Marcus Thomas Durham came to Texas from Alabama after the Civil War, settling between Marlin and Riesel in 1867.

      Two years later he purchased property and a home in a community in northeastern Falls county that would later become known as Criswell.

      The Criswell Community, comprised of several hundred residents, was a thriving farming community during the late 1800's and early 1900's.

      On June 4, 1886, M. T. Durham deeded 10 acres of his property out of the Jonas Brewton survey (abstract #95 Falls Co., TX) to the community of Criswell for the sum of one dollar. The property was to be used for the purposes of a school, church and burial grounds.

      It appears that at the time the property was donated, 21 marked graves existed in what would become Criswell Cemetery. The oldest marked grave is that of C. M. Criswell who died February 27, 1873.

      The second oldest marked grave is that of M. T. Durham's father, Thomas Durham born March 1811 died March 1873.

      Not long after the property was deeded to the community, a building was built on the property east of the cemetery. This building served as a school during the week and as a church on the weekend. The original building burned in the late 1920's and was replaced approximately one year later with the building that is presently on the property. This building continued to be used as a school and a church until the early 1950's when the school consolidated with the Ben Hur School district.

      The Criswell Community has long since faded away and the cemetery and school house is the only remaining evidence of what was once a thriving community.

      The Criswell Cemetery is located on Falls County Road 159 in northeast Falls County. From the community of Otto, take FM 1240 south 3.8 miles to County Road 159. Turn left on 159, go 2.1 miles to the T in the road, turn left and go 1.2 miles, the cemetery is on the left.

      BIBLIOGRAPHY · Criswell Cemetery Association. Minutes 1951 - 2000. · Falls County Deed Records, abstract #95, Vol. W, page 318, Falls County, Texas. Falls County Historical Commission. Families of Falls County, Texas (Austin: Eakin, 1987) p. 125 · Fox, Bill. Criswell Cemetery, Falls County, Texas Survey 1999 - 2000. Copy available at Nancy Nail Memorial Library, Mart, Texas.




Criswell School Abt. 1919

Criswell School Abt. 1919

Info. from Stone & Broxton families

   1. G. B. "Tumpsey" Stone
   2. Fred Broxton
   3. W. N. "Doodlebug" Stone
   8. Alva Broxton
  10. Elmer Stone
  12. Gertie Bowers Stone
  18. Mary Hammrick, teacher

If you can ID any others in this picture, please contact 
Falls County Coordinator.

Survey map of Criswell Cemetery and where the school was located before it burned and was replaced with new one.

Picture owned by
Melba Broxton Dodson

Submitted by
Barbara (Caddell) Fox

Criswell Ball Team 1922 - 192?

Criswell Ball Team
(Written on back of photo)

Waiting for St. Paul is easy to see at the bottom.

This picture once belonged to Alta B. Caddell, wife of Jasper L. Caddell.

Alta B. and Jasper L. Caddell are both buried in Criswell Cemetery.

If you can ID anyone in this picture, please let 
Falls County Coordinator know.

Picture owned at
one time by Alta B. Caddell

Submitted by
Barbara (Caddell) Fox

Criswell School Census
March 1932

1932 School Census
School District: Criswell School No. 26

   Bowers, Garland; Nellie; Neil; Mary Francis

   Chane, Robert; Ellsberry; Ellis; Alice

   Clemmons, Tennie

   Ford, Mary

   Griffith, Travis; Elizabeth; Iva

   Hicks, Bernice

   Holden, May

   Pelham, Frankie; Laura; Marie; Oleta

   Rodgers, Lennard; Jackie

   Sanders, Curtis; Nathan

   Stone, Ola Fay

   Walts, William

   Whitaker, Kenneth

Barbara (Caddell) Fox

Criswell Schoolhouse

Criswell Schoolhouse
Also referred to as Criswell Church

Bill Fox

Criswell School
Two Unknown Boys

These are pictures of 2 boys that were found in the Criswell School on a shelf.

Boy 1
Boy 2

If you can ID either one, please let 
Falls County Coordinator know.

Barbara (Caddell) Fox

County School Notes
November 13, 1909

County School Notes
November 13, 1909

Barbara (Caddell) Fox