Garland History, TexasBefore Texas became a state in 1846, the area that is now Garland, TX consisted of flower-filled meadows, small forests, and some nomadic Native American tribes. After Texas gained statehood, the land that Garland sits on today was part of the Peters colony. W. S. Peters founded the colony in 1850 as a way to get families settled in the area.
When the settlers arrived they found a land with rich, black soil and soon made cotton one of the bases for their new economy. By 1878, the colony had a small community with a store, a mill, two cotton gins, and a post office. They named it Duck Creek.
After the Santa Fe Railroad came through in 1886, though, Duck Creek began to become obsolete. The railroad depot was almost a mile from the settlement and so a new village, Embree, began to spring up near the depot. This caused many settlers to abandon Duck Creek for the new settlement. The post office followed them and this all but took Duck Creek off of the map.
Later that year, a different railroad, the Missouri, Kansas, & Texas Railroad, also came through. They built their depot to the north of the Santa Fe depot and named it Duck Creek as well. Disagreements followed the settling of the new Duck Creek. Both Embree and the new Duck Creek were seeking to build their village by inviting what was left of the old Duck Creek village to move to their settlements.
The rivalries became so bad that Dallas County Judge Thomas A. Nash asked the U.S. Congress to have the post office moved to a point between the two villages. The post office was moved in 1887 and the villages were dissolved. One city was created from the old Duck Creek, the new Duck Creek, and Embree. This new city was named Garland after the Attorney General at the time, Augustus Hill Garland.
The city had a volunteer fire department within two years. The volunteer fire fighters used a set of two extinguishers set on a two-wheeled cart in order to extinguish fires. However, in 1923, the fire department purchased two Model-T Fords.
Despite a devastating tornado in 1927, the 1920’s and 1930’s were a decade of change for Garland. Besides the reorganization of the volunteer fire department, the city also received electricity. A group of twenty Garland business-owners each pledged $1,000 towards the purchase of a 100 HP electric generator. Most of the residents agreed to have electrical lights put in so that the money they paid for usage of the power could go towards paying off the generator. Several businesses and factories moved into Garland in the 1930’s and a radio tower for a Dallas radio station, KRLD, was built in 1937. The city has continued to grow to this day.
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