The Garrett Clan of Cherry Valley

The Garrett family, originating from the Isle of Man, settled in America in 1827. Thomas Garrett and his wife, Margaret Kewish, initially lived in Painesville, Ohio, before moving to Rockford, Illinois, in 1838. Thomas, Rockford’s first shoemaker, later acquired a farm on Mulford Road. Their descendants, including Thomas’s son Will Garrett, played significant roles in the local community, with Will serving in various township positions and being active in the Masonic Lodge. The Garrett legacy continued through multiple generations, contributing to the development and history of Cherry Valley, Illinois.

149 Years in America, 1827-1976
By: Lillian Garrett Batty

The Garrett ancestors were natives of the Isle of Man. Thomas Garrett, born in 1797 on the Isle of Man, and his wife, Margaret Kewish, came to America in 1827; settling first in Painesville, Ohio where they lived until 1838 when they moved to Rockford, Illinois. Thomas (my Great-Great Grandfather) was Rockford’s first shoemaker, and he remained in that city working at his trade until he and my Great-Great Grandmother moved to a farm on Mulford Road; which he acquired during the administration of President John Tyler in 1841. This farm is now the site of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, and the cross in this church was made of beams from the barn.

Thomas and his wife, Margaret, both of whom died in 1873, were the parents of six sons; Thomas, John, William, Benjamin, Robert, and Charles. Thomas the 2nd was born in 1827 on the Isle of Man so was an infant when brought to America by his parents. He married Mary Ann Radcliffe in Ohio in 1851. He learned the trade of blacksmith and wagon maker in Rockford. He also became an expert horseshoer and later followed this trade in New Milford before moving to the homestead farm of his father on Mulford Road. Their son and only child, Will Garrett, born in 1854 was a member of local and state granges, a Past Master of Cherry Valley Masonic Lodge, a stalwart Republican, and active in many township positions. He was Justice of the Peace for 12 years and a school director for 12 years.

Will Garrett was married on New Year’s Day 1878 to Carrie B. Crosby, who was born in 1861, the daughter of Sidney and Julia Daggett Crosby. Sidney Crosby was born near Schenectady, New York and Julia Daggett Crosby was born at Newburg, Boone County, Illinois. Sidney Crosby came to Newburg as a young man, and was a carpenter, a trade which he followed until his death in 1901 in Cherry Valley where he resided continuously from the time of his marriage.

Six children were born to Sidney and Julia Daggett Crosby. One, Mary, died in infancy. The other five were Adelbert E. Crosby, Henry F. Crosby, George Crosby, Laura Elizabeth Crosby, and Carrie Crosby (the wife of Will Garrett). The maternal grandparents of these children were Asa and Elizabeth Barnes Daggett who came to Newburg in 1836 where Mr. Daggett engaged in farming. They had previously been residents of Connecticut.

Will Garrett and Carrie Crosby Garrett, who also resided on the farm on Mulford Road were the parents of four children; two, namely Julia and Robert, died at a young age. Alma Garrett married Thomas Norton, and to this marriage was born Gladys Norton Evans, now deceased, and Dorothy Nelson Palmer, who resides in Rockford. Dorothy is the mother of Marcia Nelson Fraser who lives in Bloomfield, Michigan. Will and Carrie Garrett’s son, Thomas A. Garrett, married Jennie Bengston and four children were born to this marriage, namely; Myrtle Garrett Mitchell and Pearl Garrett who reside in Rockford, Elizabeth Garrett Momenteller of Prescott, Arizona, and Earl Garrett of Pecatonica. Will Garrett died in 1926 and his wife, Carrie, died in 1932. At the time of their deaths they were living at 150 South Van Buren Street, Cherry Valley.

Thomas and Margaret Garrett’s second son, John, and my Great Grandfather, was born December 27, 1830 in Painesville, Ohio. He married Emily Saunders who was born September 28, 1841. In my research I have been unable to find out my Great Grandfather’s occupation. He died in 1914 and my Great Grandmother died in 1922. They were the parents of four children; Ida Garrett Reid, Dora Garrett Flannery, Anna Garrett Turnure, and my Grandfather, Frank Garrett.

Frank Garrett was born in Cherry Valley on June 4, 1858, and married Laura Elizabeth Crosby who was born November 2, 1863. My Grandmother was the daughter of Sidney and Julia Daggett Crosby and the sister of Carrie Crosby Garrett who was married to Will Garrett. Frank and Will Garrett were cousins and married sisters. My grandfather was a carpenter and built many homes and barns in the Cherry Valley area and in the area which is commonly known as the Scotch Settlement. One of the homes he built in Cherry Valley is located at 409 East State Street.

I did not have the privilege of really knowing my grandfather as he died in 1919 at the age of 61 years from a tetanus infection which infected the jaws and caused lockjaw. In this day and age his life could have been spared. I was only two years old; but from all reports he was a very fine man who was interested in the welfare of the village and at one time served as constable. He loved children and this must be true, as he and my grandmother had 13 children. Three, Laura, John, and Marion died in infancy. The other 10 survived to an adult age. There were also 17 grandchildren, 40 great grandchildren, and I do not know how many great, great grandchildren.

The oldest, Dorothy Garrett, married George Hoppock and for many years they lived in Cherry Valley; in fact I was born at their home when they lived at 121 East Street. The last home they resided in before leaving Cherry Valley was at 209 Grove Street. This home was owned at one time by my Uncle George Crosby, who operated the tower for the Northwestern Railroad before he became ill and had to retire. Aunt Dot and Uncle Hoppy, as they were affectionately called by all of us, were the parents of two sons; Frank Hoppock who with his wife Mildred lives in Rockford, and Howard who died at the age of 21. Aunt Dot was a school teacher and taught for several years in Cherry Valley; and before retiring taught at Guilford Center School. At the time of her death she was making her home with her son in Rockford.

Mary Frank Garrett married Edd Kezar and they were the parents of two sons; Norbert and Harold. They (Mary and Edd) moved to South Dakota and ranched there for many years before returning to Cherry Valley where they resided until their deaths. Their son Norbert and his wife Blanche still live in South Dakota. Harold and his wife Viola make their home in Hayward, Wisconsin.

Howard Garrett and his wife Margaret Morgan resided in Cherry Valley for a time, as he worked as a carpenter with my Grandfather. He later moved to South Dakota and at the time of their deaths they were living in Vancouver, Washington. There were no children born to this marriage.

Nellie Garrett married Delmar Woodruff, and for a time they also resided in Cherry Valley. They later moved to Marengo, Illinois where they resided until their deaths. They were the parents of four sons; Frank and his family who live in Marengo, Russell and his family who reside in Belvidere, Robert and his wife now reside near Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and Douglas and his family live in Crystal Lake. Russell is Operations Manager at Knox Motor Service, Inc.

Wallace Garrett and his wife, Hattie King, spent many years in South Dakota, but returned to Cherry Valley for several years before moving with their family to a farm at Pecatonica, Illinois where they resided at the time of their deaths. They had two children, namely Dorothy who with her family resides in Missouri, and Forrest and his family who live on the farm in Pecatonica.

Benjamin Garrett married Nora Kolstad and for several years they lived in South Dakota before returning to Cherry Valley. They lived at 318 Cherry Street until their passing. They had four children Norma Garrett Peterson, who with her family resides in Plainfield, Wisconsin, Marion Garrett Strand and her family, Frank Garrett and his family, and Robert Royce Garrett and his family; all reside in Rockford, Illinois.

Mark Garrett married Florence Mills and they resided in Cherry Valley in several different homes. Before leaving Cherry Valley to reside on Guilford Road they lived at 154 S. Van Buren Street. They had two children; Mark, who died at age 4, and Nancy, who with her family resides in Byron, Illinois. Mark Garrett died in 1956, but his wife lives in Rockford.

Norma Garrett and Charles Garrett resided in Cherry Valley with my Grandmother at 206 Grove Street until my Aunt Norma married Elmer Nelson and they moved to Rockford. My Grandmother made her home with them until her death in 1934 at age 71. There were no children born to Norma Garrett and Elmer Nelson. Norma died in February, 1972 at age 67. Charles Garrett who also made his home with Norma and Elmer did not marry and he continued his residency with Elmer Nelson until his death in June of 1972 at age 65. Aunt Norma’s husband, Elmer Nelson, is still with us and resides with Russell Woodruff in Belvidere, Illinois.

My Father, Adelbert Daggett Garrett, was born in Cherry Valley on September 9, 1890. He married Gladys Barker who was born December 1, 1892, in Belvidere, Illinois. She was the daughter of Jess and Lillian Barker. They were married in 1913. I was their only child. My Dad and Mother spent, with the exception of one year, their entire married life in Cherry Valley. This was not only my dad’s hometown but it is also my hometown as I was born here, and with the exception of two years I have spent my life to date in Cherry Valley, and it looks as though this is where I will continue to live.

My Dad was more or less a village legend. He was liked by all who knew him and he had a host of friends. He worked hard but was also a fun-loving man. He and mother lived in several different homes in Cherry Valley before moving to 206 Grove Street, a home they bought from my Grandmother Garrett.

Before my Dad’s marriage, he did carpenter work with my Grandfather, but decided that was not the occupation for him. He was really a machinist and a very good one. He worked for National Sewing Machine in Belvidere, and that is where he met my Mother. He worked for Barber-Colman Company, which is where he was employed when I was born. In fact, he worked there for ten years before leaving to operate a garage, which was known as “The G & S Garage”. This garage was located where Cherry Valley Machine Tool is now located. He operated this garage for ten years before he closed same during the depression and returned to Barber-Colman Company for another ten years. My Dad and Mother operated a kennel and raised Cocker Spaniels for several years in the 1940’s. Then in 1947 he opened a small shop at his home, which my husband helped him operate until they closed same in 1957. Dad was also very interested in harness horses and owned several which he raced at the County Fairs and in Chicago. As you can see my Father was a man with varied interests; in fact his life was never dull. I might also add that he was Cherry Valley’s first Fire Chief.

It was a great loss to him when my Mother, who was also liked by all who knew her, died in January of 1958 at age 65. He continued with his harness horses until 1964 when he came to reside with us and reopen his job shop. At this time he was 74 years old, but he was not ready to completely retire. He had to be busy as he could not be idle. He lived with us until his death in September of 1970 at age 80. He was the only member of his family to reach the age of 80. He lived a good, full life, was a 50 year member of Cherry Valley Masonic Lodge and, as I have stated above, was a man of varied interests. To know him was to like him, and he entertained everyone with his many yarns and stories. For me the loss of my Mom and Dad was the loss of my two best friends.

As their only child, I was born July 31, 1917, and made my home with them until my marriage in March 1941 to Lowell E. Batty, who was born July 3, 1918, to a pioneer English family, Clarence and Abbie Teach Batty on a farm in Esmond, Illinois.

Lowell and I are the parents of two children, Jane Louise and Gary Lowell. Our daughter Jane, who was born June 20, 1942, married Gerald R. Benson in December 1961 and they have two children Jeffery born February 14, 1966, and Julie born May 22, 1969. They reside at 109 S. Van Buren. Our son, Gary was born April 12,1946 and married Sylvia McEachran in 1969. They reside at 548 Lawn Drive in Loves Park, Illinois. They have no children.

This brings us up to the present time with the Garrett history. Lillian Garrett Batty and her daughter, Jane Batty Benson, and grandchildren, Jeff and Julie Benson are to date the only members of a long line of Garrets still residing in the Village of Cherry Valley.

I am very proud of my heritage and family, and proud to be a native of Cherry Valley. Lowell and I live in an original Garrett home at 206 Grove Street. This home was built for my Grandmother Garrett by my uncle, Wallace Garrett, almost 50 years ago. It still looks very much the same as when it was first built, and this is probably where we will spend the rest of our lives.

One Hundred Years, 1841-1941

By Myrtle Garrett Mitchell

Long years ago on the Isle of Man There dwelt an enterprising clan,
Who left their homes and crossed the sea To start anew in the Land of the Free.
To Ohio they went and there they stayed; With ax and saw new homes they made.
And then as frontiers pushed on west
They loaded their goods and came with the rest.
To a wooded spot in the Prairie State
Came earnest young Tom and his fair young mate.
They took up a homestead like other pairs. In ’41 the land was theirs.
They then acquired the grant of land; ‘Twas signed and sealed by Tyler’s hand.
Forbears they were of a prolific race, Thomas and Margaret set the pace.
The Garretts increased as families do.
Each generation brought accomplishments new,
By fine decent folks without fame–or sad crime The American type, all down through the time.
Some honors we’ve had, good work we have done,
We’ve brought forth our share of world’s progress–and fun.
We’re not in “Who’s Who”; no fame shouts from the steeple, But we’re proud to acclaim “We’re good average people”.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top