Judge Lon D. Marrs biography

JUDGE LON D. MARRS, ex-county judge of Potter county and a well-known lawyer of Amarillo, has been identified with city and county for the past fifteen years, and in such a way as to place him among the leaders of opinion and action. His record in public office has been particularly creditable, and he was retained by the will of the people in some important office connected with the administration of county affairs for many years after his arrival in the then new town of Amarillo. A well grounded lawyer, an able executive, impartial and broad-minded in the performance of judicial duties, and of definite and positive convictions as to those things which best conserve the welfare of fellow citizens, Judge Marrs has been able to impress his influence permanently upon the growth and progress of Potter county, and the development of its resources and its worthy enterprises have never been arrested by an advertent action by his.

Born in 1867 in Logan county, Kentucky, where his parents, Josephus and Pauline (Chick) Marrs, are still living and where his father, a native of Kentucky, has long been a prominent farmer, his mother being a native of Virginia, Judge Marrs spent his early days on the home farm, learning industry and thrifty habits along with the other lessons of youth. He received a good classical education in Auburn Seminary at Auburn, Logan county, Kentucky, and in 1889 graduated in the law department of Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tennessee. For the year following he was engaged in practice at Auburn, Kentucky, and in 1890 he came to Amarillo, which has been his home ever since, and he has seen the town grow from a small western settlement to the busy commercial city of the present.

At the first election after his arrival in Potter county, in the fall of 1890, he was elected county attorney, and served as such continuously from 1890 to 1896, in which latter year he was elected county judge, and by subsequent election was chosen to be the incumbent of that important judicial and administrative office for eight years. He has thus been in public office ever since coming here. Judge Marrs has the happy faculty of gaining true and permanent popularity, yet without for a moment losing his independence of judgment or opinion of impairing his judicial fair-mindedness and definite convictions, and his fellow citizens have again and again manifested their confidence in him as a proper incumbent of public office, for even before coming to Texas, and while a very young man, he filled various official positions in Logan county, Kentucky. As the county judge of Potter county he became recognized as sans peur et sans reporche, and his record may well be a model of efficiency. In Texas, more than in other states, the office of county judge is a particularly important one, inasmuch as the county judge, being the directing head of the board of county commissioners, has under his control all such public improvements as roads, public buildings, bridges, etc., and in the newer counties like Potter the county judge is also superintendent of public instruction. It is the record of Judge Marrs that he has used his power equally as a check upon extravagance—which often runs riot in new organized counties—and as an instrument for the promotion of permanent progress and consistently rapid improvement. During his regime the county has been placed upon a cash basis, scrip being now maintained at par, and by careful husbanding of resources the county has been brought from debts and put in position to make some notable public improvements, one of the first to be the erection of a court house and jail that now, and will forever, bear his name inscribed on marble. These matters are all of vital interest to the entire county, and it is by such efficiency, economy and public-spirited endeavors that he has deservedly won the esteem and support of his fellow citizens in the county.

Judge Marrs has been likewise very successful as a lawyer, and as a financier and successful business man has but few equals, as shown by his success in his own personal affairs.

Judge Marrs owns a nice stock ranch east of Amarillo. Having been reared on a farm he has never lost his interest in agriculture and stock raising. Fraternally he affiliates with the Elks, Knights of Pythias and the Odd Fellows.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 285-286.