Marshall Surratt was born in Panola County, Texas on June 4, 1849. He went to school in Gilmer and was tutored by Oran M. Roberts, who went on to be Governor. Surratt practiced law in San Augustine from 1870 until 1874 when he moved to Waco. The citizens of Waco made him their district judge and he served in that capacity for most of his life. In 1885, he purchased 53 lots of land in Cochran County where he never lived but the area came to be known as the Surratt Territory.
He was a popular sight around Waco because he took up bicycling as his primary means of transportation in an effort to improve health and assure longevity. He was also known to be an accomplished golfer. At the 1918 installation of officers for Waco’s masonic bodies, Surratt was honored and
presented with a past master’s jewel by Alva Bryan. Six years later, he presided over a grand ceremony attended by 500 masons who all came to see the revealing of contents hidden inside an 1875 cornerstone from the Masonic Temple which burned in 1909.
Captain Elgin said of Surratt:
“He was quiet in manner and conservative in action, mild in speech, making few enemies and many friends. Brother Surratt, who preceded me in Waco Lodge, has had it said of him upon many occasions, that he fulfilled Solomon’s definition of the noblest work of God–an honest judge.”
Brother Surratt died in his home at 1323 Washington.