The Claiborne Parish Library and the Claiborne Parish Police Jury have invited the public to the dedication of the Sheriff Pat Garrett Memorial Highway Saturday, May 28.
The dedication ceremony will be held at roadside at the intersection of Louisiana Highway 9 and Highway 2, just north of Homer at 10:00 a.m.
Claiborne Parish Sheriff Sam Dowies will unveil the new signage marking the south end of the highway followed by remarks by members of the Garrett family.
Highway 9 from Homer to Junction City was designated by the Louisiana State Legislature as Sheriff Pat Garrett Memorial Highway in honor of the legendary lawman who grew up in Claiborne Parish. Garrett was born June 5, 1850, in Chambers County, Alabama. His parents, John and Elizabeth Garrett, emigrated to Claiborne Parish in 1853 and quickly established a farm about six miles northeast of Homer. Pat’s youth was spent working on the farm and hunting in the woods of Claiborne Parish, acquiring the basic skills to prepare him for a future of hard, long trails and difficult times.
After the death of his parents, Garrett left Louisiana seeking a new life in the American west. Garrett eventually made his way to New Mexico where he became sheriff of Lincoln and Dona Anna Counties. Because of his bravery and tenacity, his reputation grew.
Pat Garrett was an unwilling recipient of fame, but fame came, nonetheless. During the late 1800s the public had an incessant hunger for stories of wild lawless ‘shoot-em-ups’ and shaggy outlaws. The story of Sheriff Pat Garrett’s pursuit of “Billy the Kid” contained all the necessary elements. Aided by a willing press, the tale was soon elevated to the pantheon of western lore.
Garrett’s life of a lawman overshadowed his other achievements. He served as a U.S. Customs inspector under President Theodore Roosevelt. He also initiated a plan to irrigate the lower Pecos Valley which eventually had some success. Perhaps his proudest achievement was his family. Pat was a devoted husband to his wife, Apolinaria, and a loving father to their eight children.
Garrett was killed under mysterious circumstances in the desert just east of Las Cruces, New Mexico on February 29, 1908.
His relationship with his family that remained here never faltered; he visited Claiborne Parish as often as possible. The Garrett family is still present in Claiborne Parish as a vital part of the rich heritage of Claiborne Parish.
Members of the Garrett family and visitors from out of state are expected to attend the dedication and renew old acquaintances.
The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Department will assist with traffic control at the dedication to ensure safety.
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