Location: 1100 E. Chet Smith
Alexander and Margaret (Dickson) Garrett were the first settlers to put down roots in what was first El Paso and was renamed Derby, Kansas. In 1869, the area was considered Indian Territory (Osage Trust Lands) and had many transient traders, trappers and people traveling through. Hearing this area called “the garden spot of Kansas,” the Garretts were lured to leave Ohio in search of this land.
In spring 1869, after traveling by covered wagon for approximately 1,000 miles, the Garrett family paused at Spring Creek, just northwest of where you stand. What is currently Garrett Park was part of the original Garrett homestead. Both Mr. and Mrs. Garrett took out a claim so they would have enough acreage to farm. They made a small sod house near the creek. Soon after they arrived, their daughter Anna was born. After the railroad track was built in 1879, more settlers staked homesteads and began forming a community of farmers that evolved into a town named El Paso officially incorporated in 1871.
Since the 1980s when the RED HORSE unit at McConnell Air Force Base constructed Garrett Park, this city park has been home to softball and baseball leagues, tournaments and recreational play. In honor of the civil engineering group, the city named the park driveway RED HORSE Drive.