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John Watson Garratt

John Watson Garratt died on the morning of July 4, 1872.
The subject of this notice, the son of John and Lois Garratt, was born in Burlington, Oswego County, N.Y., on the 19th day of March, 1809 and was consequently a little more than sixty-three years old at the time of his death. At an early age he was apprenticed to the cloth finishing business, which he followed in conjunction with farming, for a period of twelve years after his apprenticeship.

On January 23, 1837, he married Amanda Daniels, with whom he lived until August 23, 1859 when she died. He re-married Rebecca Carpenter on October 30, 1854. About the year 1845 he removed to the town of Richfield, N.Y. and engaged in mercantile pursuits in partnership with J.W. Vaughn.
Here he remained five years, when he went to Schuyler's Lake and engaged in business. After seven years of active and prosperous business he came to Kansas, more in consequence of failing health than for pecuniary profit. In 1858 he brought his family and commenced to build a home amid all the difficulties and discouragements which beset the Kansas Pioneer.

Only those who passed through the ordeal can ever appreciate the anxieties and dangers which from one or another source, made those early years on our border memorable. Pro-slavery madness on one side of the line and political outbursts on the other, cruelty and bloodshed by one party and lawless invasion by the other, made a scene from which honest and patriotic men of all parties shrank in dread. Through these tumults, Mr. Garratt remained upon his homestead, engaged in improving his farm and bringing thrift and comfort out of a wild frontier life.

During such a period of political excitement, it was difficult for anyone to stand entirely aloof and impossible to make an independent and strictly unpartisan stand, without provoking the displeasure of one or the other of the contending parties.

Mr. Garratt gave no countenance to the frequent raids into Missouri, organized for the purpose of plunder and executed often in blood. During the rebellion, he sent three sons into the Army and being a Democrat, manifested a patriotism which sprung from no party bias.

Notwithstanding, his unquestioned loyalty and opposition to the plundering upon his Missouri neighbors put him in imminent peril, and a secret conclave, whose hands were more than once reddened with innocent blood, selected him as a victim. They murdered two men in this vicinity and after discovering that public opinion did not uphold them in their commission of such lawless deeds, they abandoned their designs against his life. The war and its excitement passed, and no man bore a clearer record from the strive than did J. W. Garratt.

Through those stirring times he exhibited what marked his whole life; sterling integrity, strict honesty in all business transactions and unflinching fidelity to what he believed to be his duty to his fellow man. Those who in the heat of passion, had sought his life, bore testimony to his worth. He represented his district in the State Legislature and was repeatedly honored with public trusts, all of which he discharged faithfully and well.

A sound mind and an honest purpose made him an efficient public servant, a generous neighbor and unselfish friend.

* * * * *

From the PLEASANTON OBSERVER, July 13, 1872

Mr. J. W. Garratt, an old and highly respected citizen of Potosi Township, died very suddenly the other day of some disease resembling the Asiatic cholera, probably an aggravated case of cholera morbus. He was buried by the Odd Fellow's Fraternity.
Transcribed and Contributed by Joyce McCool

Last Updated:  Thursday, April 18, 2002 20:01:21

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