Thursday, February 19, 2009

Isaac "Thomas" Garrett

[I have since discovered that his correct first name was Isaiah not Isaac. He used the name Tom. -bcrow]

One of the greatest friends of the Mormon church in Cane Creek who was not a member was Isaac Isaiah Thomas Garrett. Tom, as he was called by his friends, was the first to invite the missionaries to Cane Creek. He met the missionaries in Hickman County and asked them to visit him at his home. He would house and feed the missionaries frequently. It does not appear that he ever joined the church.

Three of the missionaries stayed at his house the night before the massacre. And on the day of the massacre it is likely he was still at his home, though he did help one of the surviving missionaries escape to Shady Grove. He met B. H. Roberts on his trip in disguise to retrieve the bodies of Gibbs and Berry. And it was to Tom only the Roberts revealed his true identity.

According to B. H. Roberts and W. L. Pinkerton he leaves Cane Creek after the massacre for Woburn, Illinois. Isaac’s grand father, Willis Dodson, moved there some 50 years earlier, so Isaac may have had family there. His family is described as a wife (Marthey J.) and a daughter (Elizabeth C.). Mrs Garrett had a half brother, William Lankford, who was a doctor. The Lankfords lived in the same census district as the Garretts.

Isaac Tom was the son of Mr. Garrett (I can't find his first name) & Candice Dodson. Born around 1828 in what is now Lewis County Tennessee. His only child was called Lizzie. Lizzie may have joined the church, but I have no real evidence of this except a reference to a smart young woman joining the church whose father was a friend of the missionaries who never joined. This unidentified young woman was described as being very intelligent and Lizzie was a school teacher. Lizzie married Dr. W. G. Baker. She and her husband went with her father to Woburn, Illinois.

At Woburn the trail runs cold. By the 1900 census, Tom disappears, probably having died from old age. Without the 1890 census, we cannot tell where he went. Although I have not made an exhaustive search, for now what happened to Tom Garrett after he left Tennessee remains a mystery.

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