Briscoe-Garner Museum - Biography Page 4
Retirement in Uvalde
In Uvalde Garner spent many long hours hunting and fishing with his friends along the shady banks of the Frio River. The hospitable Garner frequently entertained visitors, both acquaintances and others who simply wanted to shake the hand of Cactus Jack. President Roosevelt came in 1942 and President Truman arrived during his successful reelection campaign in 1948. By the 1950s, Garner's November 22 birthday was an annual celebration, with national and state Democrats in attendance.
The Garners celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on November 27, 1945. Ettie Garner passed away at the age of seventy-eight in 1948. Garner died at his Uvalde home on Tuesday, November 7, 1967, only fifteen days shy of his ninety-ninth birthday.
The Briscoe–Garner Museum
John Nance and Ettie Garner lived in the two-story brick home on 333 North Park Street in Uvalde until her death in 1948. The Uvalde home, designed by influential architect Attlee Ayres, is where John and Ettie Garner lived, worked, raised their family, entertained dignitaries, and hosted thousands of citizens from all walks of life. In 1952, Garner donated the house to the City of Uvalde as a memorial to his late wife, but continued to reside on the property in a small one-story cottage until his death. Since that time, the home has housed a public library, a museum documenting both the life of John Nance Garner and Uvalde County, and the local historical society.
On November 20, 1999, the City of Uvalde transferred ownership of the Garner Home and Museum to the University of Texas at Austin, whereupon it became a division of the University's Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. The center has continued to steward the Garner Museum's mission to preserve and exhibit photographs, cartoons, documents, paintings, sculpture, and artifacts documenting Garner's life and career and to educate the public about one of the most important and colorful political figures in Texas and American history. One hundred and thirty-five years after Garner's birth, on November 22, 2003, a rededication ceremony took place on the museum grounds to celebrate the reopening of the museum after several years of renovation and repair. The museum hosted dignitaries from around the state as the Briscoe Center unveiled a new exhibit celebrating the lives of John Nance and Ettie Garner.