texas was the first state to give state aid to education.
The “school lands act “ of Texas continue to provide to
the permanent endowment and support common
education in Texas and supplement the property tax
dedicated to the school system.
The Lamar Award of Excellence
In 1988, under the leadership of Grand Master Graham
Childress, the Lamar Award of Excellence was
established. The Lamar Medal is awarded to students and
educators in recognition of outstanding personal
achievement in academics, citizenship, community
service, and sports.