For over thirty years, Garner and his wife, Ettie, lived in the two-story brick house on 333 North Park Street until her death in 1948. In 1952, Garner donated the structure to the City of Uvalde as a memorial to his late wife but continued to reside on the property in a small one-story cottage until his death in 1967. The John Nance Garner House was named a National Historic Landmark in 1972. In 1973, the Garner Museum opened with the mission to preserve and exhibit photographs, cartoons, documents, paintings, sculptures, and artifacts documenting Garner’s life and career.
On November 20, 1999, the City of Uvalde transferred ownership of the Garner Museum to The University of Texas at Austin and was established as a division of the Briscoe Center for American History. In 2011, the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System approved the renaming of the John Nance Garner Museum to the Briscoe-Garner Museum in honor of the late Governor Dolph Briscoe.
The museum is dedicated to the remarkable lives of John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner and Dolph Briscoe, both Uvalde natives and historically important political figures from Texas. The first floor of the museum documents the life and career of “Cactus Jack” Garner, the first Texan to serve as speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives and as vice president of the United States. The second floor is dedicated to Dolph Briscoe who served as Texas governor from 1973 to 1979 and led a distinguished career in public service, business, and ranching. Learn more about these and other exhibitions here.
The Briscoe Center is among the leading research agencies in the nation for the study of historical topics that relate to the life and career of both Briscoe and Garner. Its Research and Collections Division located on the Austin campus constitutes the largest archive and library in existence on Texas history, with special strengths on the congressional and political history of Texas. The Briscoe Center archives include the extensive John Nance Garner Scrapbook Collection, the only significant body of Garner papers that exists, and Dolph Briscoe’s personal and gubernatorial papers.