Garner is a town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States and a suburb of Raleigh. The population was estimated to be 27,814 as of July 2014. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.8 square miles, of which 14.7 square miles is land and 0.04 square miles is water.
Garner is situated completely within Wake County. There are actually unincorporated aspects of Wake County and Johnston County which have Garner postal addresses, including a portion of the unincorporated, but densely populated, Cleveland Community.
Garner got its start with the arrival 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” started with the construction of a post office in 1878, and the town of Garner’s Station incorporated in 1883.
Farming was the chief source of income for the early settlers of Garner NC and nearby areas, with cotton the primary crop. Prior to the turn of the century, some small businesses were beginning to be created. 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 run by people such as C.H. Dupree, Jr., R. Garner, J.B. Hobby, and J.R. Williams. Along with 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 continuously over the years, with additional 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.
Garner currently operates under a council-manager government whereby the Garner 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.”
Just a stone’s throw from the heart of the bustling state capital, Garner has retained its small-town charm while boasting an exceptional quality of life thanks to hundreds of acres of award-winning parkland, an abundance of recreational and cultural arts opportunities and a broad array of shopping and dining options. Garner offers easy access to one of the nation’s premier cities. Town residents know that they are closer to downtown Raleigh (a mere 10 minutes!) than many City of Raleigh residents–but not so close as to erode the hometown feel that makes Garner special.
Garner is a North Carolina city with a lot of history and a big future ahead. Take the time to visit this great example of a North Carolina town and enjoy everything Garner has to offer.
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