Monroe offices of prominent lawyer and politician Isaiah Garrett

A small red brick building on the east bank of the Ouachita River was once the office of a famous Monroe lawyer and statesman.

The Garrett House, located at 520 S. Grand St., two hundred yards from the site of the original Fort Miro and near the I-20 overpass, served as the law office of attorney and politician Isaiah Garrett.

Garrett was one of Louisiana’s most prominent attorneys. He was a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 1845 and was elected to the Secession Convention in 1860. He was one of seven members of the Convention who refused to sign the Secession Order because it would violated his oath of allegiance. in the USA.

The house was built in 1840 by Samuel Kirby. The one-story building originally consisted of a 36-by-18-foot rectangle containing two rooms and a 21-by-18-foot wing at the rear left that served as a kitchen.

Kirby transferred ownership to Garrett on March 5, 1842, when the young lawyer and U.S. Military Academy graduate moved to Monroe from Missouri, according to records released by the National Register of Historic Places.

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Shortly after moving to Monroe, Garrett met Narcissa Grayson. Narcissa’s father, Colonel Thomas Grayson, was an associate of Daniel Boone and moved to Louisiana in 1813. The Graysons were one of the founders of Caldwell Parish, and the town of Grayson was named in honor of family.

Isaiah and Narcissa were married in Ouachita Parish on May 10, 1836. The couple were parents of eleven children; five of them lived to adulthood.

The soft red brick of the exterior has not held up well and has been repaired or replaced in various places around the building. Although the building’s basic form and most of the original materials have remained intact, a number of changes have taken place.

The gable roof and stoop of the two-piece building have been removed. To meet its current needs, electrical wiring and bathing facilities were installed by adding a 5 inch frame along the north corner wall at the rear of the structure. Although the fireplace mantel remains in the corner room, the fireplace itself has been removed.

The two chimneys at the front of the building remain and have simple Greek Revival mantels. Along the right rear wall, a window and a door were filled with bricks.

Isaiah Garrett was a prominent 19th century Monroe lawyer.

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Garrett used the modest brick property for his law offices and practiced there for many years before his death in 1874. He was buried in Old Town Monroe Cemetery, where a large obelisk marks his grave at this day.

After Garrett’s death, the house was used for many purposes until the Monroe Committee of the National Society of Colonial Ladies of America won the right to use it as a museum to house related materials and artifacts. to the history of Louisiana and the United States. .

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 12, 1972.

The property is currently owned by the City of Monroe.

Follow Ian Robinson on Twitter @_irobinsonand on Facebook at https://bit.ly/3vln0w1.

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