Nicknamed the "Father Of Texas", Stephen F. Austin passed away 180 years ago today on December 27th, 1836. He was only 43 years old.

Not long before he passed away, Austin wrote:

The prosperity of Texas has been the object of my labors, the idol of my existence--it has assumed the character of a religion, for the guidance of my thoughts and actions, for fifteen years.

Stephen took over his fathers plans for colonizing Texas, and played a huge role in changing a rugged landscape into the home we know and love today. Austin was not an enthusiastic supporter of Texas independence, although he was appointed as a temporary commander-in-chief of the volunteer army during the Texas revolution.

Stephen F. Austin led volunteers at Gonzales who fought at San Antonio and soon after was appointed as commissioner to the United States.  Not long before his death Austin did run for the office of President in Texas. He lost to Sam Houston who would go on to deliver Austin's eulogy calling him the "Father of Texas."