On January 2, 1862, Starlin Marion Newberry Marrs was born in Gauley Bridge, Fayette County, Virginia (now West Virginia). At 16, he began teaching in rural schools, working in coal mines to make ends meet. He moved to Texas in 1881, teaching in Erath County, Hico and Cleburne. He also earned a degree from Ohio's National Normal University, and wed Anna Hesup, also of West Virginia.
In 1893, Terrell's school board chose Marrs as superintendent. In 1897, the board was involved in a political fight with the city aldermen and mayor. During two years of turmoil, Marrs was fired and re-hired, and he resigned to work at the Department of Education in Austin for a year. He returned as Terrell superintendent in 1899. After his first wife died in 1904, Marrs cared for their four children and, in 1909, wed Ina Cadell. In addition to school and family responsibilities, he was an active citizen, playing a role in building Terrell's Carnegie library and also in changing the local government utilizing a city commission model. He also served as president of the Texas State Teachers Association and on the State Board of Examiners.
In 1918, Marrs left to become State Supervisor of High Schools. He worked under State Superintendent Annie Webb Blanton, becoming Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1921. He became State
Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1922. In that job, he initiated compulsory school attendance and worked for better rural schools, stronger high school funding and higher certification standards. Marrs died in 1932 and was buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, He was honored at the 1954 Texas State Fair as one of 100 heroes of Texas education. His contributions to Terrell, and to the state, remain significant.