Elton M. Garrett
Garrett Junior High School Namesake
Newspaper editor, educator, and historian Elton M. Garrett was born in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1902. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington in 1927. In 1929, he left his job at the Seattle Post Intelligencer and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to work as the editor of the Las Vegas Age.
He started work at the Boulder City Journal in Boulder City, Nevada in 1931. In 1933, he also took on the job of vice-principal for the Boulder City Public Schools. In 1942 he served as principal for the Boulder City Public Schools. He would later work at Boulder City News as news editor. He married Madelaine E. Garrett in 1944. In 1944, Elton Garrett lobbied for the establishment of a University of Nevada branch in Clark County, and from 1955 to 1959, he helped spearhead legislation establishing Nevada Southern University, later known as the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In 1975, he helped establish the Desert Research Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada as a research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education. As an avid local historian, Elton Garrett collected memorabilia and photographs of Southern Nevada and the Hoover (Boulder) Dam construction project. He donated part of his collection to the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association.
Elton Garrett also served in several organizations in the Boulder City community, including the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Clark County Service Federation, Clark County Democratic Convention, Nevada Convention Committee, and the Clark County Legislative Council. He also served as the United States Commissioner for the Lake Mead Recreational Area near Boulder City. In 1976, he was nominated for the Distinguished Nevadan of the Year Award. Elton Garrett died on April 19, 1992.
Madelaine Elwell Garrett was born August 6, 1909 in South Dakota. She moved to Boulder City in 1942 to work as a high school English teacher. She left teaching after marrying Elton Garrett, but later returned to the classroom, eventually teaching for twenty-seven years. She became the director of her school's marching band, dance band, orchestra, their Boys and Girls Glee Clubs, and the madrigal singers, while also working part-time giving piano lessons in her home. In the early 1940s, she helped start the Boulder City Little Theater where she wrote songs and performed in plays. Madelaine E. Garrett also established a scholarship for music students to attend annual summer camps.
She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, the woman's branch of the Masons. Madelaine E. Garrett died on November 20, 2001. The Elton and Madelaine Garrett Junior High School in Boulder City was named in honor of Elton and Madelaine Garrett.