Beginnings: Kenneth

Kenneth Lester was the first child of Harley Umberfield Garrett and Lorena Floy( e) Beard. He was born on July 5, 1911 , in Macksburg* , Madison Co., Iowa, though there is no official record of his birth. This did not come to light until Kenneth was about 6Q years of age when a delayed certificate of birth was issued on November 10, 1971. Other documents used at that time included a Bible record, a 1933 Banker's Life insurance application, school records, and his mother's affidavit of birth.

His parents did not marry until April of the following year. It is imagined that Kenneth lived with his mother in Macksburg, likely with his maternal great grandparents, Martin and Delvina Moon Jessup, with whom Floye had been living since she was a toddler. However, it cannot be stated with absolute certainty that Kenneth was born in Macksburg or that he lived there after his birth, at least. The social etiquette of the times may have demanded a different path.

It is not known why the boy was named 'Kenneth Lester. ' Neither side of the family seems to have had anyone named Kenneth or Lester in their genealogy.

Kenneth Lester Garrett Age 15 months

Kenneth Lester Garrett
Age 15 months

It is unclear when the family may have moved to St. Charles, Madison Co., Iowa, as Harley would not complete veterinary training until April 1914. Floye and Kenneth at least visited Harley in Kansas City, Kansas, where Harley was attending school and may have lived there for some period of time. Kenneth's mother is listed as living in St. Charles in 1915 according to the Iowa census, and Harley lists St. Charles as his home of record on his draft registration card in 191 7. Harley and Floye remained in St. Charles residing at 113 N. Cross until his retirement from veterinary practice in 1946.  They moved to Des Moines, Polk Co., Iowa, in November 1947.

Photograph of a Kenneth Garrett, 1915

Photograph of a Kenneth Garrett, 1915

Kenneth was nearly 5 years old when his first sibling, Doyle Emerson, was born on May 11, 1916. His sister Doris Nadine was born in the following year on September 18, 1917.

Kenneth left and Doyle right, 191 7

Kenneth left and Doyle right, 191 7

Kenneth, Nadine, Doyle Probably 1918, location unknown

Kenneth, Nadine, Doyle
Probably 1918, location unknown

"Wind was blowing his tie. Kenneth was on Grandma Jessup's porch in Macksburg, May 1918. Were there for Grandma Garrett's funeral." Written by his mother.

"Wind was blowing his tie. Kenneth was on Grandma Jessup's porch in Macksburg, May 1918. Were there for Grandma Garrett's funeral." Written by his mother.

The Garrett family home 113 N. Cross, Saint Charles, Madison Co., Iowa

The Garrett family home
113 N. Cross, Saint Charles, Madison Co., Iowa

Kenneth's brother and sister:

  • Doyle Emerson Garrett, b. 11 May 1916, d. 9 Sep 2001
  • Doris Nadine Garrett, b. 18 Sep 191 7, d. 14 Dec 1999

*As referenced in Wikipedia:

Macksburg was laid out and platted in 1873. It was named for Dr. Joseph Hughes Mack, one of the original owners of the town site.

 

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