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Garner, North Carolina (NC) 

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Garner Begins as Train Stop in the mid 1800s

What is now known as the town of Garner saw its beginnings in 1847 as a mere train stop on the North Carolina Railroad between Charlotte and Goldsboro. By 1878 the community had a post office and became known as Garner's Station, incorporating in 1883. For unknown reasons, the charter was repealed in 1891, but after a railroad depot was built, the community was reincorporated as the Town Garner in 1905.

According town history, it is unclear how Garner got its name. The late Parker Rand believed that Garner was named for a family that lived in the area and later moved to Texas. Others believe the town was named by Henry Fort, a black cabinetmaker and carpenter who owned some land along the railroad after the Civil War. And one story has it that Thomas Bingham named the town. Bingham is said to have combined a general store with handling the mail. Since Webster defines "garner" as a "granary," hence figuratively, a "store," he named the town "Garner."

The town of Garner experienced actual combat in the closing days of the Civil War. Some skirmishes occurred in the area, as witnessed by the carefully preserved bullet holes in New Bethel Church and the "Garner" house, which is said to have been used as a hospital for wounded soldiers.

After incorporation in 1905, progress came quickly to Garner. The first bank was established in 1910, telephone service in 1912, and electricity in 1921.

The Garner Volunteer Fire Department first originated in 1952 when Garner was a small community south of Raleigh. It operated mainly on contributions and service contracts with the town. According to the Garner Volunteer Fire Department Web page, the first fire station in 1952 was a wooden, used-car garage owned by John Kelly, and the first fire alarm is a siren located on the top of the American Legion Building.  Fire calls went directly to home of Nannie Parrish who sounds the alarm by pressing a button which activates the nearby siren. The department's first fire truck was a 1941 Ford pick-up with front-mounted pump purchased from the Durham Fire Department for $1,000.

The Garner Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10225 was chartered on August 7, 1977, with 64 members. Six months later, the local Ladies Auxiliary was chartered with 25 members.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 13.6 square miles of which 12.8 square miles is land and 0.8 square miles is water.

A wide range of notable celebrities were born in Garner. NBA basketball player David West, who earned the NCAA Player of the Year award at Xavier University and played for the New Orleans Hornets, is from Garner; as is Major League Baseball player Pat Watkins and Eric Williams from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Other celebrities include former Cleveland Browns player Tony Blaylock; Dr. Todd Boyette (director of the Morehead Planetarium at Chapel Hill); and former Duke University head football coach Carl Franks.

Garner's population of over 25,000 and its close proximity to the North Carolina's capitol gives the community a "small town" feel. Combined with close access to Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park, and an average monthly temperature of 71 degrees (average of 80 degrees in the summer; 50 degrees in the winter), Garner is a wonderful place to call home.

Find out more about Johnston County, NC -

  • Town of: Benson, NC
  • Town of: Clayton, NC
  • Town of: Four Oaks, NC
  • Town of: Smithfield, NC
  • Town of Selma, NC
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    Sources:
    Town of Garner community information: http://www.ci.garner.nc.us/History.htm
    WRAL TV Web site: http://www.wral.com/wral-tv/story/1069461/
    Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garner,_North_Carolina
    Garner VFW Web site: http://www.vfw10225.org/posthistory.shtml
    Top 5 Reasons to Live in Garner: http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-5-Reasons-To-Live-in-Garner,-NC&id=527152