Garrison, Caleb Jackson (1828–ca. 1901)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: April 8, 2020

Caleb Jackson Garrison, lawyer, civil servant, Confederate soldier, and legislator, was born in Carroll County, Georgia, on May 31, 1828. He moved to Texas in February 1852 and lived for two years in the Rusk County community of Caledonia, where he maintained a mercantile business until 1853, when he moved to Henderson to read law under J. H. Parsons. In 1854 he was elected to the first of his two terms as assistant secretary of the Texas Senate, and the following year he was elected engrossing clerk of the Senate. He was admitted to the bar in 1855 and in 1856 was elected clerk of court for Rusk County, a position he held for two years. Concurrently he served as quartermaster of a company of militia assigned to the defense of the frontier. He subsequently married and became a planter at Glenfawn, his primary occupation for the rest of his life, although Gov. Hardin R. Runnels appointed him superintendent of public works for the Sabine River in 1858 or 1859.

In May 1859 Garrison took part in the Democratic congressional convention held at Henderson and was elected one of three secretaries of the convention. During the Civil War he served in Company K, Fourteenth Texas Cavalry, of Col. Matthew D. Ector's brigade. After serving in Arkansas and Louisiana early in the war, this regiment was dismounted and moved across the Mississippi River to join the Confederate Army of Tennessee. There it was consolidated with the Tenth Texas Cavalry as part of Ector's Brigade, and Garrison served on Ector's staff.

In 1875 Garrison was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives. He represented the Seventh District in the Fifteenth Legislature and was reelected to the Sixteenth and Eighteenth legislatures. In November 1884 he was elected to the state Senate as a representative of the Second District (Nacogdoches, Panola, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, and Shelby counties) in the Nineteenth Legislature. He was appointed chairman of the Committee on Insurance, Statistics, and History, and in the Twentieth Legislature he was named chairman of the Committee on Penitentiaries. Garrison died about 1901 and was buried in Jacksonville. He was a Methodist and a Mason.

Clarksville Northern Standard, May 14, 1859. Dallas Herald, November 27, 1884. Lewis E. Daniell, Personnel of the Texas State Government, with Sketches of Representative Men of Texas (Austin: City Printing, 1887; 3d ed., San Antonio: Maverick, 1892). E. H. Loughery, Texas State Government (Austin: McLeod and Jackson, 1897).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Garrison, Caleb Jackson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 8, 2020