History of the Allen House

The Allen House was built in 1911 as the home of Dr. Walter Hanz Allen and his wife Nettle Falconer Allen. The land was purchased from W.R. Ward and is said to have been the home site of Dr. Allensworth Allen (no relation) on Allen’s Spring, the earliest dwelling before the town of Marlin was established in 1850. Dr. Allen also built the Allen Hospital, later known as the Buie Clinic. He lost his life in the collapse of the Brazos River bridge in 1922. Mrs. Allen died in 1956 and at that time Mrs. Hazel Bennett Falconer Goddard purchased the house from the heirs and presented it to Marlin in memory of her late husband Dr. Boliver Lang Falconer, the brother of Dr. W.H. Allen.

The house is used as a civic center and is operated by the Allen House Board. The house is a classic Greek revival style and the front of the house is dominated by ten Ionic two-story columns and a wrought iron Greek patterned balcony. The entry is a beveled glass door flanked by leaded-beveled glass sidelights and overlights. Floors throughout the house are oak. The original brass chandeliers are still in the house. In the center of the house is the impressive staircase featuring the original stained glass window at the first landing. This restored mansion is set among majestic oak trees and indeed is a sight for all to see.

Further information on the Allen family

Walter Hanz Allen, M.D.
Walter Hanz Allen, M.D., born September 18, 1868 in Marlin, Falls County, Texas, was killed in the collapse of the Brazos River bridge west of Marlin, Falls County, Texas on May 16, 1922 and buried in Calvary Cemetery – was son of John William and Mary (Hamilton) Allen. His father was a veteran of the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. Walter H. lived his entire life in Marlin, except for four years in his youth in California. After finishing high school in Marlin, he entered Texas A&M College in 1885, from which he was graduated with B.S. a degree in 1888, as the first honor man. After two years in Marlin as a druggist, he entered Missouri Medical College, subsequently transferring to Tulane Medical School – receiving his medical degree from Tulane in 1892. His entire medical career was spent in Marlin as a physician and surgeon. He constructed the Allen Hospital in 1916, operating it until his death in 1922. when Dr. Neil Dugald Buie, Sr., purchased it and changed the name to Buie Hospital. In 1899, Dr. Allen married Nettie Falconer, born September 14, 1876 in Mississippi, died June 29, 1956 in Marlin, Falls County, Texas and buried in Calvary Cemetery by her husband – a daughter of Willis Lang and Emma (Shaw) Falconer, who moved to Falls County, Texas with their ten children in 1885. Nettie was one of six members of the first graduating class of Marlin High School in 1892. She had earned a B.A. degree several years before her marriage from George W. Peabody School in Nashville, Tennessee, and had taught in the Marlin Public Schools for a time.In 1912, Dr. and Mrs. Walter H. Allen built their home in Marlin on Ward Street, Which is now the civic landmark known as “The Allen House.” They were the parents of four children; Willis Lang Allen, Walter Hamilton Allen, Emily Allen and Bolivar Lea Allen.
Hazel M .Bennett Falconer Goddard
Hazel M .Bennett Falconer Goddard, friend to one and all, philanthropist of the highest order, community benefactor, and civic leader died Sunday, May 21, 2000. Services were held at 2:00 pm Tues at St.john’s Episcopal Church in Marlin. Interment at Calvary Cemetery in Marlin. Mrs. Goddard was born Jan 16, 1907 in Limestone county, the daughter of Benjamin Theadore Bennett and Maud Henderson Bennett. She married Dr. Bolivar Lang Falconer in 1946. he died in 1953. In 1968 she married The Rt. Reverend Frederick Percy Goddard. He died in 1983. It would take years tallying all the good works that Hazel Falconer-Goddard leaves behind from her long and meaningful life. Her useful career as a nurse, an unpaid public servant, a benefactor, and a true Christian, rank her among the greatest humanitarians this area has ever known. During the twenties, the young Hazel Bennett, after being reared on a farm and learning from the experiences of crop failures and the “Great Depression”, began her working life in marlin. In the thirties, she began her career as a totally dedicated medical professional. In the fifties, Mrs. Goddard, in her own quiet and innovative way, embarked on a dedicated mission as a model leader in virtually every movement for the betterment of the community. A mission of involvement in public affairs, the sacrificing of personal time and energy as well as the giving of financial aid, all of which were typical of her goodwill toward fellow men. Mrs. Goddard graduated from Marlin High School in 1922. She began her Public Health Nursing career when she worked as a receptionist at the Shaw Clinic and Hospital in marlin. From 1923 until 1932 she completed short courses at Baylor Medical School and passed the National Board requirements to become a registered Medical Technologist. In 1933, The University of Chicago, in co-operation with the American Hospital Association, offered the first ever course in hospital administration. She took a year’s leave of absence to complete that study. She returned to Marlin’s Shaw Hospital, where she worked until its closing in 1935. Mrs. Falconer-Goddard graduated from Cornell University School of Nursing in 1940. Upon graduation, she was given a scholarship to Vanderbilt Univ. for the study of Public Health Nursing. Following her successful completion of that study, she started work for the Texas Dept. of Health a a staff nurse. During that time, she worked with Health Departments in Dallas, Bishop, Austin, and Angleton, In Sept. , 1942, she entered the U.S. Army Nurses Corps as a First Lieutenant and served at Fort Deolas, Massachusetts; Brisbane, Australia; Good Enough Island, New Guinea; and the Philippine Islands. Following her discharge from the Army, Mrs. Goddard entered the Teachers’ College of Columbia Univ., New York City. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in 1947. Beginning in 1946 when she married Dr. Falconer in New York City, they spent two years traveling around the world. One of the highlights of the trip and a precursor to Mrs. Falconer-Goddard’s humanitarian inclinations was in Cape Town, South Africa, where the couple enrolled in an extremely interesting and worth-while course of “Race Relations” at the University. They later traveled 61 days from Cape Town to Cairo, Egypt, via buses, trains, private cars, horseback, and lake-streamers. The Falconers spent a week as guests of renowned anthropologist Pat Putman, whom Harvard Univ. had sent to the Belgian Congo to study the Pygmies. He had been there for twenty years. Mr. Putman’s camp was on the Equator, deep in the Ituria Forest. They were taken on a Pygmy hunt and also attended the tribe’s two hour ceremonial rites of a 12 year old boy being inducted into manhood. In 1952, Mrs. Falconer-Goddard received her Masters Degree in Nursing Education from Columbia Univ. and completed the requirements for a Doctor of Education Degree. Dr. Falconer died in 1953. Immediately prior to presenting her doctoral dissertation in 1955, she was summoned to Marlin because of a family need. She returned to marlin, married Bishop Goddard in 1968, where she spent the remainder of her life, a life devoted to her fine and caring husbands, her family, her church and the community that adopted her as the “Grand Lady of Marlin.” During this era, spanning nearly four decades, Mrs. Goddard was very involved in her community, serving on too-many-to-name committees and boards, but she was proud of her involvement in the Community Garden Club, Civic Club, Falls County Heart Association, Women’s Study Club, and Business and Professional Women’s Club. She was also proud to be a financial “Patron” contributor to Marlin’s Palace Theatre, the Waco Symphony Women’s Council, the Waco Symphony, the Waco Hippodrome Theatre, and Waco Junior League. Mrs. Goddard cherished her membership in the Central Texas Area Museum at Salado. During her marriage to Bishop Goddard, she accompanied him throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Texas as he performed many church services, ceremonies, baptisms, and ordinations. During those times, Mrs. Goddard enthusiastically participated in all organizations of the Episcopal Churchwomen. Mrs. Goddard served her church as President of St.John’s Episcopal Churchwomen, also President of the Guild, and a Board member of the Diocese of Texas Churchwomen. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Marlin Public Library, united Charities, Civic’s Center, St. John’s Day School, Parent-Child Neighborhood Center, and Marlin Industrial Foundation. She was also President of the Marlin School District Board of Trustees. In 1967, the Marlin Chamber of Commerce honored Mrs. Falconer-Goddard as “Woman of the Year.” That same year, the Board of Advisory Editors named her an “Outstanding Civic Leader.” In 1976, Beta Sigma Phi Sorority in Marlin named her “Woman of the Year.” In the 1980’s the Marlin Chamber of Commerce established the Hazel Falconer-Goddard Outstanding Citizen Service Award. This award is still presented each year to a citizen for lifetime achievement and service to the community. In 1990, the Beta Nu Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International commended Mrs. Goddard for her “Distinctive Service.” In the same decade she was also honored as a member of President George Bush’s Task Force Advisory Committee. From the beginning of her life as a shy farm girl, Hazel Goddard emerged as a distinguished woman with a rather different pedigree. Mrs. Goddard’s monetary contributions and her labors of love may eventually be forgotten, but she will long be remembered by the material legacies she gave to her community for all to enjoy. Hazel Falconer-Goddard gave “The Allen House” with all the charm of an old southern mansion and a popular gathering setting even today, to the care and trust of the Allen House Board. “The Falconer Park on Perry Street”, o be enjoyed by old and young, was also entrusted by Mrs. Goddard to the City of Marlin for perpetual care.

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