Falls County, Texas
The Falls County Courthouse in Marlin. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 13, 2000.
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Falls on the Brazos Park|
|• Total||774 sq mi (2,000 km2)|
|• Land||765 sq mi (1,980 km2)|
|• Water||8.4 sq mi (22 km2) 1.1%%|
|• Density||23/sq mi (9/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Falls County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 17,866. The county seat is Marlin. It is named for the original 10-foot-tall waterfall on the Brazos River, which existed until the river changed course during a storm in 1866. The present falls can be found two miles northeast of the original falls, at the Falls on the Brazos Park, a camping site located only a few miles out of Marlin on Farm to Market Road 712.
The Brazos River valley served as hunting grounds for several tribes, including Wacos, Tawakonis, and Anadarkos. The Comanches were often a more aggressive band who forced other tribes off the land. The Tawakoni branch of Wichita Indians originated north of Texas, but migrated south into East Texas. From 1843 onward, the Tawakoni were part of treaties made by both the Republic of Texas and the United States.
The Cherokees arrived in the early 1830s. Sam Houston, adopted son of Chief Oolooteka (John Jolly) of the Cherokee, negotiated the February 1836 treaty between Chief Bowl of the Cherokees and the Republic of Texas.
January 1839, Falls County had two brutal massacres by the Anadarkos, under chief José María, at the homes of George Morgan and John Marlin. A retaliatory offensive by settlers was ineffective, and forced the group into a retreat.
Empresarios Sterling C. Robertson and Robert Leftwich received a grant from the Coahuila y Tejas legislature to settle 800 families. By contracting how many families each grantee could settle, the government sought to have some control over colonization. Robertson began bringing American settlers to his Nashville colony (later called Robertson's Colony). Most of the settlers came from Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi. He named the capital of the Nashville colony Sarahville de Viesca. Fort Viesca was built in 1834, with a name change to Fort Milam in 1835. The settlement was deserted during the Runaway Scrape of 1836, and reoccupied after the Battle of San Jacinto.
County established and growth
By the census of 1860 the county had 1,716 slaves. Falls County voted in favor of secession from the Union. The county fared better during Reconstruction than most, perhaps due to its distance from areas subject to Union military occupation.
Marlin began to be known by the healing powers of its hot mineral waters by the 1890s. Conrad Hilton built the Falls Hotel, with a tunnel to a mineral bath, to accommodate the business generated by the hot spring.
The Houston and Texas Central Railway became the first railroad through the county around 1870. The Waco Division of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway, in 1886–1925, had multiple stops in Falls County. In 1902, the Missouri Pacific Railroad passed through the county.
A log cabin served as the county's first courthouse in the 1850s, until the second courthouse was built of white cedar. The second courthouse burned in 1870. A third courthouse was built in 1876, but was damaged by a storm in 1886.
A fourth courthouse was built in 1888, which by the 1930s had greatly deteriorated. The concrete, brick, and stone fifth and present-day courthouse, designed by architect Arthur E. Thomas, was completed in 1939.
- Interstate 35 (two miles)
- U.S. Highway 77
- State Highway 6
- State Highway 7
- State Highway 14
- State Highway 53
- State Highway 320
- Limestone County (northeast)
- Robertson County (southeast)
- Milam County (south)
- Bell County (southwest)
- McLennan County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, 18,576 people, 6,496 households, and 4,410 families resided in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile (9/km2). The 7,658 housing units averaged 10 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 61.50% White, 27.45% Black or African American, 0.50% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 8.81% from other races, and 1.59% from two or more races. About 15.83% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 6,496 households, 30.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.20% were married couples living together, 15.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.10% were not families. About 29.40% of all households was made up of individuals, and 15.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the county, the population was distributed as 27.60% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 27.00% from 25 to 44, 20.80% from 45 to 64, and 16.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $26,589, and for a family was $32,666. Males had a median income of $27,042 versus $20,128 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,311. About 18.80% of families and 22.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.70% of those under age 18 and 18.40% of those age 65 or over.
Government and infrastructure
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Marlin Unit, a transfer facility for men, in the city of Marlin. The unit opened in June 1992 and was transferred to the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) in May 1995. When it was a part of TYC, the facility, then called the Marlin Orientation and Assessment Unit, served as the place of orientation for minors of both sexes being committed into the TYC's care, from the facility's opening in 1995 to its transfer out of TYC in 2007.
In September 2007, the facility was transferred back to the TDCJ. The TDCJ also operates the William P. Hobby Unit, a prison for women located southwest of Marlin in unincorporated Falls County.
Cities and towns
- Bruceville-Eddy (mostly in McLennan County)
- Golinda (small part in McLennan County)
- Marlin (county seat)
In popular culture
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Falls County, Texas
- Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Falls County
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- Texas Farm Facts[permanent dead link]
- Krieger, Margery H: Tawakoni Indians from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 02 May 2010. Texas State Historical Association
- "Houston, Sam". The Sam Houston Memorial Museum. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010.T he Sam Houston Memorial Museum
- "The Texas Cherokee". R. Edward Moore and Texarch Associates. Retrieved 3 May 2010. R. Edward Moore and Texarch Associates
- "Houston, Sam". PBS. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- Hosmer, Brian C: José María from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 03 May 2010. Texas State Historical Association
- Wilbarger, J.W. "Morgan's Massacre". Fort Tours. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- "U.S. Treaty with the Comanche, Aionai, Andarko, Caddo, etc. 1846". Oklahoma State University. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. publisher=Oklahoma State University
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- "Empresario Contracts in the Colonization of Texas 1825-1834". Texas A & M University. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. Wallace L. McKeehan
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- McLean, Malcolm D: Sarahville de Viesca from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 03 May 2010. Texas State Historical Association
- Cutrer, Thomas W: Fort Milam from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 03 May 2010. Texas State Historical Association
- Covington, Carolyn Callaway: Runaway Scrape from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 03 May 2010. Texas State Historical Association
- "Battle of San Jacinto". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved 3 May 2010. Texas State Library and Archives Commission
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- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 123.
- "1860 Census Falls County". Falls County Genealogy. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- "Marlin, Texas". Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 3 May 2010. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC.
- "Marlin, Texas History". Marlin, Texas. Archived from the original on 3 April 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- Werner, George C: Houston Texas and Central Railway from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 03 May 2010. Texas State Historical Association
- "San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway". Archived from the original on 12 September 2006. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- "Missouri Pacific Railroad". Missouri Pacific Historical Society, Inc. Archived from the original on 9 April 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2010. Missouri Pacific Historical Society, Inc
- "Falls County Courthouse". Texas Historical Markers. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- "Falls County Courthouse". Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 3 May 2010. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
- "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "Marlin Unit Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on September 22, 2010.
- "Facility Address List." Texas Youth Commission. November 10, 2001. Retrieved on June 24, 2010.
- "How Offenders Move Through TYC." Texas Youth Commission. November 10, 2001. Retrieved on June 24, 2010.
- "Hobby Unit Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on September 22, 2010.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- email@example.com, CARL HOOVER. "Couple's 'Texas-sized' treehouse near Mart opens new television series". wacotrib.com. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
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