Thursday, May 17, 2018

Garrot Howard - Last Hours of His Life

Garrot was born on 12 Feb. 1855 in Plano, Collin County, TX. He came to this world about three months after his father's death. Garrot was the youngest son and the seventh child of Jarrot Howard and his second wife Lucettie Abigail Howard.

When Garrot was two, his mother married again and the little boy gained a stepfather whose name was William Forman II. The second marriage of Abigail's brought Garrot six younger half-siblings.

Nothing do we know about Garrot's relationship with his stepfather and the rest of the family. Considering the newspaper information regarding the circumstances of his death, we may assume he might have become a bit defiant or desperate.

Garrot's family home was in Plano but because of some reason he was in the village of Valley View in Cooke County, on Sunday, 25 Feb. 1877.* Very likely the young men had gone there to visit his relatives and or/friends.

Valley View Location, TX

Anyway, while staying in Valley View (which was founded by L.W. Lee in 1872), Garrot (Jarrett as given in the newspaper) was to be arrested for carrying a gun. When approached by constable Ball, our Garrot did not wish to surrender and shot his pistol. The bullet pierced the law officer's coat.

According to the newspaper article, Mr. Stokely, the Justice of the Peace ordered posse who went after Garrot to arrest him. The young man hid in the house which belonged to Mr. James Thomas. The latter one could be Garrot's mother's brother (James Breed Thomas). All the Thomas relatives rushed out of their house, scared by what was going on. Garrot was surrounded, but he was not willing to give up.

While he was about to shoot at officer Ball again, one of the posses (of the name T.J. Parker) got closer to Garrot who turned around and spoke: “Damn I'll shoot you, yet.”

The posse needed to get some long-range guns so they fell back, but then they moved toward the house where Garrot was hiding. When Garrot/Jarrett saw the approaching men, he went out and tried to shoot at Mr. Parish. However, Parish shot Garrot twice and, as a result of that, wounded his right groin severely (including damaging an artery). Sadly, our Garrot died a few hours later. He was only 22 years old then.

His body must have been taken home to Plano as he was buried at the Plano Cemetery.

Garrot was our great-grandfather's (William James Howard's) half-brother. He was 21 years younger than William. Who knows what made Garrot act as he did. Maybe he just had been an unhappy person.


*The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, TEX.) Vol. 35 No. 299, Ed. 1, Thursday, March 8, 1877. accessed May, 2018, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, crediting Abilene Library Consortium
1. map - By The original uploader was Seth Ilys at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 3.0,
2. By Renelibrary [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

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