When I was a youngster, I asked my parents after whom I was named or how I was named.  There was not really an answer as I recall, but it was mentioned that my great grandfather’s name was Charles Robert Garrett.  Although I do not know for sure, I suspect the fact that my initials were the same as his was merely a coincidence.  

My father Kenneth Garrett was born in the year that his grandfather Garrett died and so did not know him.  The living linkage was Harley Garrett, my grandfather, who died when I was 9 years old.  My father was only 6-years-old when his grandmother Catherine Garrett died.  I never asked if he had any memories of her, though I suspect whatever memories he had of her were fleeting.

As will be seen, the Garrett family was in Iowa by 1856, having been in Illinois for a number of years.  What caused the family to move to Iowa is not known, but since they were farmers, I assume that the prospect of free land was the lure.  Charles Robert would have been about 14-years-old at the time.

This couple has several attractions for me, including Charles’ involvement in the Civil War, their lifespans covering the turn of the century, and being direct ancestors.  To my knowledge, they did not leave behind any written records, such as diaries or letters.  There are a few photos that provide some context.

I have laid out the lives of Charles and Catherine largely revolving around the births and deaths of parents, siblings and children.  Without momentous changes of moving, I imagine that this reflected the pattern of their lives.

I can only surmise that they were reasonably well off as compared to their contemporaries in that they lived in a house in Macksburg and that Catherine was still living in the house at the time of her death.  Additionally, their cemetery marker was a large, carved granite stone, unlike the limestone markers of so many others.

Craig R. Garrett, MD
3 February 2016