Priscilla Benham, guru of Texas history, dies at 70





Priscilla Benham, a college professor who made Texas history come alive for generations of students, died Monday. She was 70.

“We’d take East Texas trips and stop by all the historical markers and historical houses. Wherever we went, it seemed something had to be historical,” recalled her son David Benham, a Houston golf pro. “I started calling them ‘hysterical markers.’ That was really the wrong thing to do.”

Benham, a descendant of Ulysses S. Grant who grew up in Baytown not far from the homestead of early Texas statesman David G. Burnet, taught American history in a wide range of settings, including the University of Houston, Cy-Fair College, North Harris Community College and University of Houston-Downtown. She held the latter post 20 years, retiring in 2006.

“Dates and facts were very important to her,” recalled her sister Verlene Masters. “She was very dedicated. History needed to be as important to you as it was to her.”


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