The original settlement in the area was called Trapps Springs and was founded in the 1850s by a small group of families. The current town was settled in the 1880s half a mile west of the original site, and named Garner after a local gin operator. For most of the twentieth century the town has seen steady growth, from around 40 residents in 1914 to 98 in 1990. There was a post office located in Garner from around 1890 to 1970.
The post office and general store in Garner were run for many years by a Mr. James A. Vance. There is a story about him in a book by Ben K. Green, "Wild Cow Tales". The story is called "The One That Got Away". Mr. Vance was born June 14, 1871, arrived in Garner on Oct. 7, 1894 and died at home in Garner, Texas in 1964.