Homer Garrison, Jr.

Photograph of Homer Garrison, Jr.

1901 - 1968

Homer Garrison, Jr. was born in Kickapoo, Texas, on July 21, 1901. After graduation from Lufkin High School, he went to work in his father’s Angelina County district clerk office. At the age of nineteen he was appointed deputy sheriff of Angelina County. In 1929, he became a state license and weight inspector for the Texas Highway Department and joined the Texas Highway Patrol when it was organized in 1930.

Garrison became the first Assistant Director to the newly founded Department of Public Safety in 1935. In 1938, Garrison became Director of the DPS and Chief of the Texas Rangers. Under his leadership, numerous programs were developed including police traffic supervision, driver licensing, vehicle inspection, safety education and disaster services.

During World War II, he was offered an appointment by General Douglas MacArthur to reorganize and supervise the Japanese national police system for the War Department, but he declined. Among the many honors bestowed upon him during the nearly thirty years he served as the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety was the presentation of the Paul Gray Hoffman Award, awarded annually by the Automotive Safety Foundation.

In 1963, Governor John Connally appointed Garrison Director of civil defense and disaster relief for Texas and Chairman of the State Defense Council. That same year he was named Director of the Governor's Highway Safety Commission. In 1966 he was elected Chairman of the resolutions committee and a member of the steering committee of the Southern Region Highway Policy Committee of the Council of State Governments.  In 1967, he was named a member of the National Motor Vehicle Safety Advisory Council.

On June 1, 1939, Garrison married Mary Nell Kilgo and they had one son. Garrison died on May 7, 1968, and is buried in the State Cemetery in Austin.

Inducted during the 2023 Bicentennial year.