As the township of Duck Creek began to take shape in 1858, four denominations shared religious services in the Duck Creek schoolhouse. Area development was delayed by the onset of the Civil War, but by the 1870s the town was recovering. The Rev. W. B. Cole organized First Christian Church in 1875 with 21 charter members. They met in the schoolhouse for several years. In 1884, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad missed Duck Creek by one mile. A new township called Embree sprang up beside the railroad line. In 1885, the Rev. W. B. Cole's son, Charles l. Cole, became the growing congregation's first full-time minister; the following year, church members erected their own house of worship. In 1888 the congregation purchased the land on this site and moved the church building here. The two townships incorporated in 1891 to become Garland. The congregation grew with the area. Between 1922 and 1924 a new brick building was erected. The church was remodeled and additions were made as needed. The congregation persevered despite the difficulties of the Depression era. From 1954 to 1964 the church established two new congregations, Monica Park and Western Heights Christian churches. The membership of the First Christian Church of Garland reached 1000 in the year 2000. At the dawn of the 21st century, the First Christian Church serves its congregation and the wider community with such outreach ministries as counseling services and offering free meeting space and financial aid to many nonprofit organizations. The First Christian Church of Garland continues in the traditions of its founders.
Organized in 1855 by 18 charter members, this congregation was served by circuit-riding ministers who conducted worship services in a log cabin schoolhouse located on Duck Creek. A sanctuary built in 1871 was destroyed by a tornado in 1874. The City of Garland was formed in 1887 when the surrounding communities merged. The Methodist Church has been part of Garland's history since its begining. Several buildings have served the congregation, which continues active ministries to its members and community outreach and foreign missionary programs.
This congregation traces its roots to April 22, 1888, when the Rev. Benjamin Spencer and twenty-five charter members organized a Cumberland Presbyterian congregation. The church served a diverse membership, including farmers, retail business owners, and others. Worship services were held in a variety of locations until the first sanctuary, a one-room frame building, was built on S. Ninth Street in 1901. It was replaced by a brick structure in 1929. This church remains a reminder of Garland's early religious history.
Settlement of this area began in the 1840s. A small community named Duck Creek was established and by 1846 a log cabin was serving as a community center, school, and Union Church. Early businesses included a general store, grist mill, and cotton gin. In 1886 The Gulf, Colorado, & Santa Fe Railroad built a line through Dallas County, passing about one mile east of Duck Creek. A new town, named Embree in honor of one of Duck Creek's early doctors, was laid out along the rail line. The Missouri, Kansas, & Texas Railroad built a second rail line north of the Santa Fe Tracks. The original Duck Creek settlement declined in favor of New Duck Creek on the MKT Rail Line. A U.S. Post Office was authorized for the area in 1887 and was positioned between the two towns. Named for U.S. Attorney General A. H. Garland, the site became a new town into which the earlier communities merged. The citizens voted to incorporate in 1891, and M. Davis Williams was elected first mayor. Garland flourished in the early 20th century and survived the Great Depression. Rapid transportation and industrial growth following World War II changed the city's economic base. Garland continues to be an important part of Dallas County history.
The early 20th century development of the automobile led to major changes in road systems throughout the U. S. The 1916 Federal Aid Road Act, which supplied matching funds to states for the upgrade of roads, was sponsored by Alabama Senator John H. Bankhead and required that states establish a highway department in order to receive federal disbursements; the act led to the creation of the Texas Highway Department in 1917. The Bankhead Highway, America’s second east-to-west transcontinental highway, was soon routed from Washington, D. C., to San Diego.
The Bankhead Highway’s route through Texas included the major cities of Texarkana, Dallas, Fort Worth and El Paso and passed through the Dallas County town of Garland. In 1919, Texas Bankhead Highway Association Secretary Arthur P. Dyer noted that Garland was the only town on the Texas route which had voluntarily organized and gone to work without asking for outside help. The people of Garland took advantage of the highway’s potential for economic impact. Auto repair shops, restaurants and service stations were built along Main Street—the highway’s route through Garland—which was soon paved and curbed. Although the Bankhead Highway was officially designated as Texas Highway 1 in 1917, it also retained the official Bankhead name until 1926, when it became part of U. S. Highway 67. However, the old name remained attached to the Garland segment until the early 1950s.
The road’s importance diminished beginning in the 1950s as most drivers opted to use the wider, safer and faster new interstate system, but the Bankhead Highway is remembered for its significant place in the history of scores of Texas towns such as Garland.
In 1873 the Grand Lodge of Texas granted Masons in the pioneer community of Duck Creek (present day Garland) dispensation to form their own lodge. The first Lodge hall, which the Masons shared with two other organizations, was destroyed in a windstorm in 1874. Duck Creek Lodge No. 441 was issued a permanent charter in 1875. In 1876, after 20 months of meeting in a schoolhouse, church, and in the homes of several of its members, the Lodge met in a new hall built on land in Duck Creek donated by John and Elisa Wallace. The merger of the villages of Duck Creek and nearby Embree in the late 1880s to form Garland prompted the Lodge leadership to relocate its hall to the corner of present day Glenbrook and Main Street in 1889. Membership in the Lodge continued to grow and in 1897 a new brick lodge hall was constructed at the northwest corner of Garland's downtown square. In 1903 the name of the Lodge was changed to Garland Lodge No. 441. A new Lodge hall was built at this site in 1960. This Lodge has a long history of charitable work in the community, and has counted among its members ten former mayors of Garland and many other business, civic, military and political leaders.
The final resting place for many Dallas County pioneers, this cemetery began in the churchyard of Duck Creek Methodist Church, a congregation organized in the 1850s. The graveyard includes sections established by the Duck Creek Masonic Lodge (1883) and the Knights of Pythias Lodge (1900). The oldest marked burials date from the 1870s, although earlier death dates appear on graves relocated here from another cemetery. Interred here are local, state, and national elected officials, victims of a 1927 tornado, and veterans of conflicts from the War of 1812 to Vietnam. Narrative
With origins in the rural Duck Creek School, the first school in Garland opened soon after the community's establishment in 1887. Students and teachers met in temporary space until the first permanent building was erected three years later. Garland College, as the school was known, was a subscription school, charging tuition for its educational services. In 1901, Garland voters elected to incorporate as an independent school district, which gave them authority to levy taxes for school improvements. The first classes began in September 1901 in the Garland College building with an enrollment of 130 students. Interscholastic football was introduced in 1906, and the first parent- teacher association formed in 1922. Facilities were remodeled and expanded over the years as needed to accommodate a growing population. Garland ISD opened its first school for African- American children in 1922-23. Carver School served students in grades one through eight; high school students had to travel to Dallas to complete their education. Integration of the schools began in 1964 and was completed by 1970. As the Garland area became more urban, the neighboring rural schools consolidated with the Garland school district. In its first 100 years, public education in Garland grew from a six-room building with enrollment of 130 pupils in 1901 to more than 60 campuses with an enrollment of approximately 51,000 students. Narrative
Constructed in 1901 by the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad, and designed by a railroad systems engineer. Replaced an earlier depot built when the city of Garland was founded in 1888. No exterior alterations were made, and only a waiting room partition and restroom facilities were added inside. Served in early years as a shipping point for farm produce. Moved here from its original site (150 yards SW) in 1972 by the city of Garland as a Landmark Museum.
Between 1910 and 1920, the population of Garland increased from about 800 to more than 1,400. Accompanying the growth of the town was a plan by the Eastern Texas Traction Company to build an interurban electric trolley line. The route, connecting Dallas to Greenville, would have run along Mewshaw Avenue (later Avenue D), as the southern border of the Travis College Hill Addition, which was platted in 1913. The neighborhood was created as an addition to the interurban line developments, in part, to attract commerce and population near the line. The 73-acre property belonged to Garland pioneers Richard and Sallie (Walker) Wyatt. Developer R.O. Travis worked with Richard Wyatt to oversee the establishment of the addition through the Interurban Land Company. The neighborhood adjoined Garland College, giving the residential addition the name of Interurban Land Company's Travis College Hill.
Large lots and proximity to the proposed trolley line helped attract businesses and homeowners. At the center of the addition was the Garland Avenue thoroughfare, now South 11th Street. The interurban line was cancelled due to the bankruptcy of the Eastern Texas Traction Company, and the chance to renew the project was lost with the coming of World War I and the Model T automobile. However, the area had already become an integral part of Garland, and has featured the homes of many of the city's civic, religious, commercial, and educational leaders. The houses have also been used for numerous meetings and events as Garland has grown from a small town to a large city. Today, Travis College Hill Addition reflects the architecture and history of the early development of Garland.
Baptists in the pioneer Duck Creek community began meeting regularly in a log schoolhouse probably as early as the 1850s. On March 8, 1868, sixteen Baptists assembled in the schoolhouse and formally organized Antioch Baptist Church, calling W. B. Long as their first pastor. The first church house was built in 1870. Sunday School classes began in 1873, and a Ladies' Aid Society was organized in 1883. The church moved into the rapidly growing new town of Garland in 1890 and began to flourish. In 1904 the congregation divided amicably into two equal groups after a conflict about the best course for mission work. Antioch Baptist and First Baptist Church of Garland were reunited in 1915 as Garland Baptist Church. The church prospered with the community. The Ladies' Aid Society and other groups within the congregation worked to raise funds to support the church and its programs. A more modern church building was erected in 1930. The church assumed the name First Baptist Church of Garland in 1946 as other Baptist churches were begun in the city. A fourth worship center was built in 1953, followed by educational facilities in 1958, 1963, 1980 and 1996. By 1999, the church had assisted in establishing 19 missions. Many of those grew into large Garland churches. First Baptist Church continues to serve the local community and the larger world through numerous worship, outreach and mission programs. Creative Sunday School programs and a variety of worship experiences are designed to meet the changing spiritual needs of the city in the 21st century. Narrative
Opened with burials of William (1785?-1858) and Celia (Lair) Anderson (1791?-1859), Kentuckians who lived on Missouri frontier before following to Dallas County a son, John Lair Anderson (1819-85), a Peters colony settler of 1846, also buried here. The William Anderson home stood about 90 yards to the southwest of this cemetery. Narrative