Garner, North Carolina

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Town of Garner, North Carolina
Town
Water tower over Main Street, Garner
Water tower over Main Street, Garner
Motto: A Great Place to Be
Location in Wake County and the state of North Carolina.
Location in Wake County and the state of North Carolina.
Coordinates: 35°41′54″N 78°37′22″W / 35.69833°N 78.62278°W / 35.69833; -78.62278Coordinates: 35°41′54″N 78°37′22″W / 35.69833°N 78.62278°W / 35.69833; -78.62278
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Wake
Incorporated April 5, 1905
Government
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City Manager Hardin Watkins
Area
 • Total 14.8 sq mi (38.3 km2)
 • Land 14.7 sq mi (38.2 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 434 ft (132 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 25,745
 • Density 1,700/sq mi (670/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 27529
Area code(s) 919
FIPS code 37-25480[1]
GNIS feature ID 0985572[2]
Website http://www.garnernc.gov

Garner is a town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States and a suburb of Raleigh. The population was 25,745 at the 2010 census.[3] The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the town's population to be 26,772 as of July 1, 2013.[4]

The US Office of Management and Budget also includes Garner as a part of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area, which has a population of 1,998,808 as of U.S. Census 2012 Population Estimates.[5] Effective June 6, 2003 the Office of Management and Budget redefined the Federal Statistical Areas and dismantled what had been for decades the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, MSA and split them into two separate MSAs even though the region still functions as a single metropolitan area.

Geography[edit]

Garner is located at 35°41′54″N 78°37′22″W / 35.69833°N 78.62278°W / 35.69833; -78.62278 (35.698243, -78.622865).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38.3 km2), of which 14.7 square miles (38.2 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.34%, is water.[7]

Garner is located entirely within Wake County.[8] There are unincorporated areas of Wake County and Johnston County that have Garner postal addresses, including a portion of the unincorporated, but densely populated, Cleveland Community.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 17,757 people, 6,950 households, and 4,830 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,385.1 people per square mile (534.8/km²). There were 7,252 housing units at an average density of 565.7 per square mile (218.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.02% White, 27.13% African American, 0.41% Native American, 1.11% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.77% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.75% of the population.

There were 6,950 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.5% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 33.6% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $47,380, and the median income for a family was $58,302. Males had a median income of $37,359 versus $29,805 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,433. About 4.9% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.9% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.

History[edit]

Garner got its start with the coming of the railroad through the area beginning in 1847. In that year, after a tie-breaker vote by the Speaker of the State House of Representatives, what is now Garner was chosen as the location of a station of the North Carolina Railroad between Goldsboro and Charlotte. "Garner's Station" was established with the construction of a post office in 1878, and the town of Garner's Station incorporated in 1883.

Garner is situated in St. Mary's Township, which got its name from a Church of England parish. It is known that there were settlers in the area before the Revolutionary War. There are documented records of a church south of Garner in the Panther Branch Township as far back as 1756. According to the late Parker Rand, a 3,000-acre (12 km2) tract of land was granted to his forefathers by King George in 1759. Part of this area later was to be the site of a community known as Rand's Mill. Rand's Mill Pond was later renamed Lake Benson. It was enlarged in 1951 and is now used as a reservoir. Garner has continued to grow and prosper since its beginnings. In 1891, the village of Garner's Station had its charter repealed, and in 1905 application was made and granted for its reinstatement as the Town of Garner. The first town officials in 1905 were J.B. Richardson, mayor; H.D. Rand, J.J. Bagwell, H. Bryan, M.C. Penny, and J.S. Buffaloe, all aldermen. These gentlemen were appointed to serve one year or until their successors were duly elected and qualified.

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. William S. Powell stated that Garner was named for its founder, H.C. Garner. An article in The State also named H.C. Garner as its founder, but not much information has been found about the man.

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.

Times immediately after the close of the war must have been difficult, but by 1878 the little community had succeeded in getting a post office established. This was when the name "Garner's Station" originated. Thomas Bingham was the first postmaster.

An old map dated 1887 shows Garner connected with the city of Raleigh by a road, listed as Holloman's Road. This was a typical country road at the time, unpaved until about 1918. Its importance, aside from its serving as a link between the small Garner community and the state capital, lay in the fact that it was a small section of what was to become one of the oldest and longest traveled corridors in North Carolina, the Central Highway.

In about 1920, the road became known as North Carolina Highway 10, later also US 70. NC 10 was the first paved road to be built in the state and was financed by the first bonds sold by the state to build highways. The Central Highway from the mountains to the sea was started in 1911. The portion of the highway between Garner and Raleigh was paved around 1916 or 1917.

Sam Mitchiner recalls going to World War I by way of the muddy dirt road and returning to find it paved. This section of the highway today is known as Old Garner Road.

Farming was the chief source of income for the early settlers of Garner and nearby areas, with cotton the principal crop. Before the turn of the century, some small businesses were beginning to be developed. The first business in Garner is said to have been a wood shop owned by Henry Fort. Fort was said to have been a fine cabinetmaker and carpenter, making wardrobes, bureaus, and other pieces of wood furniture still being used by some Garner residents today. One of the first grocery stores in town was owned by Thomas Bennett. Other early businesses included a mercantile business owned by H.D. Rand, a drug store operated by George Montague, and several general stores operated by people such as C.H. Dupree, Jr., R. Garner, J.B. Hobby, and J.R. Williams. In addition to general stores and cotton gins in the area, other businesses such as blacksmith, repair shops, barber shops, livery stables, and boarding houses existed. The first bank was established in Garner in 1910. H.D. Rand was president and J.A. Weathers was the cashier. In 1912, telephone service came to Garner. In a short while, there were as many as 10 subscribers. The first switchboard was operated in the home of Vera Jones. The telephone service closed after two years and then returned in 1924. The business and residential life of Garner continued to grow steadily throughout the years, with more rapid growth in recent times.

With the increased population and residential growth, Garner has burgeoned in business and service establishments, both within the corporation limits and the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the town. Town officials predict the town will continue to grow at a rapid rate.[9]

An explosion and partial roof collapse of a ConAgra Foods plant on June 9, 2009, killed four and injured some 40 workers.[10][11]

Government[edit]

Garner currently operates under a council–manager government whereby the Town Council is the publicly elected legislative body of the town, and appoints a Town Manager to manage the administrative operations of the town. The Town Council consists of the Mayor and five Town Council Members, one of whom serves as Mayor "Pro Tempore."

Economy[edit]

Butterball is based outside of Garner, with a Garner mailing address.

Top employers[edit]

According to Garner's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[12] the top employers in the city were:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Wake County Public School System 1,040
2 ConAgra Foods[13] 600
3 Pergo 280
4 The Hamlin Companies 250
5 Walmart 212
6 LL Vann Electric 200
6 Lowe's 200
7 The Laurels of Forest Glenn 160
8 Town of Garner 158
9 The Home Depot 150
9 Ultratech Industries 15-
10 Target 140

Transportation[edit]

Roads[edit]

Several major roads and highways serve Garner:

  • Interstate 40 passes by the north and east sides of Garner. The town can be accessed via South Saunders Street (Exit 298-A), Hammond Road (Exit 299), Jones Sausage (Exit 303), or US 70 (Exit 306-B).
  • U.S. 70 serves as the main east-west highway through Garner. Most of the businesses and shopping centers lie on U.S. 70
  • U.S. 401 splits from U.S. 70 at the town's northwestern corner and runs to the west of the town.
  • N.C. 50 enters the town with U.S. 401 and U.S. 70 at the northwestern corner, then splits from U.S. 70 at Benson Road, serving as a major north-south arterial through Garner, and paralleling I-40 into Johnston County.
  • N.C. 42 is an east-west highway south of Garner. Though outside of the town limits proper, it serves many addresses in unincorporated parts of Wake and Johnston counties with Garner addresses.
  • Timber Drive is an extension of Hammond Road that serves as a major arterial to connect residential areas of Garner with U.S. 70 and I-40.
  • Garner Road is a former alignment of U.S. 70 that parallels it along the town's northern edge.

Public transportation[edit]

Garner is served by the Triangle Transit bus route 102.

Rail[edit]

Amtrak passes through Garner but does not have a scheduled stop. The nearest station is in Raleigh.

Air[edit]

The nearest commercial airport with regular passenger service is Raleigh-Durham International Airport. General aviation services can also be found at the Triple W Airport in Fuquay-Varina or the Raleigh East Airport in Knightdale.

Education[edit]

The following schools serve students in and around Garner. Most, but not all, are located within the town limits of Garner. With few exceptions, school districts in North Carolina are organized at the county level, and students are often assigned to schools without regard to which municipality they live in.

Wake County public schools:[14]

  • Aversboro Elementary School
  • Creech Road Elementary School
  • East Garner Elementary School
  • Rand Road Elementary School
  • Smith Magnet Elementary School
  • Timber Drive Elementary School
  • Vandora Springs Elementary School
  • Vance Elementary School
  • East Garner Middle School
  • North Garner Middle School
  • Garner Magnet High School

Johnston County public schools:[15]

  • Polenta Elementary School
  • West View Elementary School
  • Cleveland Middle School

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]