Typed as spelled and written by Lena Stone Criswell


Monday, November 7, 1983

Eighty-Third Year - Number 214

Picture accompany this article in the newspaper

Officials dedicate Falls County Historical Museum




Officials dedicate Falls County Historical Museum

by Mary Boldue

"With the predominance of a 'video hype' that has immersed our young people, we need islands of escape, quiet refuges of reality," Calvin B. Smith told 200 people gathered under overcast skies to dedicate Falls County's first museum Saturday.

Smith, director of the Strecker Museum at Baylor University, said small museums would provide such a refuge.

He said the Falls County Historical Museum would provide the seeds of a learning experience that would "go beyond the classroom into the future for all generations."

He also said the Falls County museum is a tribute to the sacrifices of war veterans and its collection deserves to be built on.

Smith said museums are the most trusted public institutions in America, according to a recent survey. With that credit, museums have a responsibility to continue, he said, urging community leaders to support the museum.

Smith was one of nine speakers preceding the ribbon-cutting by Hazel (Bennett) Falconer Goddard, a major benefactor of the museum. Mrs. Goddard was assisted by Falls County Judge Burke Kirkpatrick, County Commissioners J. S. Williams, and Elmer Albright and Joydelle Garrett Wolfram, county historical commission member.

Rain sent the gathering inside the Palace Theatre, which is being renovated, part of the way through the dedication.

Dr. James Bryan, chairman of the Falls County Historical Commission, thanked Mrs. Goddard for her vision of the museum and for her giving of her time and means.

He said the museum also owed a debt to Mrs. Wolfram, who four years ago found in commission minutes someone had said the commission was supposed to establish a museum, and asked "Where is it? Let's get started!"

Bryan also thanked Jack Smith, the dedication speakers, Falls County Historical Commission members and the State Historical Commission.

Malcolm D. McLean, Ph.D., said the historical commission had bought and donated to the Marlin Public Library a 10-volume set he had compiled about the Robertson Colony, pioneers in the Falls County area. McLean's ancestor, Sterling Clack Robertson, settled Viesca, near present-day Marlin.

McLean also said he had donated two books to the museum.

82nd Judicial District Judge Thomas B. Bartlett gave political background of Falls County.

Judge Bartlett said that Falls County was created out of Milam and Robertson counties. The two counties were so large that if they not been "busted up," Dallas-Fort Worth would now be in Robertson County and the Panhandle would be in Milam County.

He said Bridge Street in Marlin was remembered for being the place where Sam Houston, who opposed secession, said of Gov. Lubbock, who had been his protege and favored it, that "Lubbock had every attribute of a dog except loyalty."

Judge Bartlett said Falls County had been home to a U.S.Senator, Tom Connally, who had become chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

He said in the past every candidate for state office would come to Marlin, partly because however Falls County went was the way the state would go.

He then saluted the "hard work of some wonderful people" in creating the museum.

The ceremony opened with music by Marlin High School Band members, directed by Ann Price, and a welcome by Jack Smith of Marlin, master of ceremonies.

The Rev. A.A.Bratcher, chaplain, Veterans Administration Medical Center, gave the opening prayer.

Sharon Cofield of Marlin sang "My County, 'Tis of Thee."

Detachment 1, Troop 1, of the First Squadron, 124thCavalry, Texas Army National Guard, posted colors as band members played the National Anthem.

The U.S. flag posted has flown over the national capitol building in Washington, D.C. Cong. Marvin Leath, formerly of Marlin, requested the flag.

The Texas flag has flown over the state capitol. State Sen. Chet Edwards helped obtain it.

John Lignau of Westphalia was scheduled to speak on "Westphalia, a Unique Community" but was ill.

The Rev. Leonard Leddy, pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, gave the prayer of thanksgiving and the Rev. Drinkard Timms gave the closing prayer.

Dignitaries recognized included Bill Barnes, chairman of the Riesel Historical Society; County Judge Kirkpatrick and the county commissioners present: Marlin Mayor Harry Stallworth; and Lott Mayor Eugene Shelton.

Taggart Kirkpatrick, speaking on south Falls County, said Reagan was established, like many settlements, at crossroads.

The first settlement was known as the Guffie Covington settlement, he said.

In 1869, William Reagan sold 68 acres of land to the Waco Northwestern Railroad, on which Reagan was later built.

Reagan was officially designated a town in 1873, and was named after William Reagan, who in 1865 was elected Falls County judge.

By 1880, the town's population was 250, and by 1890, 500.

By 1890, Reagan had two churches and a school.

By 1912, about eight trains passed through Reagan, said Kirkpatrick, and the town had 12 stores, a saloon and a race track close by.

Kirkpatrick said the community of Highbank was settled mostly by Italian immigrants who were good farmers.

The Blue Ridge community began after Isaiah Harlan of Indiana was granted a league of land and moved to Texas. Harlan gave each of his children 782 acres of land, Kirkpatrick said.

He said some residents of the Blue Ridge community have received certificates. cause their families owned and operated the same farms for over 100 years. They include L. W. Harlan, Clifford Cobb, W. A. Price, J. R. Hunnicutt and Charles Kinard.

About 1851, Blue Ridge was a contender to be the county seat, Kirkpatrick said.

the community of Alto Springs had the first post office in the county when the county was formed, he said.

The Rev. Timms of Dallas spoke on east Falls County.

He first saluted the historical commission and said he was proud to be part of a "great movement".

He then said, "I stand here to attest to five generations of people of color in this community."

He mentioned the community of Big Creek nine miles east of Marlin, and the Stranger community, near where he grew up in the early '40s.

He said he lived on a farm owned by the late Guy Garrett, Sr. where his father, Drinkard Timms, Sr., was a worker.

Stranger had a school which Timms remembered as part of the Tennessee School District, a church and a cemetery.

The church is named Antioch Baptist Church, he said.

Bruce Royal of Rosebud spoke on pioneers in Milam County, since he is not a Falls County native, whose lives he said represented the same way of life as Falls County pioneers.

People who talk about the "hospitality" of the country forget that the pioneers had no electricity, no running water and no television, said Royal, "Nothing but hard work and bringing up good kids."

He invited the audience to visit Powers Chapel, which has cemetery with 36 Confederate soldiers and "one lonesome Yankee." He said a booklet with a brief history of the chapel and Powers Chapel cemetery Association was available.

R. L. Kirkpatrick said people of mostly German descent settled Otto. They came to America, in search possibly of religious freedom to earn an "honest living."

Some settled first in Washington County, where they were disheartened by poor crops in sandy soil and moved when they heard about rich black prairie land in Falls County.

They raised cotton and grain in the Perry and Otto ara.

Many farmers began with 100 acres, but some farms were large ones and had sharecroppers.

Two large churches which have stood for over 100 years and are still well attended were built after the settlers came, he said.

Both Perry and Otto were near the railroad and were almost considered boom towns at one time, Kuretsch said.

Both had high schools. Three smaller grammar schools in between the towns were North Point, Alexander and Trinity, a parochial school. Two more grammar schools were east of the towns.

At one time, Kuretsch said, Otto had six grocery stores, a drug store, a bank, two blacksmiths, four cotton gins, two doctors, a telephone switchboard, an ice house, depot, lumberyard, post office, hotel, theater, bakery and four saloons.

Since "Cotton was King" then, the cotton buyer's office was probably the busiest place in town, he said.

Kuretsch said the average farm size has changed from 100 to 200 acres to 500 to 2,000 acres, and the community's livelihood is still agricultural and "basically, our people are still the same honest, hardworking people that came here over 100 years ago."

Frank Calvert "Posh" Oltorf gave a history of Marlin.

After the Texas Revolution and the fall of Viesca west of the Brazos River on a high bank over the falls, the first new town formed was Bucksnort.

That was where John Marlin, an ex-alcalde of the Robertson colony, had his blockhouse.

Marlin hauled goods to the frontier from the coast and also had a race track of some sort, Oltorf said.

Sam Houston called one of the last Indian war councils to try to establish peace at Bucksnort, Oltorf said.

At the time there were a few saloons, Martin's blockhouse and a few


Indians from all over the state assembled and a witness there wrote a letter praising the Comanche Chief and indicating that the demeanor of some of the Indians was better than that of the president of the Republic of Texas, Oltorf said.

The letter writer said that Bucksnort was chosen for the council because it was the last post on the frontier and the only place where one could get something to drink.

Marlin was later elected county seat by about 20 votes and named after the alcalde.

The community was set up around a courthouse square, with all buildings facing the courthouse.

Where the present courthouse is, a small log building was used in which to hold court, teach school and for small parties and dances.

At that time, the town had several doctors, blacksmiths, a few saloons and a general store which also acted as a bank.

In 1892, while looking for a supply of water, mineral water was discovered and bathhouses, hospitals and businesses were begun.

Oltorf said he was the first chairman of the historical commission in Falls County and was inspired to do a few things, but did very little. In contrast, he said, the current commission proved the saying that success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration--"They have really put forth the perspiration."

He singled out Mrs. Wolfram and Marian Garrett Gibbs, her sister, who he said haven't been satisfied with folklore, but have actually become professional genealogists.

He said if anyone was interested in knowing something about their family roots, perhaps they could talk Mrs. Gibbs or Mrs. Wolfram into helping them. "But do not expect them to turn a horse thief into a country squire."

Dr. Bryan said the museum would feature rotating exhibits.

Currently a photography exhibit is being planned.

Members of the historical commission and of the Falls County Retired Teachers, Retired Federal Employees of Falls County and Lott Civic Center will staff the museum.

Regular hours will be set later, but Dr. Bryan said he expects the museum to be open afternoons.

Copyright permission granted to Theresa Carhart and her volunteers for printing by the Marlin Democrat, Marlin, Falls Co, Tx.

Typed as spelled and written by Lena Stone Criswell


Monday, November 7, 1983

Eighty-Third Year - Number 214 - Page one



By Tom Beesley

Disciplinary action for an off-duty Marlin police officer involved in a high speed chase by fellow officers during which gunfire was allegedly exchanged late Saturday night is being considered by police and city officials.

MPD Officer Keith Madison was taken into custody by Chief Robert R. Riemenschneider and Sgt. Marion Humphrey at his residence following the chase by on-duty officers Danny Erwin and Ross Mortimer.

Madison was later taken back home by Officer Erwin, pending what Riemenschneider said would be "stern disciplinary measures commensurate with the seriousness of his conduct." No criminal complaints were filed against Madison, Riemenschneider said.

Riemenschneider and Sgt. Humphrey were in a meeting with Marlin Maylor Harry B. Stallworth and City Manager Harold Underwood late this morning. Riemenschneider said that he needed to talk to the city officials before he determined what disciplinary measures to take toward Madison.

The chase started when Officer Erwin observed a black sports car spinning its tires on Ward St. near the police station. He did not recognize the vehicle and began pursuit. The sports car fled from him and an estimated 20-minute chase all over town with flashing lights and sirens ensued, with other police units attempting to intercept the fleeting vehicle.

Chief Riemenschneider this morning would neither confirm nor deny that gunshots were fired by either party, but he did say that Officer Erwin heard a sound that he "thought could have been a gunshot." Riemenschneider said that "at this point in the chase, his imagination could have been working overtime."

One source told the Democrat that Erwin fired three shots in return, after he had been fired at.

At one point in the chase, officers got close enough to the sports car to determine that it had a temporary dealer's paper license plate. According to Riemenschneider, officers Erwin and Mortimer said they thought the vehicle was one that he seen Madison driving, but they could not positively identify the driver because the car had darkly tinted windows.

After the pursuing officers lost the car, they met with Sgt. Humphrey at the police station and told him that they thought the vehicle was Madison's. Sgt. Humphrey went to Madison's residence and found a vehicle fitting the description. The car, with the hood still hot and mud and water still dripping from it, did not have a paper dealer's plate. A regular Texas license plate was on the back of the car.

Sgt. Humphrey returned to the police station and notified Chief Riemenschneider, who came to the station about 12:30 a.m. Sunday. He and Sgt. Humphrey then went to Madison's residence and Madison willingly went with them back to the station.

Madison readily admitted that he was the driver of the black car pursued by Erwin and Mortimer and "begged apology from his fellow officers," Riemenschneider said Riemenschneider said that Madison "had not been drinking at all."

According to Riemenschneider, when asked why he had fled from his fellow officers, Madison said that during the period earlier this year when Marlin was without a chief of police (early February to mid-June), certain officers would occassionally provoke on-duty officers.

"The one off-duty, in his own car, would do something that would cause the other (on-duty) officer to want to pull him over." Riememschneider said. "The vehicle being chased, or that was trying to be stopped, would either be recognized, or would stop.

"This happened three or four times," Riemenschneider said, citing Madison's statement.

According to Riemenschneider, Madison said he did not know that the officers didn't recognize him or his vehicle. "He couldn't say why he continued (fleeing) for so long," Riemenschneider said.

The chief and Sgt. Humphrey conferred about Madison's work record. He has been a police officer in Marlin since April 1 of this year and has never had a complaint lodged against him or a problem with his judgment in procedures, Riemenschneider said.

Riemenschneider said this morning that "stern disciplinary measures would be administered commensurate with the seriousness of Officer Madison's conduct.

"We believe we know what we ought to do, but we have not done so yet. We will determine appropriate measure and we went to make sure that what we do is in line with his (Madison's) actions."

The chief stressed that Madison remains a commissioned police officer with the department, "pending further action," He stressed that he had not yet talked with any city officials about the incident.

Riemenschneider said that there was "no mishap at any time" during the chase and that there was no damage to a police car or any property as a result of the chase.

However, Blondie Contella, who runs Blondie's Wrecker Service, was dispatched to south Commerce St. to pick up a police car with a broken transmission at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

Riemenschneider did not know if Marlin City Council members would address the incident involving Madison at their regular meeting tomorrow night, but the council already has an executive session to discuss personnel on the agenda.


Copyright permission granted to Theresa Carhart and her volunteers for printing by the Marlin Democrat, Marlin, Falls Co, Tx.


MDD, Monday, November 7, 1983, Eighty-Third Year, Number 214-Page 5

Typed as spelled and written by Lena Stone Criswell


Monday, November 7, 1983

Eighty-Third Year - Number 214





Paul W. Case, 46 of Chilton died Sunday in a Temple hospital.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Adams Funeral Chapel in Marlin. Rev. A.A.Bratcher will officiate. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Marlin.

Mr. Case was born May 31, 1937 in Falls County, the son of J. C. Emma Teetz Case.

He was a veteran, an automobile mechanic and a Baptist.

Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Todd (Donna) Mercer of Houston and Kristy Case of Richardson; three sisters, Mrs. Audrey Taschida of New Brighton, Minn., Lillie Brown of Attica, Kan., and Billie Jean Johnson of Chilton; a brother, Robert H. Case of Golinda; and one grandchild.



ROSEBUD - Martin Rodriquez, 72 of Rosebud died Saturday at a Temple hospital.

Mass of Christian burial was to be at 2 p.m. today at St. Anne's Catholic Church, the Rev. Anthony Ferrer as celebrant. Burial was to be at Sacred Heart Cemetery. Rosary was recited at 7 p.m. Sunday at Hoelscher Funeral Home Chapel.

Mr. Rodriquez was born July 2, 1911, in Mexico, and had lived in Rosebud most of his life. He was a member of St. Anne's Catholic Church.

Survivors include three sisters, Virginia Rodriquez and Mrs. Santos Rodriquez, both of San Antonio, and Mrs. Cruz Lara of Monterrey, Mexico.


Copyright permission granted to Theresa Carhart and her volunteers for printing by the Marlin Democrat, Marlin, Falls Co, Tx.


Typed as spelled and written by Lena Stone Criswell


Eighty-third Year - Number 214 - page 5

Monday, November 7, 1983





Monday, Nov. 7

St. John's E.C.W., 4:30 p.m., parish hall.

AKS sorority, 7 p.m., Linda Vickers' home, 817 Capps.

Marlin Empty Saddle Club, 7 p.m., clubhouse.

Quarterback Club meeting, 7 p.m., MHS cafeteria.

Alpha Omicron Omicron regular meeting, 7:30 p.m., home of Debbie Barnhardt.

Tuesday, No. 8

United Charity Board, 9:30 a.m., Southwestern Electric Service Co., 157 Live Oak.

Lunch, First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 12 noon, 309 Coleman.

The Marlin Lion's Club, meeting, noon, Houston's.

Chapter 890 of the Retired Federal Employees, 2 p.m. in First Methodist Church annex.

Order of the Eastern Star, 4 p.m., Masonic Hall on George Street.

Lions Club chili supper, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Marlin Middle School cafeteria.

Junior Civic Club, tea for new members, 6:30 p.m., Allen House, 305 Ward St.,

Wednesday, Nov.9

Rotary Club of Marlin, noon, Houston's Restaurant.

Peace Chapter No. 232, 4 p.m., Masonic Hall on George Street.

Thursday, Nov. 10

Woman's Study Club, 3:30 p.m. with Lynn Norton, 744 Chilton St.

NAACP, 6:30 P.M., 324 Durr St.

Friday, Nov. 11

Literary Club, 4 p.m. with Lynn Norton, 744 Chilton St.

Saturday, Nov. 12

Hopeful Baptist Church congregation general business meeting, 4 p.m., Hopeful Baptist Church, Lott.