Marvin Holloman Brown, Sr., state legislator and judge, was born in Yazoo County, Mississippi, possibly on January 1, 1879, according to his death certificate, although his gravestone gives 1878 as the year of his birth. He was the son of Summerfield Brown and Mary Amelia (Holloman) Brown. He graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor of laws in 1903. He married Jane “Janie” McIntosh, and they had their first child of six in 1906. Sometime after that the family moved to Texas, and by 1909 he was working as a general practice attorney in Fort Worth.
Brown represented Tarrant County’s two-member District 78, alongside Louis J. Wortham, in the Texas House of Representatives in the Thirty-eighth legislature from 1911 to 1913. He took part in numerous committees during his first session. Most notably, he was a member of a committee formed to investigate whether the vote on the 1911 Prohibition Amendment (which was narrowly defeated) was unlawfully influenced. From 1913 to 1916 he served as a judge to the Sixty-seventh District Court. He was elected to the House of the Thirty-sixth Texas Legislature in 1918, this time as the representative of District 54 (Tarrant and Denton counties). During this second term he served as vice chair of the Constitutional Amendments Committee and was also on the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee; Oil, Gas, and Mining Committee; and Common Carriers Committee.
Brown resigned from his office in 1920 to accept an appointment to the bench of the Court of Civil Appeals in Fort Worth. He was an active public speaker and publicly entertained running for governor during his second legislative term. However, he decided against it due to the governor’s low salary. Brown also served as a judge on the Ninety-sixth District Court from 1932 to 1934. He was an associate justice on the Second Court of Civil Appeals from 1935 to 1946. At the age of sixty-eight, Marvin Holloman Brown, Sr., died of heart disease at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Fort Worth on June 29, 1946, and was buried at Greenwood Memorial Park and Mausoleum in Fort Worth. His eldest son, Marvin H. Brown, Jr., followed his father into law and became a Fort Worth district attorney.