Reprinted from The History of Winnebago County, Ill., Its Past and Present. H.F.Kett & Co., Cor. 5th Ave and Washington St. 1877
Garrett Thos. Farmer; Sec. 22; P.O. Rockford; born in the Isle of Man, Feb. 11, 1827; came to the U.S and to Ohio with his parents, when nine weeks of age; remained there ten years; came to Winnebago Co. in Aug., 1838 and is one of the oldest settlers; owns 100 acres, valued at $6,000; married Miss Mary A. Radcliffe; she was born in Ohio; married June 1862; have one son William N.
Reprinted from Past and Present. of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, Illinois By Charles A. Church assisted by H. H. Waldo - Biographical sketches of many of its leading and prominent citizens and illustrious dead.
Will N. Garrett, the present assessor of Guilford township, who has capably served in other official positions, represents one of the old and prominent pioneer families of Winnebago county. The farm which he owns has been in possession of the family since it was entered from the government by his Grandfather, Thomas Garrett during the administration of John Tyler as president of the United States in 1841. Thomas Garrett was the first shoemaker of Rockford and remained in that city, working at his trade for about two years, after which he removed to the farm. He there continued to follow shoemaking to some extent, but gave much of his attention to the cultivation and improvement of his land, developing a good farm property on which he resided up to the time of his death, which occured in June 1873 when he was 76 years of age. His wife was Margaret Kervish [Margaret Kewish - m Bride 1826-12-29 with Thomas bp Bride 1827-02-11] who died in February 1873. They were both natives of the Isle of Man and they came to America in 1827, settling first at Painsville, Ohio where they until 1838, when they removed to Rockford and Mr. Garrett thus became identified with its business interests as proprietor of its first shoe shop. Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist church.
Thomas Garrett the father of our subject, was born on the Isle of Man in 1827, and was therefore an infant when brought by his parents to the new world. His boyhood and yout were passed in Ohio and in Winnebago county, and in early life he learned the trade of blacksmith and wagon maker in Rockford, serving his apprenticeship under Henry Morton. Later he worked for the firm of Frink & Walter, of the stage company, being employed by them for several years at Rockford as an expert shoer of horses. Later he followed his trade in New Milford for eighteen years before locating on his farm and his last years were spen upon the old homestead, his attention being given to agricultural pursuits. He died here January 19, 1900 when about 73 years of age. He had been married on the 6th of June 1852 to Miss Mary Ann Radcliffe, who was born in Leroy, Lake County, Ohio in January 1833, her parents being Thomas and Mary (Kervish [Kewish]) Radcliffe. She was reared in Ohio up to the time of her marriage, and then accompanied her husband to Rockford, and she now resides upon the home farm with her son Will. who is an only child.
Will N Garrett was reared in Milford until 1871 when his parents removed to a farm in Guilford township. He supplemented his early educational privileges by study in Rockford Business College and the Commercial Institute there, after which he took up farming, which he has continuously followed to the present time. He was married at Cherry Valley on New Year's day of 1878 to Miss Carrie B. Crosby who was born there in 1861, her parents being Sidney and Julia (Daggett) Crosby. Her mother was born at Newburg, Boone County Illinois May 28 1840 and is now residing in Cherry Valley. Her father was a native of the Emipre State born near Schenectady, New York in 1831 and coming thence to Newburg , Boone County Illinois when a young man. He was a carpenter by trade and followed that pursuit until his death, which occurred September 15, 1901 in Cherry Valley where he resided continuously from the time of his marriage. Mr and Mrs. Crosby were the parents of six children of whom Mary died in infancy twenty six years ago. The others are A. E. Crosby who is living in northern Nebraska: Mrs Garrett: Elizabeth, the wife of Frank Garrett of Cherry Valley: Henry F. of Swift county, Minnesota: and George who is living with his mother in Cherry Valley. The maternal grandparents of Mrs. Garrett were Asa and Elizabeth (Barnes) Daggett, who went to Boone county Illinois in 1836, where Mr Daggett engaged in farming. They had previously been residents of Connecticut. The grandfather died January 8, 1848 at the age of 50 years while his wife died July 1, 1891 at the age of eighty three years.
Mr and Mrs Garrett have become the parents of four children: Alma B., the wife of Thomas Norton, living on her father's farm and now the mother of two children, Gladys and Dorothy, both born in Rockford. Thomas A at home: Julia who died March 5, 1902 at the age of sixteen years and Robert E., who died March 13, 1897 at the age sixteen months. Mr Garrett is a member of the local county and state granges and is secretary of the county grange. He also belongs to the masonic fraternity at Cherry Valley , and in politics is a stalwart republican recognised as one of the leaders of his party in Winnebago county. He has for many years held office, serving in most of the township positions. He was the township clerk for several years, was justice of the peace for twelve years was school director for twelve years and has recently been elected for a second term to the office of assessor. He has very often served as a member of the election board, the town hall being located on his farm. In public affairs he is active and his labors have been far-reaching an beneficial, his devotion to the general good being above question. He yet resides upon the old family homestead, comprising one hundred and ten acres of land, which has been in possession of the family since entered from the government by his grandfather.