Pages 248-249, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




LYLE A. GARRETT—Nature has evidently intended that man shall enjoy a period of rest in the evening of life. In his early manhood he possesses great energy, vigor, strong purpose and ambition and fears not the arduous labor necessary toward the acquirement of success. In the prime of life his powers become ripened and mature, and his efforts may be discerningly directed along well defined lines. If a man therefore improves his opportunities through the years of early and middle manhood he will find that in the evening of life he is the possessor of a competence sufficient to supply him with all the necessities and many of the luxuries which make existence a pleasure. Such has been the case with Mr. Garrett, who is now living retired in his pleasant home in Humboldt. He has steadily worked his way upward and the competence that crowns his labors is well merited.

A native of Ohio, he was born in Highland County, on the 18th of March, in 1823, and is a son of William Garrett, whose birth occurred in South Carolina, in 1798. Having arrived at the age of maturity, however, he wedded Miss Mary Dean, a native of Pennsylvania. He had accompanied his parents to the Buckeye State when ten years of age, and the Deans had also located there at an early date. The Garrett family was of Scotch-Irish lineage and the original American ancestors came to this country from the north of Ireland. Many of the sterling characteristics of the two races William Garrett manifested in his career. He began farming in Ohio in 1809 and in 1847 he removed to Des Moines, Iowa, where he made his home until 1870, in which year he took up his abode in Kansas City, Missouri. He died at the home of his son in Allen County, Kansas, in 1891, at the age of ninety-one years, but his wife passed away in Kansas City in 1881, at the age of eighty years. They were the parents of ten children, of whom four are now living, the daughters being: Mrs. Elizabeth Elson, of Kansas City, Missouri; Mrs. Alma Murray, of Ohio, and Mrs. May Evans, of Spring Hill, Kansas.

Lyle A. Garrett, who was the eldest of the family, resided in Ohio until his twenty-fourth year and was married in that State to Miss Eleanor B. Stewart. Two children were there born to them. The son, Cyrus W., grew to manhood and became a soldier during the Civil war, serving with the Eighth Iowa Cavalry. The mother died in Iowa in 1849, the daughter passing away only three days previous at the age of three years. Mr. Garrett was married again in 1858, his second union being with Miss Mary Hamilton.

In his early business career the subject of this review followed farming in Ohio, and in 1847 removed from that State to Des Moines, Iowa, which was his place of residence until 1852. About that time the country became excited over the gold discoveries of California, and the fortunes that were rapidly acquired by men in the mines on the Pacific coast, so that our subject, in company with his brother and Dr. Mordice, fitted out an ox team of four yoke of oxen. They also had four cows, and thus equipped, they crossed the plains and mountains which lay between them and Cali-


fornia. After traveling four months they reached their destination and Mr. Garrett engaged in mining and prospecting four years. He returned home by way of the Isthmus of Panama, riding on a train for the first time when making his way across the isthmus. By steamer he proceeded to New York and thence returned to his home in Iowa. He remained there until 1867, the year of his removal to Kansas City, Missouri. In the latter locality he engaged in fruit raising for twelve years. On the expiration of that period he came to Allen County, locating southeast of Humboldt, on a farm which he purchased and which he still owns, comprising five hundred and forty-five acres of fine land. He carried on general farming and stock-raising, keeping about one hundred head of cattle and about the same number of hogs. In 1896, however, he put aside the arduous cares of business life; rented his farm, and is now spending the evening of his days in a fine residence in Humboldt, surrounded by all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.

At the time of the Civil war Mr. Garrett earnestly espoused the cause of the Union and manifested his loyalty in 1862 by enlisting as a member of Company C, Twenty-third Iowa Infantry. He went into the service as a private, but at Vicksburg he was promoted for gallantry to the rank of first lieutenant. He participated in many hard fought battles, and skirmishes of lesser importance, the banner of his regiment being pierced by the bullets of twelve hotly contested engagements. He was in the siege of Vicksburg, the battle of Fort Gibson and Fort Spanish thirteen days and nights, yet he was never wounded nor taken a prisoner. He lay in the trenches at Vicksburg from May 18 until July 4, 1863, getting rest and sleep at odd moments, and never being able to take off his clothing in all that time. He crossed the Gulf of Mexico on five different occasions during his service and was ever found where duty called, loyally defending the starry banner of the nation. In the fall of 1865, when the war was ended and the country no longer needed his services, he was discharged from the army in Texas. He immediately returned to his home in Iowa and resumed again the pursuits of civil life.

When Mr. Garrett started out upon his business career he was the possessor only of a horse. His father allowed him the use of a field, free of rent for the first year, but from that time he made his way independently, adding to his accumulations as the years have passed by. He has met many of the hardships, trials and difficulties of life, but has overcome these by his determined purpose. In all his business relations he has commanded the confidence and good will of his fellowmen by his honorable and systematic methods, his force and his enterprise.

Previous | Home | Next