Masonic Lodges and Y.M.C.A. Friendship Club To Officiate At Funeral For Dr. J.W. Garth

Philanthropist and Capitalist Succumbs Monday.

Funeral services for Dr. J.W. Garth, widely known physician and philanthropist, who died here early this morning, will be held at the residence, 1347 Calder, at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, with Rev. Samuel Rosinger of Temple Emmanuel, and Rev. Samuel Holden, Congregational pastor, in charge.

Masonic Lodge No. 286 and the Beaumont Commandery, No. 38 Knights Templar will also have a part in the services. Burial will be in Magnolia cemetery under the direction of Roberts Undertaking company.

Tyrrell public library, donated to the city by Capt. W.C. Tyrrell and with which Dr. Garth was closely associated, will be closed from 2:30 to 4, the time of the funeral.

An honor guard of 24 boys of the Friendship club will join in the procession of the funeral. They will follow behind the Knights Templar and the Blue Lodge Masons in the march towards the burial grounds at Magnolia cemetery.


Which 24 of the 200 members of the club will form the guard of honor has not been decided but there is no doubt that every one of those not in the guard will be present at the funeral.

Crepe will hang on the locked doors of the Friendship club building throughout the day Wednesday and all of the boys will mourn the loss of the man who made that building possible and who was always their “buddy.”

A prayers, somewhat like those offered on the camp at Ross Sterling last summer, was offered Dr. Garth two weeks ago when he was near the point of death. He told Ivan Singleton, boys’ work director of the Y.M.C.A., that the prayer had meant something because he started feeling better at about the same time.

A few hours later when a committee from the club went to visit him he was able to receive them.


All of the boys knew Dr. Garth personally and more than one newsie was without his usual pep Wednesday when he bore the news of his friend’s death.

Dr. Garth, a vital force of progress in this city, and an influential member of the medical profession, has been an invalid for more than a year. Even though he was confined to his room, and the majority of the time was bedfast, his interest in the life of the city did not retard. It was during his invalidism that he gave to the newsboys, messengers, and other members of the Friendship club their $12,000 home to be known as “The Garth Friendship club,” which was dedicated only a few weeks ago with the donor, who was on a stretcher, as the honor guest.

Dr. Garth was a member and a supporter of the Y.M.C.A. here from the time he removed from Port Arthur to this city to make his home. He was an active participant for many years in the business men’s gymnasium work. He was not only active in the Y.M.C.A. work here but he was intimately acquainted with the associational work abroad, having traveled widely in Europe and other foreign countries.

As a practicing physician he specialized in the treatment of eye, ear, nose and throat diseases, and along with his practice for several years was school physician. That was in the days when the Beaumont schools had one physician and one nurse to examine the several thousand school children of the city. After morning hours of strenuous work in office, hospital and homes he, with the school nurse, visited in the different schools and examined scores of children.


During the World War he was captain in the medical corps, being stationed at Hattiesburg, Miss. For a number of years he was president of the Reo Auto Sales company, was treasurer of the Goodhue company, was former president of the Beaumont Auto club, which he founded, was a member and former member of the board of directors of the Lions club, was a member of the Masonic orders, including Knights Templar and the El Mina Shrine, and had a life membership in the Beaumont lodge 286 order of the Masons, and was a director of the Morgan Plan bank.

Dr. Garth was born in Jackson, Iowa, July 7, 1867, the son of Thomas Garth, a native of England, who came to the United States at the age of 17 years. His father was a prominent citizen of Iowa until his death at the age of 70. His mother, whose maiden name was Mima Johnston, was a native of Ireland.

Dr. Garth attended the public schools of Iowa and Chicago, then entered the University of Illinois in the medical department at Chicago, where he took his M.D. degree in 1899. He began his practice in Clarion, Iowa, where he remained until coming to Port Arthur in 1910, practicing in that city until 1913, when he came to Beaumont, where he engaged in active medical practice until he gave up his work in August, 1925, because of declining health. With Mrs. Garth he went on a world tour, visiting New York, Havana, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan, China, India, through the Suez canal to Egypt, overland to France and England, and through the Philippines and Java back to New York.

Dr. Garth was married in Beaumont November 24, 1892, to Miss Esther Tyrrell, daughter of the late Capt. W.C. Tyrrell, Jefferson county capitalist. Mrs. Garth and four sons, James, Tyrrell and Thomas, all of Beaumont, and Dr. Leroy Garth of California, survive him.

Active pallbearers have been designated as Ben S. Woodhead, J. Cook Wilson, O.B. Sawyer, Joe A. Meyers, F.B. Martin and Hastings Harrison.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Lions clubs, officers and staff of the Y.M.C.A, members of the Jefferson County Medical association; members of the Masonic Lodge, and members of the Knights of Pythians [sic], and D.C. Proctor, T.S. Reed, Charles L. Berly, John W. Scott, Charles Stroeck, P.B. Doty, Howard W. Gardner, W.L. Pondrom, L. Paul Tullos, P.B. Butler, Ross Combest, C.W. Duperior, H.A. Hodges, W.M. Crook, Joe A. Meyers, Marrs McLean, Alexander Marshall, Jim Polk, F.M. Yount, Dr. George Brown, Dr. R.F. Pray, J.E. Broussard, L.L. Donnelly, C.S. Dickens, R.F. Dubois, E.E. Plumly, Guy Plumly, A.C. Weaver, J.G. Fuqua, W.W. Kyle, E.G. Edson, Guy Keith, J.R. Edmonds, George Adsit, H.A. McDonald, Dr. J.H. Pace, George W. Carroll, Sr. C.E. Walden, Thomas J. Baten, H.B. Funchness, J.D. Roberts, George W. Anderson, Tom Andrus, Judge J.D. Campbell, W.P. Treadway, Folsom Treadway, J.L. Mapes, R.D. Chastain, Dr. Aubrey Hess, B.A. Steinhagen, C.R. Jackson, Leslie Jarrett, J.J. Nathan, D.P. Sheeks, E.A. Moseley, James F. Weed, all of Beaumont, and George W. Carter, J.L. Latham, J.W. Harle, Joe Y. Harle, F.M. Harle, S.B. Royser, John R. Adams, all of Port Arthur, and Dr. H.J. Barr of Orange.

The following tribute was paid to Dr. Garth by members of the Y.M.C.A.:

For 60 years, the late Dr. J.W. Garth led an exemplary life, teaching his own and other boys how to live. Equally significant with the 60 years devoted to teaching the youth how to live has been the past two years when he has taught Beaumont how to die. He maintained an interest in life to the very last. No one visited his bedside except to be inspired by his gracious smile and his friendly and helpful conversation. Never once did a person visit him except to leave with the feeling that life is worth living and that there is much good that all of us can do.

In loving memory of so good a friend to the Y.M.C.A. and in mourning for his departure, the flag will fly at half-mast for the next 30 days from the tower of the new Y.M.C.A. building. During the hour of Dr. Garth’s funeral the doors of the Y.M.C.A. and Garth Friendship club building will be closed and all activities caused to cease.

The secretaries, directors and members, especially the members of the Friendship club, will attend his funeral.

Dr. George M. Truett, in dedicating the New Y.M.C.A. buildings, and in paying tribute to the citizens of Beaumont for providing these buildings, said:

“And you would expect me, and desire me, to follow my heart now when I say that the most tenderly beautiful chapter of all in connection with the erection of these remarkably beautiful buildings is the chapter that has been written by your great citizen, Dr. J.W. Garth, whose illness makes his presence in this dedication service impossible, but whose heart is with us—that citizen who thought of underprivileged boys, and reared here a Friendship club building for such boys for today and the long tomorrow.”

As long as life shall last we shall never forget nor cease to be inspired by the attitude and acts of Dr. Garth during his last two years when he re-enacted the desire of the saint of old who said, “Let me die the death of the righteous and let my lsat [sic] days be like His.”

Dr. Garth lived and died the Jesus way of life and death.

Harrison Hastings,
General Secretary

Thos. J. Baten,
Chairman Garth Friendship Club Committee.

Source: Beaumont Journal, November 26, 1929.

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