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Marble Falls is a city in Burnet County, Texas, United States. As of the 2016 United States Census, the city population was 7,154. It is about 38 miles (61 km) northwest of downtown Austin and 85 miles (137 km) north of San Antonio.
Lake Marble Falls is part of the Highland Lakes on the Colorado River, the largest chain of lakes in Texas. It hosts one of the largest drag boat races in the United States each August.
Marble Falls was founded in 1887 by Adam Rankin Johnson, a former Indian fighter and Confederate general, known as "Stovepipe" Johnson for his Civil War escapades, which included duping the Union army in Newburgh, Indiana, with fake "cannons," constructed from stovepipes and wagon wheels. Johnson had viewed the natural Marble Falls during his pre-war days as a Burnet County surveyor, and had dreamed of building an industrial city, powered by the tumbling Colorado River, not to be confused with the river of the same name in Colorado and Arizona. Despite a "friendly fire" incident which blinded him near the end of the Civil War, General Johnson followed through with his dream, facilitating the construction of a railroad to nearby Granite Mountain in 1884, then (with ten partners, including one son, one nephew and two sons-in-law) platting the townsite and selling lots, beginning July 12, 1887. Johnson built a fine home, a college (soon to be home of the "Falls on the Colorado Museum") and a large factory near the falls. The town grew to a population of 1,800 within ten years.
Marble Falls made history in 1917 by electing Ophelia Crosby "Birdie" Harwood as the first woman mayor in Texas, three years before women were allowed to vote.
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