Marshall County
ILGenWeb

GARRETT, Amasa

Amasa GARRETT, deceased, was for many years a familiar figure in Marshall and adjoining counties, and was doubtless personally known by as many men as any other person within the radius of fifty miles. He was a native of Washington county, Ohio, born April 14, 1818, of which state his father, who was of French ancestry, was a pioneer. In 1836, the family removed to Bureau county, Illinois, and located in that section which was then a part of Putnam county. Subsequently he removed to Bulbona Grove, near the present village of Wyanet, Bureau county.

In early life our subject commenced trading in furs, in which line of business he continued for some years. Later he engaged in the stock business, buying and shipping cattle, principally to the Chicago markets. He then became an agent for the location and sale of land lying in the Military Tract of Illinois, making the subject of titles a study, and becoming a recognized authority on titles of the lands. The Military Tract comprised that territory lying between the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, and north of the base line near Quincy, Illinois, a portion of which was set aside in payment for services rendered the general government in time of war. The operations of Mr. GARRETT extended within a radius of forty miles, and within that distance he invested in the military lands, owning at one time about one thousand acres. When these lands were mostly disposed of by the government, he turned his attention to his farming interests and confined himself to the cultivation of the soil and raising stock. He was a very active man and always pushed his business until within a year or two of his death.

Mr. GARRETT was thirty years old before he entered the married state, his union with Miss Sarah ORR, occurring at Lacon, February 20, 1848. She is a daughter of James and Sarah (RAMSEY) ORR, both of whom were natives of Maryland, from which state they removed when Sarah was but eight year old, locating in Marshall county. Her father was by occupation a farmer and entered land one and a half miles from the village of Lacon, in Lacon township. This tract he proceeded to improve, and in time was one of the best cultivated farms in the county. Of their family of six children, Sarah was one of the youngest, and is the only one now living. One daughter, Mary, who married Asa THOMPSON, resided for years in Steuben township, and died on Thanksgiving day, 1895. One daughter, Elizabeth, married William HANCOCK and died some years ago. The father died when upward of seventy years of age.

When the marriage of Mr. GARRETT and Sarah ORR occurred, he was residing in Bureau county, but had purchased land in Marshall county, in what was known as the Bethel neighborhood, where he erected a house and to which he took his young bride. On that farm he resided for twelve years, when he removed to the farm now the home of Mrs. GARRETT in Steuben township. Five children came to bless their union: James O.; Josephine, who married Samuel McFARLAND, both of whom dying left two children, Alma S. and Anna Josephine, the latter now being a member of Mrs. GARRETT’s family; Augustus, who married Electa SARGENT, lives near the old farm; Clara, now deceased, and Allison, who runs the home farm.

Politically, Mr. GARRETT was a stanch democrat, and for years served as justice of the peace, and at a time when the office in his township was of some consequence. For sixteen consecutive years he served as supervisor from Steuben township, a fact that speaks well for the confidence and esteem in which he was held by his fellow citizens. A great admirer of the lamented Stephen A. Douglas, he followed the fortunes of that great statesman until the death of the latter, and served as a delegate in the Baltimore convention which nominated Douglas for the presidency. His face was a familiar one in the county, state and district conventions, and his influence was great among his fellow members. He was a candidate for county office at a time when the party was in a hopeless minority, and while he always made a good campaign, he yet failed of election. His relation with W. E. COOK, also a prominent politician, was a close and intimate one.

Mr. GARRETT was well posted on current literature and thoroughly enjoyed the reading of good books. He was a good neighbor and always tried to avoid strife, never engaging in needless lawsuits, but settling all differences out of court. He was not what is called a society man, though of a social turn, neither did he ever affiliate with the fraternal societies of the day. His death occurred August 24, 1891, and his remains were interred in the Bethel cemetery. Mrs. GARRETT resides on the old homestead, loved and respected by all. A member of the Methodist Episcopal church, she lives the life of a true Christian woman, doing her duty faithfully to her family, friends and neighbors.

Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.


Visit Our Neighbors
Bureau Putnam
Stark La Salle
Peoria Woodford
Search the Archives