Garner, North Carolina

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Town of Garner, North Carolina
Water tower over Main Street, Garner
Water tower over Main Street, Garner
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
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 • TypeCouncil–Manager
 • MayorKen Marshburn (D)
 • Garner Town Council
 • Town ManagerRodney Dickerson
 • Total16.13 sq mi (41.79 km2)
 • Land16.09 sq mi (41.68 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
434 ft (132 m)
 • Total25,745
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,951.72/sq mi (753.55/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)919
FIPS code37-25480[3]
GNIS feature ID0985572[4]

Garner is a town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States and a suburb of Raleigh. The city limits are entirely within Wake County, though portions of unincorporated Wake County, as well as the Cleveland community in northern Johnston County have Garner mailing addresses. The population was estimated to be 31,407 as of July 1, 2019.[5] It is part of the Research Triangle region of North Carolina and serves as a bedroom community for the region.


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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)31,407[2]22.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

As of the census[3] 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.


Land near the town of Garner was first settled around 1751. In the 1850s, the North Carolina Railroad was built, and before the 1870s, a wood-and-water stop was established in present-day downtown Garner. The community of Garner's Station received a post office in 1878 and was incorporated in 1883, but the community had its charter repealed in 1891.

In 1905, the charter was reinstated as the Town of Garner. The first mayor was J.B. Richardson, and the first aldermen were H.D. Rand, J.J. Bagwell, H. Bryan, M.C. Penny, and J.S. Buffaloe.

In 1912, the telephone came to Garner. The town is off of US 70, which in 1917 became the first paved highway to be built in North Carolina.[10] An explosion and partial roof collapse of a ConAgra Foods plant on June 9, 2009, killed four and injured some 40 workers.[11][12]

The Downtown Garner Historic District, Edenwood, and Meadowbrook Country Club are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[13]


City Council and City Manager[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."

City Police Department[edit]

The Garner Police Department has 63 sworn police officers and 11 professional staff personnel (including full-time and part-time staff) to provide law enforcement services to a town roughly 15 square miles in area with a permanent residential population of over 28,000 citizens. The Department is divided into two bureaus—the Operations Bureau and the Administration Bureau.


Garner's library service began in 1928 and was formed by the Garner's Women's Club, which operated and staffed the library with volunteer workers [14]

Today, Garner's public library is the Southeast Regional Library, which is a regional facility operated by Wake County Public Libraries.[15] The library offers Wake County Public Library's child and adult services, which include storytimes, adult craft programs, computer use, and other free activities for the community.[16] In 2020, as part of Wake County Public Library's Fine Free program, Southeast Regional Library has stopped collecting fines for books that are returned late. [17]

In June 2020, Southeast Regional Library began offering Wake County's Books on the Go program, a contactless book retrieval service that allows patrons to request and receive books from the library while it is closed due to COVID-19 [18]


According to Garner's 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[19] the top employers in the town were:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Wake County Public School System 800
2 Food Lion 360
3 Walmart 350
4 Pergo 284
5 Cabela's 277
6 Golden State Foods 265
7 F&D Huebner, LLC 258
8 Target 251
9 Strategic Behavioral Health 206
10 Kroger 200



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 Road (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.


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


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.


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:[20]

  • Aversboro Elementary School
  • Bryan Road 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
  • South Garner High School

Johnston County public schools:[21]

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

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Garner town, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  8. ^ "Garner Corporate Limits as of August, 2008" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-01-28. Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ Town of Garner website, Town History
  11. ^ "Bodies removed from Garner plant rubble". 2009-06-10. Archived from the original on 2011-06-14. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  12. ^ "2 dead, 1 missing after Slim Jim plant explosion". 2009-06-09. Archived from the original on 2010-05-29. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  13. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^,to%20our%20collections%20and%20services.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Town of Garner Comprehensive Annual Financial Report". Town of Garner. 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  20. ^ Wake County Public School System
  21. ^ Schools in Johnston County Schools. Archived March 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Nyheim Hines Stats. Pro-Football-Reference. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  23. ^ James Mays, Clemson, Power Forward - Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  24. ^ #2 Manny Perez. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  25. ^ Cooper, Duncan. (May 4, 2017). Meet Sarah Shook, Country Music’s Radical And Ordinary Hero. The Fader. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  26. ^ Pat Watkins Stats. Baseball-Reference. Retrieved July 16, 2020.

External links[edit]