Garrett Freightlines Miscellaneous Collection
Scope and Content
This is a very small collection that came from the Idaho State Historical Society consisting of two boxes containing various company paraphernalia, photographs, memorabilia, and route regulations.
Garrett Freightlines was established in 1913 in Pocatello Idaho by Clarence A. Garret t and his brother Oscar. The first Garrett truck was a 1913 Reo. As the single truck grew to a fleet, so did Garrett’s route from local to the Pacific Northwest. Expansions were totaled to 67 Terminals and 3500 units throughout the Western United States by the early 1960’s.
Clarence Garrett’s dream of opening a transport company began when he arrived in Pocatello from Virginia at the age of 19. When the hauling of his baggage had cost him fifty cents, he realized at that moment there was more money to be made in the hauling and baggage business. He and his brother Oscar started a small grocery store in 1910 which closed in 1913 after only a short run to allow Clarence to realize his transporting dreams uninhibited. With the help of his brother Oscar, cousin, Leonard, and a small bank loan, Garrett bought his first truck. The 1913 Reo truck was a one cylinder half ton at the cost of $525 plus freight. Although the truck was used entirely for local hauling, they were the first to do so in a truck. His loads soon spread to Blackfoot and American Falls by 1915. As the diesel engine grew in popularity, Garrett became fascinated by the invention. He decided to purchase an engine dropping it behind the wheel of a Kissel Truck, Garrett made his first trip from Pocatello to Salt Lake City. The trip took him 44 hours. The business slowly but steadily expanded to include Idaho Falls in 1920, Twin Falls-Burley Area by 1927, and from there, Garrett Trucks were headed out of state. Salt Lake City was the first out of state port in 1928 followed by Butte Montana in 1930, and finally Garrett Freightlines reached a huge milestone in transportation with routes to Los Angeles in 1934. BY the early 1960’s , the Pacific Northwest Highway was lined with truck from Garrett as San Francisco-Oakland area, Denver, and New Mexico were added to the routes. New Terminals also added to the Garrett family in this time period as Garrett bought previously established transport companies in Spokane, Seattle, Great Falls, and Los Angeles. Expansions soon equaled 67 terminals and 3500 units out to serve the western United States.
Headquarters have always been in Pocatello but a brand new building was built in 1951 at the Idaho location Idaho at approximately $850,000, located on what is now Garrett Way named so in honor of the company that first graced the area and sat alone for a long time before other business began to develop nearby. The Garrett Company was an immense benefit to the local area providing jobs for her residents.
Garrett’s advertising was a big part of building the company. Appearing in an ad for Firestone tires and other ads with a character named Mr. G. Slogans were catchy and memorable such as “Look before you Leap, Look to Garrett” and “We Do Care” is seen all over the reports, memorabilia and notepads used by Garrett employees and clients. Clarence A. Garrett was named “Idaho Business Leader of the Year” and received an award in 1961 in Boise.