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Biography of Robert Bruce Garrett
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Prominent among the successful, energetic and progressive business men of Pryor is Robert Bruce Garrett, who has been identified with various enterprises having to do with the development and improvement of this community and is now engaged in the real estate business. He was born at old Baptist Mission, near which the town of Westville, Adair county, is now located on the 2d of December, 1876, a son of James Robert and Elizabeth A. (Greer) Garrett. His father was a native of Tennessee who came to the Indian Territory when’ quite young, locating at the mission. It was there that he met and married Miss Elizabeth Greer, who was born in the territory, the marriage being celebrated in 1875. For some time Mr. Garrett engaged in farming and stock raising there and subsequently settled near Vinita, where he followed the same occupation. He was an outstanding figure in the political affairs of the community in which he resided and served as clerk of the Going Snake district of the Cherokee Nation for several years. He was a well educated man for his day and from 1899 to 1901 was superintendent of the Male Seminary at Tahlequah. His wife was matron of the seminary at the time of her demise in 1901. She was a niece of Chief T. M. Buffington, who was the last chief of the Cherokee Nation. Mr. Garrett survived his wife six years and died in 1917 at Rose, Oklahoma. He was one of the best known and highly honored citizens of the Indian Territory, and his death came as a severe blow to his many friends.
Upon attaining school age, Robert Bruce Garrett attended the common schools of the Baptist Mission and after completing his preparatory course became a student in the Male Seminary at Tahlequah. He was graduated from that institution in 1901 and at once accepted the position of principal of the Cherokee Orphan Asylum at Saline, Oklahoma, in which connection he was active until 1903, when the institution was burned. The following year he came to Pryor as superintendent of the Pryor high school and held that position for one year, at the end of which time he resigned to enter the business world. For several years he was engaged in the conduct of a hay and grain business and subsequently, disposing of his interests along that line, entered real estate circles, with which he has since been identified. Mr. Garrett has proved himself to be a capable business man of high principles and honor-able methods and has met with great success. He has won the confidence of his townsmen who feel assured that he will not be connected with any enterprise that is not exactly as represented in every respect.
On the 8th of October, 1903, at Salina, Arkansas, occurred the marriage of Mr. Garrett and Miss Cherokee Dora Edmondson, a daughter of Mack S. Edmondson, further mention of whom is made on another page of this work. Mrs. Garrett is a graduate of the Female Seminary at Thalequah, from which institution she was graduated in 1896, and she was teacher of music in the Cherokee Orphan Asylum at Salina until the building was completely destroyed by fire in 1903. During her summer vacations she attended the Chicago University of Music and received a diploma from that school. She is a woman of much culture and refinement and has a charming personality. She is prominent in the club and social circles of Pryor and takes an active interest in civic work. One child has beer born to Mr. and Mrs. Garrett, Kathleen Butler, who is fifteen years of age.
Since age conferred upon Mr. Garrett the right of franchise he has given his political allegiance to the democratic party, in the interests of which he takes an active and prominent part. His religious faith is that of the Methodist church, and he has been superintendent of the Sunday school for many years. He is a prominent member of the congregation and is a generous contributor to its many charities. Fraternally Mr. Garrett is identified with the Knights of Pythias, of which he is past chancellor commander, and he is a Mason, having membership in Pryor Lodge, No. 100, F. & A. M. As a member of the Commercial and Civic Clubs, he takes an active part in every movement for the development and improvement of the general welfare, and during the World war he was a member of the Council of Defense and chairman of the Red Cross and Liberty Loan drives. Mr. Garrett is possessor of the essential factors which make for success in any line. His belief in himself gives him the power and enthusiasm to arouse and stimulate the interest of those with whom he comes in contact, thus winning the cooperation and support essential to the successful promotion of every enterprise, whether public or private, which he undertakes.
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