in a Pecan Shell
Garner dates from the 1850s when approximately 20 families settled
here. Development was slow in coming. They built a school in the late
1870s and named (both school and community) Trapp Spring.
In the 1880s, a nucleus for the community started forming just west
of the school. When a post office was opened around 1890, they decided
to honor a local cotton processor named Bumgardner - shortening the
name to Garner.
In 1888, residents moved the school to the developing town. The railroad
(The Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern) appeared and Garner
became a shipping point. But proximity to the county seat limited
growth and it remained under-developed with only a few essential businesses.
Residents took the train to Weatherford
for more important transactions and purchases.
The population in 1914 was only forty people - growing slowly to seventy-five
in 1947. Although the post office was closed around 1970, Garner continued
to grow, albeit slowly. The population was reported as 98 for the
1980 and 1990 census. In 2004 Garner was reported to have 196 residents.
I grew up in and around Mineral
Wells, just to the west of Garner, and have some relatives living
in or near Garner now. I just wanted to add that I have read here
and there that Garner may have been the birthplace of the old Texas
domino game, 42. The story I found was that back in the day, the local
clergy so strongly discouraged card-playing that 42 was invented as
an alternative game, since it did not require playing cards. - Bob
Hampton, Byers, TX, September 24, 2015
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