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Marlin Texas History & Bulletin Board


This webpage contains some real life interviews with old settlers that came to the Marlin area in the late 1800s. These pioneer accounts provide an authentic and colorful source of early-day Marlin Texas history.

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Marlin Texas Webpage

HISTORY OF MARLIN TEXAS



By Autor and Texas Historian, Leonard Kubiak of Rockdale.

INTERVIEWS WITH MARLIN PIONEER SETTLERS

The region surrounding the present-day town of Marlin, Texas is rich in history and has given rise to such towns as Bucksnort, Viesca, Fort Milam, Fort Marlin, and the present town of Marlin.

The following are interview accounts provided by elderly, early-day Marlin pioneers. These intriguing and sometimes chilling accounts give us a clear picture of the events and people of early-day Marlin.


Marlin Family

Interview with Sarah Marlin Pruett, Perry, Texas

James and John Marlin came from Ireland to the United States and drifted to Texas and finally, settled near what was then the town of Fieson, capitol of the province of Viesca in Robertson's colony, which was on the west banks of the Brazos river near where the town of Marlin now stands. The town of Perry was named for Judge A. G. Perry, grandfather of Mrs. Sarah Marlin Pruett. Sarah Marlin Pruett was born March 25th, 1863 near the present town of Perry, Texas. At the age of seventeen, she married Sam Marlin, son of James Marlin and they moved to Reagan.

At the time that the Marlin family came to Viesca, the country had few settlers and the Mexicans and Indians were very dangerous. The little frontier town had no fort and no soldiers, so, when the Texans went to war with Mexico, many of the settlers there, and around the Falls of the Brazos, moved to places more densely populated.

After the War with Mexico, the Marlins and the Morgans were among the first to return to their former home. John Marlin settled about four miles from the present town of Marlin. Other pioneers settled near, and the settlement came to be known as "Bucksnort." There were two or three stores and a blacksmith shop, but it was the trading center for the country for miles around. Bucksnort was the first post office in Falls county and some of the old settlers still call it "Old Marlin." 2/11/41 Tex

Morgan and Marlin Family massacre (1839)

In the 1830's, the Indians were fierce and kept the settlers in a constant state of terror. During this time, occurred one of the first Indian massacres in Falls county. This is known as "The Morgan and Marlin Massacre". James Marlin and George Morgan built a cabin of hewn cedar on what is known now as the Rock Dam road. The two families lived together in this cabin. That was the custom of the time, as it afforded better protection from Indians and aid in case of illness or distress. The old couple of Morgans were quite old people, but George Morgan was about twenty-two or twenty-three years of age and recently married to Stacy Ann Marlin. Mr. and Mrs. James Marlin had a son, Isiah, about ten years of age and two daughters. These were: Stacy Ann Marlin and Adeline who was about sixteen years old and very beautiful.

On the morning of January 1839, the men folks who lived in this cabin, except old man, James Marlin, had gone about eighteen or twenty miles south of Old Marlin to get a load of corn. At that time, their roads were only bridle paths or cow trails, without bridges and there were several streams, swollen by recent rains, which the men were forced to cross.

The women knew that the men could not be there that night, so they hurried through their household tasks, finished milking and feeding and got in wood, water and kindling before night. Also, they rushed to eat their supper before night so that no light would be needed other than that of the fire in the fireplace.

They were sitting by the fireside carding wool when the dreaded Indian yell was heard right by the door. In the twinkling of an eye, the Indians had broken down the door and were in the house hacking the women and children with their tomahawks. The old couple were killed instantly and scalped. Mrs. James Marlin and the little blonde Adeline were mercifully killed at once.

In some manner, Isaac Marlin, the little ten year-old boy, managed to slip out of the house as the Indians got in, and he ran out in the dark and hid in a fence corner. The Indians cut Adeline's head off and scalped her long, beautiful hair from it. Her body was found in one place and the bloody, beaten head in another. The Indians beat Stacy Ann, the other girl, until she fainted, and they left her for dead. She fell through the floor where the puncheon boards had been palled up by the savages. When they chopped her head with their tomakawks, she put up her hands to try to shield her face and eyes and they chopped her hands up in a terrible fashion. She lay quietly under the floor, not daring to move, because she knew that the Indians would chop her head from her body to make sure that she was dead. Then she heard the Indians leave the house and go riding away, she began to crawl out from under the house. She was very weak from pain and the loss of blood and it was a terrible effort to try to crawl. She managed to crawl out of the house and into the woods nearby. She stayed there all night. The wolves howled around her all night, because they could smell the blood from her wounds. They came so close that she thought every minute that she would be torn to pieces, but she was too terrified to return to the house. The Indians often returned to a place where they had killed and robbed and would set fire to the house to get rid of the bodies.

Stacy Ann fell off to sleep the next morning and did not wake until the afternoon. She was feverish and very thirsty. She saw some of their milk cows going to a pond at a spring. The old bell cow was the nearest and she managed to crawl to this gentle, old animal and to catch on to the bell strap. In this way, the cow drug her to the water where she quenched her thirst. Then, she made her way to the house.

In the meantime, Isaac Marlin, the little boy, had slipped back to the house after he was shure the redskins had really gone. He found that his mother had been brutally and horribly murdered. He spread a quilt over the bodies and started out to John Marlin's house to spread the news. It was after ten o'clock, but the brave little boy made the trip. The next morning, the men who had gone to Old Marlin joined John Marlin and they went to the cabin of the tragedy. That afternoon, they saw Stacy Ann slowly creeping to the house. At first, they thought she was an Indian, but her feeble cries drew them to help her. She lay for days, just barely alive from the shock of the tragedy and the loss of blood.

Stacy Ann lived to raise a family and outlived her husband. She told many thrilling stories of the early settlement of Texas and of her experiences. Her hands were terribly scarred from the blows she had received from the Indians' tomahawks and the scars in her head were so bad that she always wore a cloth cap over her head to hide them. She had a sweet face and a kind word and cheery smile for everyone.

Awhile after the Morgan and Marlin massacre, the Indians attacked the home of John Marlin. His son, Benjamin Marlin, Garrett Menifee and Thomas Menifee were there when the Indians came to charge the house. They killed seven of the Indians and this caused the others to leave. The settlers organized a fighting force with Benjamin Bryant of Bryant's Station in command. They decided to engage the Indians in battle and frighten them out of the country. They encountered Jose Maria and his Indians at Morgan's Point, near Perry, in the open post oak woods close to a dry ravine. Jose Maria's men won the battle, but the loss was so great that a treaty of peace was made with the Indians and James Marlin.

By this treaty, the Indians were not so hostile but pushed farther west. New settlers moved in, and schools and churches were built. The Indians had captured the slave girl belonging to Mrs. Marlin. She was never heard of again. Slave owners who came to settle in and around Perry brought their slaves from other states. The county was organized in 1850 from Milam and Linestone Counties and a log courthouse was built upon the square.

Isaac Marlin never married. He was a prosperous farmer. When the Civil War broke out, he was one of the first volunteers from Falls County. He was killed in action, and buried in an unknown grave. The Marlin family and the Morgans were the first pioneers in Falls county. A monument has been erected to their memory on the site of the old homestead.






"Interview with Mr Robert E. Lee Tomilson, White Pioneer, Marlin, Texas.

"My father John Tomilson came from the state of Alabama to Texas in 1849. He located four miles west of the falls of the Brazos River, bought four sections of land and stayed a year alone then returned to Alabama and brought the family through the country in wagons together with around a hundred slaves. He settled at what is now called Tomilson Hill across the river six miles west of Marlin.

"Father, lived through the troublesome days of the War between the States and died in 1865 at the age of 46 years. He was survived by four sons and two daughters. The latter being Mrs Amanda Young and Mrs Ludy Landrum. The sons are myself - John; E. A. and Augustus.

"I have heard father tell how they crossed the river at Vicksburg Missippi, and how they had to wait for the river to go down from the rains and the slow travel, but how they finally reached Falls county. and how the Falls of the Brazos was the only suitable place when they reached their destination. The country was wild and unsettled, no public roads scarcely, just cattle trails and wild game in the Brazos bottom was plentiful so they did not have to worry about meat.

"Fathers plantation extended from Tomilson Hill to the Brazos river just six miles of Marlin. In 1850 he took his cotton to Houston to the market. 2/11/41 Also to Brownsville, Texas, the nearest railroad. Several men would go in together and would work from eight to ten head of oxen to the wagon to carry their produce. They would be from six to eight weeks on the trip and on their return they would bring enough supplies to last through the year.

Our nearest neighbor was four miles away and there wer about ten famililies in a radius of fifteen or twenty miles, with the exception of Marlin to the east there were around fifty families. To the west what is now the Lott. Chilton, Durango and Rosebud communities the settlments were thinly populated. Before Marlin had a church we worshipped in homes, and my brother helped to build the Marlin Baptist church. About the year 1862 to 1870 living in the Marlin and Blue Ridge communities there were the following families. (That is part of them.)

"The Bartletts, Chruchill, Jones, Killebrew, Bartons, Hunnicutt, Garrett, Bell, Bassett, Fountian, Flowers, Cornelison, Mitchell, and to the west of Marlin to the Bell county line there lived General Shields afterward American Consul to South America and [later collector of customs at Galveston.

J.H. and John Gassaway families, E.J. Davidson ranch, alsoJohn Powers and Dick Beal who were stockmen and ranchers. Col. J.C. Gaither, Legislator and Senator.

"I was a boy just 10 years old when Governor Coke was elected Governor of Texas and when he drove Governor E.J. Davis out of the governor's chair at Austin. (The carpet bagger governor). The earliest impression of my political reaction in Falls county was the change from the carpet-bagger rule as it was called when Davis was governor.

"In Falls county, there were more negroes at this time than white people and they were overbearing. I remember how when the men went to vote (when Coke was elected governor) at Marlin they had to march between rows of negro guards. The white men came armed in order to fight for their right to vote. There was a comparatively peaceful election when someone began shooting up near the square and most of the negroes fled to the Brazos bottom while the white men went on with their voting.A fter it was over they held a celebration that night over their success. Bonfires were lit and great was the rejoicing over the return of the white man to his right to vote.

"I can see in memory the first business houses of Marlin. They were the general merchanding store of Bartlett and Killebrew who had their goods hauled by freight from Houston. The old stage stand was located on the square and it crossed the river at Rock Dam, about six or seven miles above Marlin and on into Waco up the old Waco Marlin road. When the old log court house was in use I remember that Berry Barton, and Killebrew, were sheriff and also A.D. Scroggins was sheriff and tax collector. Lawyers were J.D. Oltorf, Goodrich and Clarkson, and E.C. Stewart who was county Judge about the years 1870 to 1875. I was County Clerk two years and deputy for four years.

"The first hanging I ever saw were men by the name of Howard and Jones who killed a white man three miles east of Marlin in the bed of big Sandy creek. They were hung in a grove of trees north of town where the overpass bridge now intersects with the International and Great Northern Railroad. When the citizens caught horse and cattle thieves they were hung without recourse to law therby putting a stop to so much stealing. Later they were dealt with impartially by law in the way of sentencing them to the pen.

"In those day the country was full of squatters who settled on the land and stayed until some one bought the land and ran themm off. The older settlers were men of rugged honesty. One could lend them from a $100.00 to a $1000.00 and they would pay it back in due time without recourse to the law often not charging any interest at all. I can remember George Gassaway, a rancher and farmer riding up to our gate, hitching his horse to the old hitching post and staying to dinner with us, while all the time he was in the house there was a shipment of money tied to his saddle-bag outside, which he had been to Marlin to get to pay off his men and run him for several months.

"Some of the saloons at Marlin were owned by Kimbrough, King, Barlow and Tom Stewart. It was customary for the ranch men and their cowboys to meet at these saloons when pay-day came and settle up for their work. It was seldom that there ever developed any trouble between the rancher and his cowboy, but the cowboy's took this time to celebrate and it was not uncommon for their months pay to be spent over the gambling table before they left. But it was all in the life, they were good losers as well as good earners. He was a cheerful and happy man as a rule and took his misfortunes along with the good.

Chisolm Trail Cattle Drives

"The stock men drove their cattle through to Abiline and Wichita Kansas in those days, over the old Chisholm trail which ran west of Waco and Fort Worth to the markets in Kansas. I had a brother who helped to drive the herds for Powers and Beal, cattlemen. It took them two or three months and let them graze on the way. At the end of the trail the boss would meet them and pay them off. This is when they, too, would celebrate their long hard drive by putting on what the younger generation of this day would call a "whoopee". For they surely won some good times after the drive which would take from three to four months and they had to be continually on the watch for Indians and cattle thieves, cattle stampedes and so forth. However the destination usually was reached with the herds in good shape. Texas steers at this time brought from $10.00 to $20.00 apiece, and fine milk cows sold for $10.00 and $15.00 each.

"After the Houston and Texas Central Railroad came through Marlin, in 1870 some of the merchants were Mose Levy, N. Rickleman, Rosenthal and Maymon, Marens and Franks [?] Grocery. Lyons Bro's; Dry Goods, L.B. Chilton. W.R. Patillo and Mr Scruggs. Some of the teachers were W.M. Chilton, Miss Martin, sister of Captain Martin the man who was the surveyor for the Houston and Texas Central Rail-road {Begin deleted text},{End deleted text} {Begin inserted text}{Begin handwritten}and{End handwritten Miss Bartlett. Some of the preachers were J.R. Touchstone, M.K. Thronton Baptist; J.M. Montgomery Presbyrterian Weems Wooten; Mr Hotchkiss, Methodist.

Marlin Discovers Healing Mineral Waters

"When the now famous Mineral Water of Marlin's Hot Wells was discovered it was piped at first to a few residences and as it was not practical for domestic purpose it was turned off and the first notable case of cure was a man from Houston. D.JW.W. Cook was the first doctor to discover the curative power of the Hot Wells. There were many other doctors who soon followed his example of using it for Hot Baths for rheumatism, among them Dr Walter Allen, deceased. Dr Rice, Dr J.W. Torbett who is the head of the Torbett Sanitarium and Majestic Bath House and Dr N.D. Buie who is the head of the Buie Clinic. The government Crippled Childrens hospital and bath house has recently been stablished with Dr Hipps as its head surgeon. There have arisen so many clinics that it would be useless to go into them all now. But in the days gone by instead of the citizens appreciating the Hot Wells they threatened to sue the city for putting off the hot water unfit for domestic purposes on them. So that wassaid to be the reason it was cut off from their homes.

Prominent Men of Early Day Marlin

"Other prominent men of the community west of Marlin which I failed to name was W.G. Ethridge, Representative D.Y. Gaines, Col. W.D. Gaines. E.H. Hatch. Gilbert Jackson, Turner Wiggins; Robert Moore, for whom the town of Mooreville was named, Hardy Jones, G.H. Bowman; Lee Fiser; and Ed McCullough, a relative, son of the Texas famous ranger and Indian fighter Capt. Ed Mc Cullough, who came to Falls county in 1865 and brother of Judge Tom McCollough of Waco. Ed McCollough is still living near the old home after having spent a number of his years as a banker in Waco.

"For our school house in those early days we had the old log school house with the split logs for seats called puncheon seats. I later attended the A& M. College of Texas at Bryan in 1880 & 1881. When the Sam Houston Teachers College of Huntsville, and for a time taught school.

Political Leaders of Early-Day Falls County

"As I look back over the political horizon of Falls county I can see our present Senator Tom Connally when he first came to the town of Marlin This was in May of 1899 when he began his career. He was elected to the seventh legislature in 1900 and the twenty-eighth in 1902. He gave satisfaction to his constituents so they elected him county attorney in 1906 and again in 1908 his service expiring in 1910. Since this time he has been continually sent to Washington to represent this district.

"Then there was Judge David Boyles of Marlin who came to Texas in 1878 and settled near Reagan for twenty-four years While making his living there as a contracter he began the study of law and passed his examination under for the bar, under Judge B.H. Rice, Messrs Swan and Clampitt. He began the practice of this profession in 1884 and in 1896 he was appointed assistant county attorney which office he filled for six years. In 1904 he was elected county judge, and reelected to this office in 1906. Since his retirement until his death he devoted himself to the practice of Law. And in this he was beloved by men in all walks of life.

"Again looking back into the past, I see Falls county during the days of the War between the States, and the name of Zenas Bartlett comes up. He was just from a trip from his old home in Mobile Alabama to California where he was one of the forty-niners who formed an army of gold-seekers to the Golden Gate, some across the desert and some via the Isthmus. After trying his luck with some degree of success he came to Falls county and left his name stamped on the history of the county.

Zenas Bartlett Sr. passed away in 1897 leaving a widow and seven children. There were two son which have also left their names on the political life of the county. The eldest the Hon. Churchill Jones Bartlett first started in the office of Marlin's newspaper, the Marlin Ball under T.C. Olterf. With the closing years of Clevelands administration he entere the post-office at Marlin and was commissioned by President Harrison as postmaster was city treasurer and secretary for ten years and justice of the peace for four years. Later he ran for representative of Falls county to the legislature from the Sixty-seventh district which embraces Falls county.

"He was elected to the thirtieth and thirty-first legislature in 1906 and 1908. There was a hot race for govorner at this time between Gov. Campbell and Bell. Mr Bartlett being for Campbell and after his election worked in harmony with him. He helped to put over several important laws during his term of office among them the abolishment of the strap for punishing criminals in penal institutions. He was delighted with the opportunity to take part in the enactment of laws which did not "Turn Texas Loose", a slogan of his opponant.

"The fifth child of Zenas Bartlett Sr. was Zenas Jr. I must tell you a little of this son who also made a place in the county's history for the name of Barlett. This son was educated in the Marlin public schools, at the Texas A.&.M. College and graduated from the law department of Texas University in 1890. He then became a member of the firm of Rice and Bartlett, which existed until 1907, when Judge Rice was appointed to the bench of the Court of Civil Appeals. At this time the firm of Spivey, Bartlett and Carter was organized. It is Mr Bartletts most cherished ambition to see the prosperity of his town and county.

"Aside form the political memories of Falls county. I have given you the names of the first business men, among the ones of later date are Frank Peacock, who has been one of the towns best real-estate boosters aside from his retail mercantile business. Bradley Linthicum who was a member of the firm of Cheeves and Linthicum, first came to Marlin as bill clerk for the Houston and Texas Central Railroad in 1882. and remained to become the Vice-President of the First National Bank.

There could be written many more incidents of the early settlers of the county, from political characters to the business men and the county officers as well as those who gave of their talents and time to the progress of the schools and , but for this time I will leave these names and characters which I have personally known ,another time will tell you of them.

Interview with Mr. John H. Robertson,who came to Marlin in the 1870's. He shares a facinating first-hand glimpse into the Civil War and the history of Marlin in his own words.

"I was born near Quincy, Florida , on March 31st, 1845. I was a soldier in the Confederate Army and served under Maury's division of the Army of Tennessee. I was captured at the battle of Gettysburg in Longstreet's charge and was taken to Fort Delaware , an island of 90 acres of land where the Union prisoners were kept. We were detailed to work in the fields and our rations was corn bread and pickled beef. However I fared better than some of the prisoners for I was given the privilege of making jewelry for the use of the Union soldiers. I made rings from the buttons from their overcoats and when they were polished the brass made very nice looking rings. These I sold to the soldiers of the Union Army who were our guards and with the money thus obtained I could buy food and clothing. The Union guards kept a commissary and they had a big supply of chocolate. I ate chocolate candy and drank hot chocolate in place of coffee until I have never wanted any chocolate since.

"I was in this prison when Lincoln was killed and great was the sorrow among the troops who guarded us when the news came. I made an attempt one time to escape and was captured, so did not make another attempt. This was during a storm and in the confusion I tried to roll out of the camp, it came up while we were asleep and I was sleeping in my blanket, but the guard heard me and caught me before I could make my escape. After the end of the conflict I returned home.

I found that I had been reported missing for two years and had changed so much that my own people did not know me. When I left home, I was sixteen and during the period of my absence I had grown and completely changed. Finally my sister identified me by my teeth. During this time I had grown a beard and this alone changed my appearance.

"At the end of hostilities I returned to my home and lived there for five years and as so many were seeking their fortune in the state of Texas, I left my home in Florida and came to Texas in 1870. I landed at the little town then of Galveston and from there came over the new railroad, the Houston and Texas Central, which had just been completed on to the little city of Waco, Texas.

I met Col. Gurley who owned a plantation in the Brazos bottom and hired out to him as manager of this plantation. He also owned a saw mill and I operated it.

"I also managed another plantation owned by a Mr. Bryant who had brought his slaves with him to Texas before they were freed, they remained with him and there were around a hundred. I did not have any trouble with them as they were peaceful and easily managed. After I spent some time on these plantations I married Miss Pitts and we had one daughter. Her youngest child married Howard Hunnicutt of Marlin, Texas, with whom I make my home , since the death of my wife in 1931.

For twenty years I was a member of the city commission of Marlin, Texas, and during this time there was a number of changes. The cattle thieves were plentiful and after some time the law was allowed to take its course, but for a time after the reconstruction days there were vigilant societies who took the law into their hands for the citizens citizens' protection .

"I remember there was a man by the name of Grundy accused of stealing cattle, the vigilantes or perhaps some others decided to take the law into their hands and he was hung to a large elm tree which is still standing in the city of Marlin today. He used to drive a gentle old horse to a one-seated buggy and after he was done away with, his widow drove this same horse to this buggy to town. Some mischievous boys decided to play a prank on her and so they would tie a rope , the distance from the church to the tree, to be sure when the horse reached the tree he would stop. Which he did, much to the surprise and anger when the widow found out the cause. That it was a the boy's prank , instead of the ghost of her departed husband. "

It was while I was a member of the city commission of Marlin that the hot wells were discovered. We were drilling for city water and when the water came in it was hot. For a time it was piped to the residence section, and great were the complaints and abuses, which we received from these residents who wanted water for domestic purposes . Finally we had the hot water analyzed and when it was found to have medicinal qualities it was then changed from the residences and used for this purpose. The boring of this hot well cost the city 30;000 dollars, but was bought up by private capitol. The present health resort was the outcome of our drilling for water. The city now use uses lake water.

"When I first came to the Brazos bottom, the section known as the Golinda, Chilton and Satin communities where I settled. They were west of Marlin some ten to fourteen miles. The country was a vast area of timber and grassland with the plantations near the river.

The area extending from these communities to the river was dense wood with the exceptions of the clearing for the plantations. These were huge old trees, elm, oak , ash, willow , cedar and others. There were a few winding roads in this area and there were deer, wildcat and bear in the thickets. There was a famous place near our community called Buck-head Stand, named for the number of deer that were killed here and their heads thrown away, hence the name of Buck--head Stand". At the time, I was manager of the saw-mill for Col. Gurley in the 70's I could almost any day kill any number of deer they came so near the clearing's clearings .

"The section where Chilton and Golinda were situated was not so dense with timber as it was mostly on a prairie. All the section west of the Brazos river from Marlin though' was a vast wilderness comparatively speaking. Some of the earliest families who helped to build up these communities lived not only at Golinda but over across the McLennan County line at Lorena, these were the Westbrooks, the Gurleys who lived at Golinda also the Duty's at Golinda, the Gaines of Chilton and Vic and Will Walker , later residents of the community of Satin when it was born , on the spot where they lived. There was the Gus Meisner family, the Meisner Wells was a well-known spot in the early days. Because as the name implies an inexhaustible well offered a good supply of water for the community in the days when the droughts hit it.

"This famous well was on the edge of the cedar brakes. This cedar was famous because at one time the choicest and most abundant cedar in the State of Texas was found here. As the years passed this cedar was cut and made into pencils, cedar piling and cedar lumber. The old Meisner log home stood for many years after this cedar was gone. They did not know the art of conservation, which the government is now seeking to save such rich heritage of the land. A few years ago another house was built in which the Wess Lewis family now live, on the old Meisner homestead

"In the early days, a large amount of the land nears the Brazos River was owned by a man of English descent, named Captain E.G. Hanrick. He was a citizen of this country and title of his land was clear. But he had no heirs in this country. It seems that he became aware of the fact that his sons or relations in England who were citizens of England, might encounter difficulties in establishing their right to the title of this land as an inheritance. The Alien Land Laws standing in their way, so before his death Col. Gurley acquired a partnership in part of the land. Later he became the sole owner. It came to be known as the Gurley ranch.

"In the meantime a kinsman of Captain Hanrick, Ned Hanrick, came from England, hoping to establish claim to the land in event of the Captain's death. Captain Hanrick died. Title to the land was clouded because of the alien land laws. ( which prevents aliens from inheriting property in the United States. ) The finest legal talent in fall and surrounding counties fought to clear the title to this land. It was called the " "Hanrick versus Hanrick suit " , in which the late L.W. Goodrich and B.B. Clarkson and others at Marlin worked for many years (from 1871 to 1919) to untangle. Title was finally established and the land was distributed to a number of people.

"All the land was not Hanrick land but part of it was finally absorbed thro' transactions by the following men. Mose Westbrook of Golinda Col. Gurley, Sanger Brothers of Waco, the late J.T. Davis of Waco and Goodrich and Clarkson of Marlin. Other land nearby became the property of other men including the Guderians, Wittners, Wooleys, Duty's Jackson, and Hatch, Evans and Gaines families.

"The earliest information I have of the first family in this section was the Duty family. This family came to Falls county from East Texas in 1849 and it is said there was not another family living between the Brazos river between Marlin (Marlin was created in 1850) and the west side of the river in this community. Mr. Duty often related how the Indians were in and out of the vicinity ( but were friendly Indians ) on their way to the Torrey brothers (later Barnyards) trading post above or east of Waco on the Tehuacana. Buffalo had not all left this section. There were herds of Deer, wild horses, cattle and antelope which made their home near the Brazos river , as late as the 0' 70's, when I came. Many of these wild animals were still here.

"Mr. Duty's home was built of post oak logs and the floor was of split puncheon. It was still standing in the early 90's. Still farther back , so the local history goes , in 1851 Gilbert Jackson erected the first mill in this area of Falls county at what was called Shake Rag, now known as Rock Dam, this was east from the Duty home.

"From the Jackson family came what is known as the Jackson Lake, a large section of land of three or four hundred acres, at that time filled with water and became a favorite camping and fishing place for the communities surrounding it. Young men built a dancing pavilion where the young people made merry and the candidates did their part in making things , at least interesting , if not merry. Finally a private club was formed in the later days and it became a recreational spot for only those who help membership. The passing of time and the erosion and changes made by the Brazos River erased this lake and it was filled with soil from the flood of 1913 and today is a fertile farm owned by J.E. Thigpen and Robert Goelzer of Chilton, Texas.

"There were two other families who came soon after the Duty's, they were with the Duty's, those of Joe Salmon and E.H. Hatch, for many years these families formed the principal settlement on the Waco-Marlin road centering about Golinda. They were stockmen on an extensive scale and helped to bring others to the settlement. Henry Duty died in 1876, but his son carried on in place of his father and was a veteran of the Civil War.

"In 1866 the late Col. W.D. Gaines, father of Spinks Gaines of Chilton and his brother Captain D.Y. Gaines owned farms which were cleared from the timber land near the Brazos River in the vicinity of Golinda, where I lived. The lowland hemmed in by dense woods, and the mosquitoes caused sickness, so he moved higher up on the prairie near the town of Chilton. It was then better known as Carolina. The J.B. Evans family lived some few miles nearer the river at the place known as Shake Rag, at that time the river flowed farther west having changed its course about 1900. Mr. Evans was an example of the hardy pioneer's fighting spirit and it was the community impression that he had fought a few duels in and around the settlement.

"Col. Gurley maintained a home for awhile in the late seventies, or early eighties , near the present town of Satin where Will Walker lives today. This was before the name of Satin was thought of, before the coming of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass railroad which was built thro' the communities I have mentioned. Col. Gurley was an eminent lawyer and had lived at Waco specializing in land titles and civil law practice. He was a Confederate veteran, hence his title of Colonel. Before his death he was head of a company organized to manufacture a mechanical cotton picking machine , which he needed for his extensive farm in the Brazos valley. But he was not successful in this and so he had to keep the Negro labor, just as he had when I was his manager.

"Col. Gurley had much influence it was said in the building of the San Antonio and Aransas Pas road thro' this community. It was claimed by his friends that the many twists and turns in the vicinity of the present town of Satin was to accommodate him by the railroad weaving about advantageously to his farms. Dave Gurley and Bob Ross were the main builders of the road bed, cutting up the timber and throwing up the road bed, they were part of the firm of Gurley, Ross and Gurley, which contracted with the railroad to throw up the road bed. Their head quarters were at Waco.

"Before the turn of the century Col. Gurley passed on and his son, John Gurley continued the work began by his father so many years before. J.T. Davis of Waco acquired an interest in the Gurley ranch and after he passed on, his son, J. Lee Davis of Waco not only continued farming according to modern methods, but also recently interested himself in the production of oil on the land. Under his direction a number of producing wells were drilled and the foundation laid for more oil development. This in the section where once was densely wooded land. Many facts were buried with the early days of this section , with the pioneers who wrought well and passed on.

"Rapid changes have taken place in this as in the other communities of Central Texas, as well as other section of the state. Nowhere down the long corridor of times has these changes been so miraculous as in the last fifty years here. So, like magic, rose from the wilderness of the Brazos bottom, from the wild cat thicket and the wooded timber of the low-lands, from the rich alluvial land of the river section, rivaled only in the early days by the valley of the Nile, the progressive towns west of the Brazos as well as those to the east have become steady and continues in their contribution to the world of industry and civilization.

"In this brief sketch I have failed to mention some who also helped in building this section. There was Johnny Vickers who came in 1887 to help clear the cedar brakes for a lumber firm, and Wallace Hunter came to Golinda about the same time. Both families have descendants still here. There were the Ruble families, R.E. and Mayor R.G. Ruble of Lott, whose grand father was one of the first settlers also. All have left a heritage rich in folklore of the early days of the Brazos vicinity, and the river of Central Texas, known in the days of the Indians as "Brazos de dois Dios". (arms of God).


"THE HISTORY OF FALLS COUNTY COURT HOUSES, as told by Roy Eddins, Marlin, Texas.

"Before anybody builds a house of business, he wants to know of the title to the land upon which he is to build is clear. He wants to know if that land belongs to him and is free of any and all claims and future litigations concerning it are nil- before he puts a lot of money into a structure.

Well the land upon which Falls county's new courthouse is to be built (the same spot upon which four previous courthouses have been built and where the business of the county has been transacted for eighty-eight years) is "clear". It is indeed, the property of the county. But not without litigation. Wait--!

"Even before a people builds a place of business--a courthouse--it must know it has a right to do business. Falls county certainly has a right to transact business--financial, economic, social, and otherwise. Not only because it has done so for eighty-eight years, but also because it waslegally created or constituted, away back yonder in 1850, so the records show. Since Falls county is going to build a new courthouse a brief history of Falls county, its county site and a few highlights of its early trials and successes are apropriate. Special reference herein is made to the county's court-houses, five of them (and perhaps another).C12 - Texas

San Jacinto. A government, a constitution and law and order was established in the new empire. A little later after a culmination of the shrewd schemes of "Old Hickory" Jackson, former president of the United States, and our own Sam Houston, Texas became a part of the United States, "land of the free and home of the brave".

"Into the virgin wilderness -- Texas-- came people from everywhere in search of new opportunities and adventure. Texas was on a boom. The state, under its original constitution, had been cut up into a few large counties or districts. Soon, however, the pressure of increasing population, prompted the state leglislature, in turn, to cut up these districts into smaller units-- counties with county-sites more conveniently located for the people in the various localities.

"During the war of Texas Independence a famous outpost of the colonies of Texas was located at Viesca, atop a hill overlooking the Falls of the Brazos river-- now in Falls county. Citizens of Viesca played a major role in early Texas history, as history records. We do not review that history here, we hasten to our story of Falls county's courthouses and some of the early happenings therein.

"Viesca and the territory round about (now known as Falls county) was, at the time of the annexation of Texas to the United States, in a large district, known as the Milam District. When the legislature started cutting up the large districts into counties, Falls county was carved from Milam district. "Falls" was an appropriate name for the new county, because of the falls of the Brazos had always been a destiny making rendezvous in Texas history.

"Early legislatures, perhaps, looked at the map and over the valiant and patriotic service of Viesca and drew upon the map lines marking off the new county. It passed necessary laws creating Falls county, taking for granted that Viesca would be the center of the county and become its capital. Soon thereafter people on the east of the river-- early settlers who had been forced eastward because it was safer with the river between them and the western Indians-- registered dissatisfaction over Viesca as the county site. They called for an election to determine the location of the site.

"Earliest minutes of the commissioners court of Falls county show that following an election "Adams" was chosen county site of the new county. This site was located around the home of a Dr Adams whose home was under a grove of trees a few hundred feet north of the present courthouse square (the present home of Mrs Nettie Allen). Why a change of name was made, nobody knows definetely, nor do the commissioners court minutes show, but subsequent minutes of the court simply refer to the new county site as "Marlin." While no reason for the change of name was made in the minutes, it is generally conceded the name was given in honor of the Marlin family who lived in the vivinity in early times and members who wrought well in the history of this section and some of whom paid the supreme price in Indian raids-- all of which is another story.

"Where Was The First Courthouse?

"The commissioners court minutes refer to a meeting of the commissioners court on October 5, 1850. The legislature had designed Viesca as county site. Was the log cabin in which the court met at or near Viesca, where once thrived a virile and prosperous settlement? Of course, there is nothing at Viesca now--just a bald hill, a big oak tree, silent with all its secrets, some more trees nearby and another old tree dying. They overlook a spot where once the river flowed and created a falls. Even, old Rio Brazos deserted the spot, for on one of its characteristict antics it moved two miles north eastward--presumedly some time after the Civil War (late sixties)--creating the present day falls.

"But we digress! Did those early commissioners meet near Viesca? Who knows? There are some of the opinion that Falls County's first courthouse (in which, maybe, only one meeting of commissioners court was held) was located west of the river. But we must let the mysterious past hold its mysteries. In this narrative, we stick to the records (commissiomers courts and distric court), which indicate Falls county's first courthouse was a log house in "Adams"--Marlin. While pioneers who knew the exact spot upon which it was located have [Passed?] On, they left a tradition, passed directly to many living today, that the old log cabin stood on the identical spot known as the courthouse square today.

"Who was the first commissioners? How selected? Once again the [mysterious?] past holds its secrets. The records are vague. The commissioners court records the following county officers---after the protest had been lodged ithe the legislature as to location of the county site; AFTER the legislature had accommodatingly decreased the size of the county. AFTER an election had been held:

C. S. Dodds, J. W. Morgan, and Wm. Bloodworth, commissioners; J. W. Jarvis, sheriff; L. B. Barton, county clerk; Wm. Newton, distric clerk; F. Barnes, assessor and collector; David Barton, justice of the peace; G. W..Broadwell, coroner; John Mitchell, constable; S. A. Blain, treasurer; and later the name of F. I. Barton appears as assessor and collector, instead of F. Barnes, who apparently never served.

Courthouse "Square" Comes Into Existance

"There are available no descriptions of the log house in which the county transacted its business in the beginning. Whatever it was--and it surely must have been crude, comparatively speaking--the pioneers, now with a county to build, started getting 'the house in order". One of the first moves was to start condemnation proceedings to secure plenty of ground around the log house. The land belonged to Allen H. Morrell, soldier and adventurer, son of the famous Baptist preacher and organizer, Z. N. Morrell, (forerunner of the Baptist denomination in Texas.

"The condemnation order called for "a square 120 yards in length on four sides, with streets sixty feet wide on the north, south, and west". From this it is conclusive a satisfactory street already existed on the east. Thus--as the order was culminated--came into existence Falls County's famous "courthouse square".

"In this brief historical reference, it is impractical to refer to all of the courts' (commissioners and district) proceedings. A few references are made, because they throw some light upon the outstanding happenings as the county's facilities progressed from its first crude log houses to the modern one now in the progress of construction.

Townsite Acquired.

"Most of the land around-about, belonged to Allen Morrell. The Commissioners wanted enough of it for a townsite. Morrell was, quite expediently, appointed agent for the county to acquire the property and after a process of trading and exchanging of land and lots, ultimately, a townsite of 640 acres (one square mile) was acquired.

"Apparently Morrell was doing pretty good--and so was the county under the executive wisdomof its commissioners. Morrell, still acting as agent, started selling lots for residents giving "quit-claim deeds and warranting titles against litagation towit: Messrs. Stroud, Chambers and Hoxey" in the famous La Serda and Chambers land grant disagreement. Thus the county, from the beginning, worked to clear title to the land upon which its courthouse stood and all the land aroundabout in order that a town might grow in peace and tranquility.

The Titles To Townsite Property Cleared.

"The Litigation, according to Marlin Lawyers pertained to conflicting claims of a Mexican citizen named La Serda and T. J. Chambers who later got a grant from the Republic of Texas. La Serda, several years before Texas was free of Mexico, came in possession of a land grant from the government of Mexico. Some of the land, of course came into possession of individuals through the agency of his grant and since property of individuals, acquired through constituted authorities, regardless of who they are--the government of Mexico, Texas or any other--are respected by all governments and by all people, individuals owning this land under the

La Serda Grant held certain rights.

"In the confusion following the war and the establishing of the Republic of Texas, T. J. Chambers received from Texas a grant of land in this section also. It so happened that the grants overlapped and some of the land in Falls County, including the one upon which the new county-site stood was included in both grants. Questions of priority of the La Serda over the Chambers grant and that of a grant from Mexico as agains one from the Republic of Texas, brought conflicting claims. Many litigations sprang up. They continued for years. Therefore, as the town lots of Marlin were sold by the commissioners court, it was the intention of the court that individuals buying same should be protected in their rights by the county itself, in the event of unfavorable litigation over these conflicting grants.

"Ultimately, of course, the litigations, as far as the townsite of Marlin was concerned, was adjusted. It is interesting to know that Morrell got some sort of mutual agreement from General Chambers where-by he relinquished his claim to the 640 acres in Marlin, in return for other concessiond elsewhere. Thus it was, the county got its "house in order'" to build a city and a better courthouse.

Highlights of Activities In the First Log Courthouse Here.

"As the townsite was divided into residence lots and streets were laid off, one of the first act's of the commissioners' court, perhaps, urged by its agent, Allen Morrell, and his father, an organizing preacher, Z. N. Morrell of Baptist fame, set aside lots for churches. The court ordered Rev. Morrell to select a lot for a Baptist church. He did--a lot which was very near the courthouse, slightly north on east side of Marlin, Rockdam Waco road (Ward Street). It served until a comparatively few years ago. Larkin Rogers. pioneer who left many descendents, was appointed to select a lot for the Methodists. The lot was chosen south of the courthouseon what is now Williams Street, about where the Sebasta House stands today. F. W. Capps was requested to select a lot for a Presbyrterian church. He selected a lot west of the courthouse, where the church stood for many years--at a spot at the corner of Fortune and Perry streets.

"Organization of other denominations also came into existence in the earlier days. However the above mentioned three, were recorded in the courts minutes of o1851 and 1852. The Catholics had a church house on the west-side of the square and the Episcopals on the east side. Both houses were destroyed by fire at different times.

"Of course, the early court was especially interested in new and essential roads. Many were created-- some running east, west, north and south. Space does not permit their listing here. Patrols ( Patty-rollers of the negro song "Run Nigger Run" fame) were appointed early, indicating the existence of slavery and the court was interested in helping its citizens slave owners to keep the slaves under control. Some of the early patrols were Captain Luke Church. Privates T. C. Jarvis, T. L. Menefee, Thomas Harvill and William Keesee.

"Late in 1851, P.C. Whitaker was employed as county surveyor to run the county lines and mark them. Once again here is evidence of the business-like manner in which the pioneers started out to "set the house in order", to find exactly where the boundaries of the new county were located.

First Jail In 1852

"It was early in 1852 a contract was let to build a jail. The minutes give the following instructions as to how it should be built"--house 14 x 16 feet in the clear, built of logs to be edged so that they will fit down. It is to be a double wall of post oak timber and an eight inch space between filled with rock, said house to be floored with a double layer of logs, one layer crossways to the other--and is to be two stories high--second floor is to be one layer of logs and third (ceiling) likewise. There will not be but one wall on the second floor. The wall is to be 9 feet from the lower floor to the second floor and 7 feet to the ceiling on the second floor."

"The jail cost $1145. Where was the jail built? The records do not show. There is a tradition--and it is true, according to Col. George Carter and Zenas Bartlett--that it was built north of the courthouse square and east of Craik street. It was on a large lot at corner of Craik and Newton. "Since this is a story of Falls county's courthouses, we pass over the story of jails. However, it is interesting to note that this old log jail--served until 1880, two years after the county's a third courthouse was completed, before it was replaced. The jail finished in 1880 cost $12,500. It was built of brick by Edward Northcraft and, before accepted by the court, was "measured and checked for workmanship" by A. L. Branson and G. W. White. The original log jail was bought by County Judge E. C. Stuart. "An interesting side-light concerning the jail of 1880 is that its location was protested by a number of citizens--and it was finally constructed in the center of the west side of the courthouse square. Later, as in the memories of the citizenship, the jail was again rebuilt and modernized.

Early District Court Proceedings.

"After great care, following the early election in Falls county, the court arranged bonds of the new officers of a new county, the musty old records show. They are written in long hand by the late Little Berry Barton, one of the long line of Bartons. The court proceeded to draw jurors for Falls County's first court--in its crude log courthouse. The records show C. L. Dobbs and G. W. Morgan were commissioners, J. [?] Jarvis, sheriff and David Barton, justice of the peace and L. B. Barton, county clerk. "Jurors were drawn--the first--as follows: Jeremiah McDaniel, Luke Church, Alexander Hodge, Bennett _______, George Robertson, L. H. Barton, Isaac N. Crouch, David Rice, Allen Maness, Michael D. Castleman, Lewis Powers, John Hodge, David Barkley, P. C. Whitaker, A. G. Gholson, James Marlin, Wilburn Jones, Charles Duncan, Franklin Powers, Larkin Rogers, Wm. Crouch(ineligible), Sparks,Smith, F. W. Capps, G. D. Duncan, Wm. Hodge, Stephen Adkins, J. G. Capps, Rufus Marlin, Wm. J. Morgan, Carroll Powers. Wm. Crouch, James Wimberly, Morris Adkins, John Mitchell and Alonzo Crouch"

"In April of that year, 1851, Judge R. E. B. Baylor called the new county's district court together in the new town of Marlin. Joseph F. Crosby, district attorney, was not present and Fred A. Hill was appointed temporarily. The grand jury, not long empaneled, reported "no true bills" and the court adjourned. And so, court began--and the wheels of justice started going 'round and 'round.

"A story of district court proceedings, of course, is another story, distinctive of one of Falls county's courthouses. We mention the opening of court, because it took place in the County's original courthouse, traditionally described as "a primitive log affair, with but one room and no flooring at first. Cedar logs were split and legs inserted for seats, and the door opened on the south, with a large post oak for shade in front of it. In the building, incidently, not only was court held, school and church services were held there also. Political speaking and caucuses took place and social meetings, even to dances were often in order.

"A chronological list of courts and proceedings and their respective presiding judges and officers is impractical here. Judge R. E. B. Baylor of Baylor University fame, opened the court. Other noted judges served in the old log house, included the Commoner, John H. Reagan, of Confederate fame and U. S. Senate fame and later, as chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission. "Criminal and civil cases tried in the courts were routine--in a county inhabited by law-abiding and conservative -thinking people. "In passing the district court story, we mention here that the county wandered around in several judicial districts during her career, among them the third, thirteenth, twenty-third, nineteenth, and fifty fourth. It is now the Eighty-Second District.

Marlin Courthouse of 1855 to 1870

"In December 1853, two years after the county was organized, it became evident the old original log courthouse was inadequate. S. A. Blain. district clerk, had rented special rooms and it was necessary for the court to allow rental expenses, which appear to have been $25 a month. A few days after this money was spent the court went so far as to order that a contract be made for building a new courthouse--"to be let February 1, 1854. "However, when February 1st, rolled around the matter was postponed, probably because the court had its eyes and ears toward the state legislature for assistance. A few days after February 1, 1854, the legislature DID come to the assistance of the county in the problem of building a courthouse. By special enactment, the legislature relinquished nine-tenths of the state tax due by Falls county for the specific purpose of building the said house. Details of what followed are meager. In June of that year, George E. Green, J. H. McKissick, D. W. F Field and Henry McKenzie were appointed trustees to superintend building of the house. They were authorized to make contract, see the work thro' to completion and provide furniture and fixtures for the house.

"Apparently there were changes in the original plans for the house. The original plans called for a structure costing $5000 (including fixtures, ---etc, "said courthouse to be forty feet square, built of good merchantable brick, 20 feet high, square roof of zinc or as the court may direct hereafter: to have four rooms below: to have four chimneys, one fireplace in each room and four in the court-room above; said house to have four inside doors and eight windows below and 12 windows above; also four outside doors to close the galleries running through the house east, west, north, and south: the windows to have good venetian blinds and to have a cupelo on to of said house; and said house to be well furniehed: also have stairs running from center of said house to the wall: said house to be finished in workmanship manner." In addition to the contract, the courthouse trustees were" to furnish good seats and judge's stand, etc-- as they may think proper for all necessary conveniences".

"Following an election in August, one of the first orders of the new commissioners was to apply neccessary laws for use of state tax, donated by the state legislature, for building the courthouse. Contract for the courthouse was let to Messrs. Cremer and Arnold.

"This Tuesday, July 4, 1939, the corner-stone of Falls county's new court house is leveled with splendor of ceremony and patriotism. Once again Falls county takes a forward step in its march of progress. Typical of the progress of people who carved Texas from a wilderness is the evolution of the county's courthouses-- from a log cabin "Somewhere in the wilderness" through struggles with the crudities of pioneer life, through heartaches and trials of the Civil War and Reconstruction days, through the evolution from the horse drawn era to the age of science and marvels of 1939. Soon the business of the county will again be housed in a new abode, creditable as have other abodes been to Falls county.

"With impressive rituals, which have been handed down through the years the Grand Masonic Lodge of Texas, Tuesday conducted ceremonies such as, have been conducted in other years for the other county courthouses. Dr William D. Daughtery of Waco, Grand Chaplin of the Grand Lodge, was the orator of the occasion, he having replaced United States senator Tom Connally who was unable to attend the program due to unforseen circumstances.

"Tom M. Bartley of Waco, grand secretary of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter, was selected master of ceremonies for the corner-stone laying which began on the court-house lawn at 3-30 p.m. preceded by a band concert which started 30 minutes earlier. The day for the Masons began at 1.p.m. when a luncheon was held at the Falls Hotel honoring Grand Master Lee Lockwood and other Grand Lodge officials.

"Following is the official roster of Grand Lodge officers who participated in levelling the cornerstone of the Falls county's new courthouse on July 4, 1939. Grand Master, M.W. Lee Lockwood of Waco. Acting as Deputy Grand Master, R.W., Gus Brandt, P.G.M. of Houston:Judge J.P. Alexander was Acting as Grand Senior Warden George H. Carter of Marlin.Grand Jr. Warden: Grand Treasurer R.W. J.J. Gallaher of Waco Grand Secretary, R.W. G.H. Belwe of Waco Grand Orator R.W. Rev. Wm. D. Daugherty of Waco: Acting as Grand Architect, R.W. Alva Bryan P.G.M Waco: Acting as Grand Senior Deacon, R.W.,, W.A. Lang of HoustonActing as Grand Junior Deacon R.W., C.F. Tankersly of Marlin.Grand Marshal, Frank - -Oldhaur of Waco

"Acting as Grand Senior Steward R.W., C.W. Rankin of Brenham. Acting as Grand Junior Steward R.W., D .L. DuPuy of Fairfield. Grand Tiler, W. Dr L. W. Jones of Waco. Bearer of Constitution, R. W. Perry Keele of Mertens. [earer?] of Bible R.W. D.O. Hall of Newby. Acting as Master of Ceromonies, Hon. Tom M. Bartley of Waco.

"A Bible and records of the Masonic lodges of Falls county and of the G Grand Lodge were deposited in the copper box placed in the crypt in the r rear of the cornerstone. Among other items placed in the box were copies of Falls county and State papers, including the Marlin Democrat, July 4, [1939?] daily and semi-weekly, records of the city and county, pictures of the old courthouse, public buildings of the city and county, membership roster of Marlin and Rosebud Chambers of Commerce. Marlin Lions and Rotary Club, Post No. 31, American and other papers.

Masons of the Marlin Area



"The Masons marched from the Masonic Temple to the courthouse, prior to the corner stone ceremonies. The music was furnished by Scheefs Perry band sugmented by members of the Marlin High school bands of past years. A large number of Falls county and Central Texas residents braved the hot July sun to attend the ceremonies. Also an advance copy of the speech which was to be delivered by Senator Tom Connally was deposited by J.B. Turner, chairman of the local committe. At the conclusion of the program at the courthouse, the Masons returned to the lodge room and closed the lodge and were then entertained informally at the home of Mr and Mrs C. F. Tankersley. A session of the Marlin Lodge Tuesday evening concluded the days program.

"It was in 1887 that the corner-stone of the court-house which has just been torn down to make room for the new one, was laid. On that occasion a big barbecue was held. Ranchmen contributed beeves rolling fat on the open range or in green pastures owned by them. Everybody in the town and country took a day off and rode into town, horseback, mule- drove in their farm wagons or surries, buggies or carts. What was called hardtack was served with the beef, properly cooked and seasoned. "Chaser" was black coffee made in wash-pots and served with long handled tin dippers or dippers made of gourds.

"At night a big dance was held down on Ward street in Marlin park. On the occasion of the laying of this cornerstone in 1887 the music was furnished by the Marlin Brass Band, an organization of Marlin men which furnished the band music for public occasions for many years. The Masonic Grand Lodge officiated at this 1887 ceremony as it did in the fourth of July 1939 ceremony the other day. But only one man who officiated at that time was here to again see another cornerstone laying.

The cornerstone services of 1887 were held on the exact spot where they were held on the fourth of July, 1939 - at the northeast corner of the build ing. The officers of the Grand Lodge for 1887 were the following,

"M.W.G. Master-- A.J. Rose. D.G. Master-Anson Rainey. {Begin inserted text}{Begin handwritten}G.S. Warden-[??] -{End handwritten}{End inserted text} G. {Begin inserted text}{Begin handwritten}J{End handwritten}{End inserted text}. Warden-A.S. Richardson. Grand Treasurer-- H. Scherffins. Grand Secretary-- T.W. Hudson. The officers of Marlin Lodge {Begin inserted text}No. 152, A. F. AND A.M.{End inserted text} in 1887 were; W.B. Sheilds, W.M.; W.D.Kyser, S.W.; I.J. Pringle J.W.; W.A. Oltorf, treasurer,: C.T. Curry, sec; C.J. Bartlett S.D.; M.C. Brewer, J.D.; R. Rogers, S. Steward; S.A Silverman, J. Steward A.S. Holloway, Tiler. Past Masters; W.L. Patillo, W.S. Hunnicutt, R.C. Nettles, M.H. Curry, I.J. Pringle, W.W. Hunnicutt.

"When Rev. E.N. Morrell, who rode from Tennessee to the Falls of the Brazos on the back of a mule in 1835, as he was approaching one of the outposts of civilization he met a strange body of men from whose conversation he learned some had travelled in the west, some in the south, north and east. He felt perfectly safe for he himself was a traveller. This was some twenty or more years before Lodge NO. 152 was organized at Marlin. Came many other pioneers who had been reared in the old States, and with them came those who were members of Masonic lodges.

"In reference to laying cornerstones of the courthouse in Marlin was found among the "Dispensations for Corner Stones" in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge which met in 1887, as follows- re orted by the Secretary of the Lodge. "To Marlin Lodge, Bo. 152, to lay cornerstone of Falls county, June 15, I had the pleasure of being present and presiding upon t is occasion. A [?] barbecue was prepared for the occasion and there was said to be about 5000 people present. A pleasant day for all".

During that same year --1887 - the same records show cornerstones in other sections of Texas were laid by the Lodge as follows; Female Dept. Baylor- Waco University, Waco, April 21. High School Building, Mason, May 2.; Methodist Chruch, FortWorth, May 4.; Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Tyler, Aug.31; Ladies Annex, Southwestern University, Georgetown, Sep. 22. Masonic Building, Sulpher Springs, Oct 26.

"The proceedings show as the Representative of Subordinate Lodge to the Grand Lodge meeting that year (Houston) of "Marlin Lodge, NO, 152, W.W. Hinnicutt, Proxy." Marlin Lodge was then in the Fifteenth District, R.W. Brother, W.W. Hunnicutt, comprised of the following lodges; Eutaw No. 233; Grayson, No. 265; Groesbeck, No. 354; Mt. Calm. No. 204; Potterville. No. 351; Springfield, No. 74; Thornton, No. 486; Marlin No. 152; Reagan, No. 480; Carolina, No. 330; E.M. Wilder, No. 339; Limestone, No. 616; Mooreville, No. 639.

"Personell of the lodges active in Masonic work in 1867 in Falls county, comprised the following; (Above roster included of Lodge 152, Marlin). Carolina, NO. 330, at [upee?]-- A.F. Belo., W.M.; N.S. Bonner, Sec: 35 members. Reagan, No. 480-- J.H.T. Mc Daniel, W.M.; John A. Clark, Sec. 25 members. "Master Masons of Marlin Lodge No. 152 for the year 1887 were; J.H. Ander T.D. Alexander, John Ashworth, W.H. Agan, R.F. Alexander, W.C. Bryan, A.L. Branson, W.T. Bentley, M.C. Brewer, C.J. Bartlett, C.H. Bartlett, H.G. Carter, M.H. Curry George Cousins, C.T. Curry, W.J. DeBardeleben, A.J. Daughterty, Geo. [Drank?], A.T. Fairy, Mose Frankel, I. A. Fauver, W.J. Finks, T.N. Harvall, [?].S. Hunnicutt A.S. Holloway, W.W. Hunnicutt, A. Horne, J.R. Hood, J.M. Jolly, Geo. A. King, Sr. W.D. Kyser, Mose Levy, J.R. McClanahan, J.A. Martin, J.E. Miles, R.C. Nettles, Louis Niveth, J.D. Orltorf, J.T. Owens, W.A. Orltorf, W.L. Patillo, J.A. Powers, I.J. Pringle, A.S. Phillips, E.V. Pledge, V.B. Ritter, M.N. Rosenthal, R. Rogers, E.C. Stewart, H.F. Spencer, G.G. Slater, H. Simon, A.J. Solons, W.B. Sheilds, T.C. Spencer, H.J. Simonton, G.W. White, J.T. Wilsford.- Total 59 members.

"Entered apprentices were; A.L. Bennett, Aaron Bledsoe, C.H. Calvert, Frank Cain, Henry Coleman, J.L. Caldwell, T.A. Hope. M.C. Williams, J.V. Marlow, J.D. Smith, W.A. Hailey, H.M.Byrden; Fellow Craftsmen were S.B. Easley. Demitted; W.W. Davis, W.W. Sylvester, W.[?]. Titsworth. Deaths; J.P. Parker, Dave Frazier.

"From the Grand Lodge the following was taken from the records of the proceedings of this lodge a reference, in available records to Marlin's Lodge was under date of January 15, 1855, when the Grand Lodge met at "early candlelight, January 15, 1855". "The returns of Marlin Lodge under Dispensation, have been returned and I am gratified in respectfully recommending a charter be issued to said Lodge, believong that the work there entrusted to faithful hands. I granted one dispensation to confer degrees in Masonry upon Brother Thomas Harrison of Marlin. This work was done at my request to exemplify the work at Fairfield before the Masters could meet me there and I requested Marlin Lodge, U.D. to permit Third degrees in Masonry to be conferred upon Brother's Craik and Ward at Springfield Lodge on the 16th, day of December, which was granted. This will account for these brethern being returned as Masons and it not appearing in their records where the degree was confered". Elsehwere in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge, January 17, 1855 appears this notation in the report of the Committee on Work; "_____ Marlin Lodge U D. Falls county; Work is correct except omission of county and state and reporting the Lodge adjourned instead of called off or closed. Returns corrected. We recommend a charter be issued on payment of fees. --------" The report of the committee was signed, "James Sorley, Chairman".

"In returns of "Lodges Under Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas for the year, A.D.1856", Marlin is shown to have a charter, Number 152, assigned and its officers at work. The records show that "Marlin Lodge 152. held at Marlin, Falls county on the Second Friday of each month. Officers were R.G. Perry, W.M.; W.S. Hunnicutt, S.W.; J. Lang, J.W.: W. [Killebrew?], Treas.; J. Craik Secretary,: H.D. Williams, [?].D.: Z. Bartlett, J.D.; J. Jacobs, Steward,; R.W. Coffey [Steward?]; J. Stansbury, Tiler. "Records so imperfect here that no list of members could be made out.

"A "Correct list of all Lodges", in another section of the proceedings of that year, 1856, reveals that Marlin Lodge No. 152 had 39 members and that it was in the 13th, District, comprised of the following counties; "Brazos- Robertson- Falls- Limestone- Hill- Navarro- Limestone- Leon."

"Officers of the Grand Lodge of Texas when it convened in 1856 were; F.B. Sexton, W.G.M.; Jno. B. McMahon, D.[?].M.; H. Sampson, G.S.W.; J.J. McBride, G.J.W. H.G. Cartwell, Treas. A.S. Ruthven, Sec. The records are more specific for the year 1857, and more complete. They read as follows; "Return of Lodges, 1857, Marlin Lodge. No. 152. Second Tuesday in each month. Officers; J.L. Conoly, W.M.; James Craik, S.W.; W.S. Hunnicutt, J.W.: Z. Bartlett, Treas.: S.D. Barclay, Sec.: H.T. Williams, S.D.; D.M. Barclay, J.D.: J.H Price, Steward: S.S. Ward, Steward/.SJas. Barton, Tiler,: "Master Masons of Marlin Lodge NO. 152 for 1857 were: W. Wright, John Forbes, L.M. Gay, J.D. Wright, Jesse Brothers, J.H. Pierson, Thos. Harrison, J.W. Norwood, David Barclay, J.L. Straughn, D.G. Adams, James Lang, J.E. Francks, Henry Steele, H.H. Fortune, Joseph Stansbury, Thos. Bennett, Geo. Simmons, J.B. Welch, C.T. Barclay, T.P. Aycock, B. Killebrew, Jas. Guffey, L.D. Forbes, H.J. McKnight, Isaac Jacobs, W.M. Newton.

"The first courthouse of Falls county, a log cabin , is still in existence on the St Clair farm near Chilton. The location of this courthouse apparently was at the old municipal town of Viesca, across the Brazos river from Marlin, a distance of five or six miles (this was before Marlin was in existence). Viesca was for a short time the capital of Falls county, as it had been of the Robertson Colony in the early 1830's. However the available records do not clearly establish just where this old building was when it was used as a courthouse-- Viesca or Marlin.

"From the humble house of Falls county's first effort for law and order to the modern abode it will have the same blessings of liberties by the American people were brought forth in the address at the ceremonies which took place on the 4th of July 1939 by Rev. William D. Daugherty of Waco, Grand Chaplain of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas. Dr Daugherty, substituting for Senator Tom Connally told his audience, "In this great countryof our's we buy newspapers that represent the thinking of its editors and the publishers write what they please and not what they are told to write by a dictator".

"He stressed the fact that the Masons were firm believers in liberty, freedom and the worship of the church and sought to preserve those institutions which would promote peace, prosperity and happiness among the nations of the world. Dr Daugherty referred to the signing of the Declaration of Independence 163 years ago and discussed the part which Masonry had played in the early history of the United States and even today. He celled attention to the fact that George Washington was a Mason as were most of his Colonial military leaders, and the governors of the 13 original states, adding that the Declaration of Independence was signed on a Masonic alter.

"During the course of his address, Dr Daugherty held a silver dollar, coined in 1878, in his hand and commented on the inscription on the coin, pointing out that the hope, motto and faith of the United States was engraved on the silver coin. Holding the dollar in his hand, where it could be seen plainly by his bearers, Dr Daugherty said; "On this coin we find the hope of America- liberty. We enjoy liberties in the United States which are denied others in totalitarian states. We are free to speak as we please and to worship God as we please. There is no one to stop us from enjoying the freedom of speech, press and worship.

"However we should not forget that the liberties which we enjoy as a matter of course were purchased for us by our forefathers at a great cost of life and blood. Too often, we casually accept the great blessings of liberty and ignore the enemies that menace us from within and without. In the totalitarian states we find that human personality and liberty subjugated and degenerated in contrast with the unlimited freedom which we enjoy in the United States. We shall never surrender our freedom which we have won so dearly and we should constantly fight against foes of our nation.

"Then the motto of America is found on this coin. The inscription 'E Pluribus Unum' is literally translated "One Among Many", but I prefer today to translate it "In Unity There Is Strength". It was the father of our country, George Washington, who said that if the United States was ever to become a great commonwealth, it would be by a unity in government, the removal of geographical distinctions and strict obedience to the laws- no matter how minor they may be. "America's faith is also inscribed on this silver dollar in the simple statement 'In God We Trust'. Our faith should not be something that is casual, but something that is enduring, that lasts through times of hardship as well as in good times. We see natione with many different types of philosiphies. Some believe 'Blessed is that nation whose God is great military strength'. Such is the philosiphy of the distator nations. Others substitute pleasure money or something for God, but in the United States we accept the Holy Father as our God."


See also History of Marlin, Viesca, Buffalo Snort and other area settlements.





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