084 of 254: Falls County Courthouse, Marlin, Texas. County Population: 17,866
"Falls County covers 765 square miles in the Blackland Prairie region. The gently rolling terrain consists of broad flatlands, with elevations ranging from 300 to 500 feet, and the Brazos River bisects the county.
"The falls of the Brazos River have long been an important fording and camping area for Indians and white settlers.
" ... the Brazos River bisects [what is now known as Falls] .. County.
"[In] 1834–35, when Sterling C. Robertson began bringing American settlers to his Nashville colony (later called Robertson's colony). Although it was illegal under new laws passed by the Mexican govern-ment, nine families had settled in the area by 1830.
"In early 1836 all the settlers fled during the Runaway Scrape, ...
"On January 28, 1850, the state legislature formed Falls County from Limestone and Milam counties. The falls of the Brazos gave the county its name. Since Falls County was established its boundaries have not changed.
"The legislature stipulated that Viesca would be the county seat, but the citizens petitioned for another location because most of the residents lived east of the Brazos River. The citizens voted 20–0 in favor of Adams, which officially became the county seat on January 30, 1851. Soon after, the town was renamed Marlin in honor of the Marlin family."
Lisa C. Maxwell, "FALLS COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Falls County and photographed the courthouse in Marlin on October 1, 2010, April 10, 2016, and April 29, 2020.
The mineral springs still flow, but the tourists stopped visiting long ago. An informative 2013 article in the Houston Chronicle includes this trivia: "John McGraw, legendary manager of the New York Giants, swore by the water's restorative powers. From 1908 to 1918, he held spring training in the little town southeast of Waco."
Falls County Courthouse 1939
It is noted in Commissioners Court Minutes in 1930 and 1934 that extensive repairs had to be made to the existing  courthouse. The 1930 repairs included installation of eight bracing rods to contain the spreading walls.
"On September 24, 1938, a bond election for a new county courthouse was held but was defeated, 979 for, and 1078 against. After the election, State Building Inspector A.C. Barry conducted a public inspection and reported he would not regard the present courthouse as a safe place in adverse weather conditions. Mrs. Gibbs recalls Mr. Berry stating directly to her at the courthouse, that the courthouse was a disaster waiting to happen. The second bond election, held on October 29, 1938 favored the new construction of a new courthouse, 1821 for and 705 against.
"The new courthouse as designed by the firm of Arthur E. Thomas, of Dallas, features a ground floor, two upper floors and a penthouse; in all, twice the size of the previous courthouse.
"The Falls County Courthouse is an excellent example of the Art Moderne Style, popular in the U.S. from the late 1920s through the early 1950s. Characteristics of Moderne styling present in the building include the symmetrical massing, simple cornice, modern steel casement windows set
vertically between pilasters, stonework featuring stylized eagles, symmetrical organically-derived ornament on the spandrels, and geometric motifs on some pilasters.
"The third level parapet is faced with zig-zag decoration of classical derivation. First and second floor corridors feature 3-color marble floors, installed in a zig-zag pattern, with a marble border and base. Entry stairs, and ground to first and to second floor stairs all have elaborate Art Moderne
From the National Register narrative
"Arthur Elliott Thomas (1893-1973) was born in Crockett, Texas, on August 16, 1893, and attended the University of Texas from 1913-1916, graduating with a Bachelors degree in Architecture. He opened his own practice in 1925, before entering into a short-lived partnership with Cornell Curtis, under the firm name Curtis and Thomas, in 1927. The firm designed the Rusk County Courthouse (1928) in Henderson, Texas, a concrete and brick building with restrained Beaux Arts-influenced ornamentation. Although the firm dissolved in 1928, architects Curtis and Thomas worked together to design the Liberty County Courthouse (1931) in Liberty, Texas, a 3-story concrete and brick building with elaborate Art Deco detailing. From 1929 through 1938, Thomas again ran his own firm, completing the Falls County Courthouse before entering into a series of partnerships, including Goodwin, Tatum, McCammon and Thomas (1939-1940), Thomas, Sharp, Welch and Goodwin (1941-1944), Thomas, Jameson, and Merrill (1945-1963), and Thomas and Jameson (1964-1973). Thomas, Jameson and Merrell designed the 1955 Smith County Courthouse in Tyler, Texas, a six-story Modern building with a buff brick exterior, and a central tower/wing massing which recalls that of the Falls County Courthouse." From the National Register narrative