William Care Garnett – First Principal of Monroe City High School?

I would say William C. Garnett would count as Monroe High School’s first principal. In the mid 1890’s Garnett appeared in Monroe and began work as the Assistant Principal at the “Central High School” which was the combined Parish and City school. When the school split between the parish and city, Garnett was appointed Principal of the City school. During his tenure here, he falls in love with one of the pretty young teachers at the school, Miss Lena Wossman. You may know the name, because her sister, Julia has a High School named for her! The two would marry (Lena was only 19) and in 1898 their first son was born. By 1900, their marriage was on the rocks. William had deserted Lena. Newspaper articles at the time lead me to believe the two divorced. William had tried to get custody of his son, but was unsuccessful. The 1900 Ouachita Census shows Lena and her son living with her mother in Monroe. William is nowhere in sight.

On July 6th, 1900 [120 years ago today], in Vicksburg, William snatched his two year old son Lewis from his grandmother and ran. He and his son were quickly found in Meridian. William agreed to give up the child with the stipulation he be allowed to go back home to Virginia. The police agreed. William was released and Lewis was sent back to the arms of his Wossman kin.

It seems Lena and William settled their differences. The couple had at least six more kids before William died in Virginia in 1932; his wife and children beside him.

One thought on “William Care Garnett – First Principal of Monroe City High School?

  1. This is great.
    I first found out about William Care Garnett through his beautiful poem ‘Ode to Nature,’ which was reprinted in a magazine. After doing a little research I found Garnett authored the book ‘Tidewater Tales’ in 1927, that included the poem. Tidewater Tales is a collection of historical essays about the people and events in Essex County, Virginia where Garnett lived for many years. Recently found an antique copy and looking forward to reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

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