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John Thomas Garrett

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

JOHN THOMAS GARRETT, who since 1885 I has resided upon his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 25, Raritan Township, Henderson County, has spent the greater part of his life in this section of the State. He was born in Schuyler County, 111., September 20, 1843, and is one often children whose parents were Coleman and Mildred (Willis) Garrett. The father was a native of Virginia, and was of Irish descent. On leaving the Old Dominion, he removed to Kentucky, settling near Elizabethtown, where he made his home until 1837. In that year he came to Illinois, locating in Schuyler County, near Augusta. There he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, which was largely covered with timber, and after erecting a log cabin began to clear and improve his farm, on which he made his home until 1848. In that year he came to Henderson County, and purchased eighty acres of wild prairie land on section 36, Walnut Grove Township. To this he added from time to time until he had three hundred and twenty acres, constituting one of the best farms of the community. In connection with its cultivation, he was also extensively engaged in horse-raising. He possessed good business ability, and the success which crowned his undertakings made him a well-to-do farmer. He held membership with the Methodist Church, and died July 6, 1878. His wife, who survived him several years, passed away November 22, 1888.

In the Garrett family were the following children: James, a farmer of Nebraska; Elijah, who died in 18S7; Harvey, a fanner and stock-raiser of Walnut Grove Township, Henderson County; Isaac and William, who carry on agricultural pursuits in Mahaska County, Iowa; Other S., a farmer of Henderson County; Susan, wife of John F. Pendarvis, of Nebraska; Amanda, wife of George Gilmore, who is living near Biggsville, 111.; and Man- E., who died in infancy.

In taking up the personal history of J. T. Garrett we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in Henderson County, for here he has made his home since the age of ten years. During his boyhood he had to walk four miles to a log schoolhouse, and the school was conducted on the subscription plan. He was still at home at the breaking out of the late war, but in July, 1862, he responded to the President's call for volunteers, and became a member of Company B, Ninety-first Illinois Infantry. After being mustered in at Camp Butler, he was sent to the front, and at the battle of Ba- con Creek, Ky., was taken prisoner with all his regiment, which was engaged in guarding railroads. The following day, however, he was paroled and returned to St. Louis, where after six months he was exchanged. He then went with his regiment down the Mississippi River, took part in the battle of Red River, for two weeks was in the siege of Vicksburg, and then went to New Orleans, where he did guard duty for three months. Crossing the Gulf, he took part in the battle of Brazos Island, Tex., after which he marched to the mouth of the Rio Grande, and thence to Brownsville, Tex, where his regiment built forts and did guard duty for several months. Subsequently, Mr. Garrett took part in the battles of Mobile and Ft. Blakely, and was at the former place when the war closed. He was wounded at the siege of Mobile by a shell that burst over his head. In Springfield, 111., he received his final discharge, June 12, 1865,and at once returned home.

For two years, Mr. Garrett engaged in operating rented land, and then purchased a tract of eighty acres in Walnut Grove Township. He was married October 11, 1867, to Miss Emma Thompson, and their home was blessed with three children, but one died in infancy. Mazie and Nellie, however, are still with their parents. The family lived in Walnut Grove Township until 1885, when they came to Raritan Township, where they have a very pleasant home, which is the abode of hospitality and good cheer. Mr. Garrett now owns two hundred and twenty-four acres of rich and valuable land, and is successfully engaged in general farming and stock-raising. In politics, he is a stalwart Republican, and is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. A faithful and loyal citizen, he discharges all duties, whether public or private, with the same fidelity which he manifested while following the Old Flag, which now floats so triumphantly over the united nation.