Falls Hotel
When the Education Act of 1854, under Governor E.
M. Pease, was passed, Falls County was granted
permanent school lands in Cooke, Wise, and Archer
counties. In 1871 a tuition school, Marlin Male and
Female Academy, was located on Ward Street north
of the public square. It changed names and
locations, and the property was finally sold in 1886.
Fire destroyed the public school building in 1900,
and a new brick school was constructed in 1903. In
1923 the Marlin Independent School District was
established. Two community black schools were
organized in 1875; they were dependent on state
funds and met in the Baptist and African Methodist
church buildings. In 1916 the city council voted to
build a school for blacks. Later, the school was
moved to Commerce Street and was named Booker
T. Washington. Teachers and students were
integrated in the Marlin Independent Schools by
1970-71.Marlin incorporated in 1867. The Houston
and Texas Central Railway completed its line in
1871. The population of Marlin tripled from 500 to
1,500 in a decade. In 1901 a second railroad, the
International-Great Northern, laid its tracks into town
and dredged a lake in what became the City Park,
which is still used as a recreation area, a site for
Marlin Festival Days, and as a Youth Center for its
Falls County Future Farmer, 4-H Club, and Future
Homemaker annual shows. In 1851 the post office
was established, and John W. Jarvis, the sheriff and
a former teacher, was appointed postmaster.
Falls County
Veterans Administration
Mail was brought in by stage. The Bank of Marlin was chartered in 1892 and closed in
1963. The Marlin National Bank and the First State Bank have operated since the
early 1900s. The Marlin Compress and Cotton Seed Oil Mills were established in
1892 by a board of directors headed by J. A. Martin. The same year hot mineral water
was found during the search for an artesian well. Dr. J. W. Cook promoted Marlin as a
health center. Bethesda Bathhouse, Majestic Bathhouse, Imperial Hotel, Torbett
Hospital, and the pavilion for the flowing hot water fountain were all founded soon
after. For the next fifty years Marlin geared its economy to the health industry. Dr. S.
P. Rice had an infirmary and drugstore. In 1925 Dr. Frank H. Shaw built a crippled
children's clinic, providing treatment and therapy for handicapped children, including
victims of polio and arthritis. He utilized the hot mineral water in a swimming pool and
provided other muscle building therapy. This hospital was closed after World War II.
There have been several newspapers, including one published by the black
community, called the Falls County Freeman, and others of brief duration. The Marlin
Ball began publication in 1874 by T. C. Oltorf and continued until about 1901; then
the Marlin Democrat, established by two Kennedy brothers in 1890, became a daily
paper about 1898. In 1990 it remained the only daily paper in the county. A weekly,
the Falls County Record, was popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Telephones reached
Marlin by 1900; automobiles, electricity, and Lone Star Gas soon followed. Marlin had
the Peacock Bottling Company, stock pens, a brick yard, a turkey-processing plant, a
saddlery, a water crystalization plant, and a pottery plant. By the 1990s there was an
auction barn, independent cattle trucking companies, and nursing homes. The
population showed a steady increase, peaking at about 8,000 in 1970. The growing
number of senior citizens has given rise to federally funded housing apartments, a
civic center, two nursing homes, transportation vans, and a new office building for
Texas Human Resources. The old Buie-Allen Hospital is a halfway house for girls. In
September 1989 the Texas Department of Corrections opened the 1,000-bed William
Pettus Hobby Unit. In the 2000 census the population of Marlin was 6,298.

This article was written with information garnered from the Handbook of Texas
Online.Photos compliments of

Marlin, the county seat of Falls County, is at the intersection of
State highways 6 and 7, four miles east of the Brazos River
near the center of the county. The site was that of Sarahville
de Viesca, established in 1834 by Sterling Clack Robertson on
the west side of the falls of the Brazos. The town was named
to honor John Marlin, a pioneer patriot. Samuel A. Blain, his
son-in-law, laid out the streets and lots and drafted a map
around a square. Lots for Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist
churches were the first to be chosen. The Presbyterian church
was built first and used as a union church. All three churches
relocated east of the square. Zenas Bartlett's General Store
was the first business, and its brick building was used for a
school for a short period. Bartlett's wife later deeded the
property to the city as a site for the city hall. Marlin had a
freighting business, a tavern, a law office, and later the
Green-Bartlett Mercantile Business. The first courthouse was
a log cabin; it was used for county business and court, as a
school taught by Dr. Giles W. Cain, as a church, as a meeting
place for political and community meetings, and as a dance
hall. The present courthouse was constructed in 1938-39 after
the historic structure of 1887 was declared unsafe. Marlin had
private schools before the county was organized, and it was
not until 1923 that public schools were available.
Strand Theater
Marlin, Texas
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