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Garland, Texas

Garland, Texas
Top to bottom, left to right: Firewheel Town Center, Bass Pro Shops at Harbor Point, Lake Ray Hubbard, Downtown Garland Dart Station, Firewheel Golf Park, and the Granville Arts Center.
Motto: "Texas Made Here"[1]
Location within Dallas County and the state of Texas
Location within Dallas County and the state of Texas
Garland, Texas is located in USA
Garland, Texas
Location in the contiguous United States
Country  United States
State  Texas
Counties Dallas, Collin, Rockwall
Incorporated 1891[2]
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City Council Mayor Douglas Athas
Tim Campbell
Anita Goebel
Stephen W. Stanley
B.J. Williams
Billy Mack Williams
Lori Barnett Dodson
Scott LeMay
Jim Cahill
 • City Manager Bryan Bradford
 • City Attorney Brad Neighbor
 • Total 57.1 sq mi (147.9 km2)
 • Land 57.1 sq mi (147.9 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 551 ft (168 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 226,876
 • Density 4,000/sq mi (1,500/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 75040-75049
Area code(s) 214, 972
FIPS code 48-29000[3]
GNIS feature ID 1388185[4]

Garland is a city in the U.S. state of Texas. It is a large city northeast of Dallas and is a part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. It is located almost entirely within Dallas County, except a small portion located in Collin and Rockwall Counties.[5][6] As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 226,876, making it the 87th-most populous city in the United States of America and the 12th-most populous city in the state of Texas. Garland has the second highest population in Dallas County and has easy access to downtown Dallas via public transportation including two Dart Blue line stations and buses.

In 2008, Garland was ranked #67 on CNN and Money magazine's list of the "Top 100 Places to Live".[7] During 2014 the city was ranked the 6th "Best City for Working Parents". [8] Garland is consistently named one of the safest cities in America. In 2014 Garland was named the "Safest Big City in the US".[9] In 2015, Garland was ranked the #17 overall and #5 best mid-sized city to purchase a home for "First-Time Home Buyers".[10] In 2015, Garland was ranked the 8th "Best Run City in America".[11]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Neighborhoods and historical communities 2.1
    • Climate 2.2
  • Demographics 3
    • Vietnamese Americans 3.1
  • Economy 4
    • Top employers 4.1
  • Points of interest 5
    • Entertainment 5.1
    • Historic places 5.2
    • Libraries 5.3
  • Parks and recreation 6
  • Government 7
  • Education 8
    • Colleges and universities 8.1
  • Infrastructure 9
    • Transportation 9.1
      • Major highways 9.1.1
      • Trains 9.1.2
        • Light rail
      • Air 9.1.3
    • Utilities 9.2
      • Water and wastewater utilities 9.2.1
      • Garland Power and Light 9.2.2
  • Notable people 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


The Historic Downtown Garland Square, dedicated to the city by Rosalynn Carter, has plans for renovations.

Immigrants began arriving in the Peters colony area around 1850, but a community was not created until 1874. Two communities sprang up in the area: Embree, named for the physician K. H. Embree, and Duck Creek, named for the local creek of the same name. A rivalry between the two towns ensued as the area began to grow around the Santa Fe Railroad depot. Eventually, to settle a dispute regarding which town should have the local post office, Dallas County Judge Thomas A. Nash asked visiting Congressman Joe Abbott to move the post office between the two towns. The move was completed in 1887. The new location was named Garland after U.S. Attorney General Augustus Hill Garland. Soon after, the towns of Embree and Duck Creek were combined, and the three areas combined to form the city of Garland, which was incorporated in 1891. By 1904, the town had a population of 819 people.[2]

In 1920, local businessmen financed a new electrical generator plant (sold by Fairbanks-Morse) for the town. This later led to the formation of Garland Power and Light, the municipal electric provider that still powers the city today.[2][12]

On May 9, 1927, a devastating F4 tornado struck the town and killed 15 people,[13] including the former mayor, S. E. Nicholson.

Businesses began to move back into the area in the late 1930s. The Craddock food company and later the Byer-Rolnick hat factory (now owned by Resistol) moved into the area. In 1937, KRLD, a major Dallas radio station, built its radio antenna tower in Garland, and it is operational to this day. During World War II, several aircraft plants were operated in the area, and the Kraft Foods company purchased a vacant one after the war for its own use. By 1950, the population of Garland exceeded 10,000 people.[2] From 1950 to 1954, though, the Dallas/Garland area suffered from a serious and extended drought, so to supplement the water provided by wells, Garland began using the water from the nearby Lake Lavon. The suburban population boom that the whole country experienced after World War II also reached Garland by 1960, when the population nearly quadrupled from the 1950 figure to about 38,500. By 1970, the population had doubled to about 81,500. By 1980, the population reached 138,850.[2] Charles R. Matthews served as mayor in the 1980s; he was later a member of the elected Texas Railroad Commission.

The new 5th Street Crossing mixed-use transit-oriented development

In the 2000s, Garland added several notable developments, mostly in the northern portion of the city. Hawaiian Falls waterpark opened in 2003. (Garland formerly had a Wet 'n Wild waterpark, which closed in 1993). The Garland Independent School District's Special Events Center,[14] an arena and conference facility, opened in 2005, as did Firewheel Town Center, an outdoor mall with more than 100 businesses. In 2009, the city, in conjunction with the developer Trammell Crow Company, finished a public/private partnership to develop the old courthouse and parking lot (the land between 5th Street, 6th Street, and on the north side of Austin Street) into a new mixed-use, transit-oriented development named 5th Street Crossing. Catercorner to both City Hall and the downtown DART Rail station, the project consists of 189 residential apartment units, 11,000 square feet (1,000 m2) of flex retail, and six live-work units.[15]

On May 3, 2015, two men attacked an art exhibition featuring works depicting Muhammad. The gunmen drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center and opened fire on a security guard; the gunmen were then killed by police. One security guard suffered minor injuries. The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) had hosted the art exhibit in support of freedom of speech.[16]


Garland is located at (32.907325, -96.635197).[17] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 57.1 square miles (147.9 km²), all land.

Neighborhoods and historical communities

Garland, Texas
Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: / NWS


Garland is part of the humid subtropical region. The average warmest month is July, with the highest recorded temperature being 111 °F (44 °C) in 2000. On average, the coolest month is January, with the lowest recorded temperature was −3 °F (−19 °C) in 1989. The maximum average precipitation occurs in May.


As of the 2010 census, 226,876 people, 75,696 households, and 56,272 families resided in the city. The population density was 3,973.3 people per square mile (1,534.1/km²). The 80,834 housing units averaged 1,415.7 per square mile (546.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.5% White, 14.5% African American, 0.8% Native American, 9.4% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 14.4% some other race, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 37.8% of the population.[19] Non-Hispanic Whites were 36.7% of the population,[20] down from 86.5% in 1980.[21]

Of the 75,696 households in 2010, 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were headed by married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.7% were not families. About 20.8% 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 2.99, and the average family size was 3.48.[19]

In the city, the population was distributed as 28.5% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males.[19]

According to the Census Bureau's 2007–2011 American Community Survey, the median income for a household in the city was $52,441, and for a family was $57,293. Males had a median income of $36,041 versus $33,950 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,000. About 11.1% of families and 14.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.7% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.[22]

Vietnamese Americans

As of 2000, 12% of the foreign-born population of Garland originated from Vietnam. Two strip-style shopping malls along Walnut Street to Vietnamese people, and a community center as of 2009 hosts first-generation Vietnamese immigrants.[23] According to the 2010 Census, Garland has the 17th largest number of Vietnamese Americans in the United States. [24]


In the late 1930s, the Craddock food company, which manufactured pickles, moved to town. In 1937, the KRLD (Dallas) radio tower was constructed in Garland. During World War II, several aircraft plants operated in the Garland area. After the war, Kraft Foods bought the Continental Motors Plant to retool for its manufacture. The Kraft Foods plant still operates to this day. As a station on two railroads, Garland was a major onion-shipping point in the 1940s.[2]

Resistol Hats in Garland is a notable manufacturer of premium hats, many of which have been worn by or given to notable figures around the world. The company has long been an important part of Garland's manufacturing base.[25]

The company was founded by E.R. Byer and Harry Rolnick, who established Byer-Rolnick in Dallas in 1927. At the time, the company produced men's felt hats. The company used the name "Resistol Hats" to indicate that the hats could "resist-all" weather conditions. Some accounts contend the name was given because the headbands in the company's hats were more resistant to scalp oil.[26]

The growing firm needed to expand. In 1938, it moved to a larger facility in Garland, where Resistol hats continue to be manufactured today. For decades, residents surrounding the hat factory could set their clocks to its whistle.[26]

In the early 1980s, Garland had one of the lowest poverty rates of cities in the country. In 1990, it had a population of 180,650 and 2,227 businesses, making it Dallas County's second-largest city and the tenth-largest in the state. Today, Garland had a variety of industries, including electronics, steel fabrication, oilfield equipment, aluminum die casting, hat manufacture, dairy products, and food processors.[2] Notable companies in the City today include: Atlas Copco, Plastipak Packaging, Karlee, Valspar, Sears Logistics, Massimo Motor, Sherwin-Williams, Ecolab, Petco, Hatco, U.S. Foodservice, General Dynamics, Mapei and Garrett Metal Detectors.

Top employers

According to Garland's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[27] the top employers in the city were:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Raytheon E-Systems 3,500
2 Walmart Super Centers 1,250
3 Navistar International/SST Truck 800
4 Danaher 550
5 U.S. Foodservice 500
6 Atlas Copco 420
7 Hatco (Resistol) 386
8 Home Depot 339
9 General Dynamics 325
10 L-3 Communications 450

Points of interest

The Patty Granville Arts Center


  • The Granville Arts Center is a complex owned and operated by the city. Included within the complex are two elegant [28]
  • The Plaza Theater[29]
  • Pace House[30]

Historic places

  • The Garland Landmark Museum is housed in the former 1901 Santa Fe depot. Inside are historical artifacts and documents representing the period from 1850 to the present.[31]
  • Historic Downtown Garland[32]


The Nicholson Memorial Library System's Central Library in July 2015

On May 9, 1927, a tornado destroyed much of the city and killed 17 people, including a former mayor, S. E. Nicholson. Six years later, the Nicholson Memorial Library opened in his honor.[2] Seeking to provide a lasting memorial to his mother and brother, W. R. Nicholson of Longview, Texas, purchased a former bank building and donated it to the city. In 1933, the building was opened as a community center and library. Initially a volunteer project, the library became its own department and joined the Dallas County Library System shortly after WWII. In 1965, the library became fully funded by the city of Garland. Today, the library serves as the Central Library and operates four branches under the Nicholson Memorial Library System.

The Nicholson Memorial Library System is also the Major Resource Center, or headquarters, of the Northeast Texas Library System (NETLS). NETLS serves a 33-county area that includes 105 member libraries. The NETLS headquarters and offices have been housed in NMLS’ Central Library since 1983.[33]

Parks and recreation

Garland includes over 2,880 acres (1,170 ha) of park land, six recreation centers, and 60 parks.[34][35]

  • Spring Creek Forest Preserve & Park Preserve
See also Spring Creek Forest Preserve


The city of Garland is a voluntary member of the North Central Texas Council of Governments association, the purpose of which is to coordinate individual and collective local governments and facilitate regional solutions, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and enable joint decisions.

The Parkland Health & Hospital System (Dallas County Hospital District) operates the Garland Health Center.[36]

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) operates the Region I office in Garland.[37]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Dallas II District Parole Offices in Garland.[38]

The United States Postal Service operates the Garland,[39] Kingsley,[40] and North Garland post offices.[41]


The more than 100-year-old Garland High School: This lineart graphic displays the historic front of the high school that faces South Garland Ave in the Downtown Garland District.

Most of Garland is in the Garland Independent School District (GISD). Parts of Garland extend into other districts, including the Dallas, Mesquite, and Richardson Independent School Districts.

The GISD does not have school zoning, so GISD residents may apply to any GISD school.

The GISD portion of Garland is served by several high schools. Garland High School is home to the district's international baccalaureate program. North Garland High School is the math, science and technology magnet. Lakeview Centennial High School is GISD's "College and Career" magnet school. South Garland High School is known within the community for its vocational cosmetology program. Other GISD high schools include Naaman Forest, Rowlett, and Sachse High Schools.

The Mesquite ISD portion of Garland is served by Price Elementary School, Vanston Middle School, and North Mesquite High School.

The Richardson ISD portion is served by O. Henry Elementary School, Liberty Junior High School, and Berkner High School, which are in the western portion of Garland.

As of November 2006, the GISD had 52,391 students and 3,236 teachers, for an average ratio of 16.2 students per teacher.[3] The 2006 GISD property tax rate was $1.5449 per hundred dollars of assessed property value.[4]

For a private Christian school option, hundreds of families have chosen for their children to attend Garland Christian Academy, which was founded in 1972. Garland Christian serves hundreds of PK3-12th grade students from Garland and the surrounding communities. GCA is an accredited member of the Association of Christian Schools International and the American Association of Christian Schools, and is also a member of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. Garland Christian offers study-abroad trips to Europe, online dual-credit classes, and most high school students are given iPads for use for e-textbooks and class research.

Colleges and universities

Richland College Garland Campus in July 2015

An article by [42]

Garland is also the home of Amberton University, a fully accredited private university with both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Amberton University was formerly known as Amber University and previously known as Abilene Christian University at Dallas.



Major highways


A Kansas City Southern track runs parallel to State Highway 78 (Garland Road), coming out of Dallas and heading all the way through the other side of Garland towards Wylie. There is also a Dallas, Garland and Northeastern Railroad line serving industries around the city.

Light rail


The city of Garland owns the Garland/DFW Heloplex.[43] The facility was the first municipal heliport in Texas when it opened in November 1989.[44] Located at 2559 S. Jupiter Road, the heliport is operated by SKY Helicopters Inc.,[45] which was initially awarded a lease of the facility in January 1993.[46]


The city of Garland operates the city's water system and waste services. Electricity for about 85% of Garland is provided by the city's municipal utility, Garland Power and Light (GP&L). Electricity for the other 15% was formerly provided by TXU, but is now supplied by multiple companies after deregulation of the Texas electricity market.

Water and wastewater utilities

Garland is an original member city of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). The vision of the city fathers in the early 1940s resulted in Garland and its companion member cities benefitting from reliable, high quality, affordable water from the water district’s many reservoirs.

The effluent from Garland's wastewater treatment plant flows through a NTMWD man-made, 1,840-acre (7.4 km2) wetland. This provides a natural habitat for a wide variety of birds and reduces the sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus contents of the water to a drinkable level. Through the use of selected aquatic plants, this environmentally friendly project will provide millions of gallons of reusable water and reduce the environmental impact.

Garland Power and Light

Garland Power and Light logo

Garland Power and Light (GP&L) was founded in 1923 to provide Garland residents not-for-profit public utility services, locally controlled by its citizens. GP&L provides services to nearly 68,000 customers, making it the third largest municipal utility in Texas and the 41st largest in the nation.

Garland Power and Light has three gas-fired generating plants, which combined have 640 megawatts of generation capacity. In addition, Garland partners with the Texas Municipal Power Agency which operates the 462-megawatt coal-fired Gibbons Creek Power Plant. Garland's electric distribution system has 1,007 mi (1,621 km) of overhead lines and 1,000 mi (1,600 km) of underground lines. Its transmission system consists of 23 substations and 133 mi (214 km) of transmission lines. Garland's peak load for 2007 was 483 megawatts, with annual operating revenues of nearly $238 million.[47]

The two national indices are System Average Interruption Frequency Index SAIFI and System Average Interruption Duration Index SAIDI. SAIFI is the number of times power is lost, and SAIDI is the length of time the power is out. These standards compare the frequency and duration of power outages and the customers affected. Garland is one of the few power providers that post their SAIDA/SAIFI numbers.

Notable people

The animated television series King of the Hill was created by former Garland resident Mike Judge, who used elements of Garland as an inspiration for its setting — the fictional (and similar-sounding) town of Arlen.

Other former and current Garland residents who have gained national and international recognition include singer LeAnn Rimes, actress Crystal Bernard, musician Dean Sams of the band Lonestar, singer Amber Dotson and Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee Gene Summers.[48]

Garland has also had its share of sports stars including NFL and former Texas A&M linebacker Keith Mitchell, NFL placekicker Mac Percival, NFL All-Pro Bobby Boyd, NFL safety Melvin Bullitt, NFL cornerback Jacob Lacey and NBA players Mookie Blaylock and Ricky Pierce. Judy Trammell, the head choreographer for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, resides in Garland.

Some episodes of the Chuck Norris television series Walker, Texas Ranger were filmed in Garland, as well as some scenes for the Fox Network series Prison Break. Garland has a street called Star Trek Lane, the first official place name of the Star Trek television series created by Gene Roddenberry (who was born in El Paso, Texas).


  1. ^ "City of Garland Texas". City of Garland Texas. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Garland, TX". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 1-8-2012. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  5. ^ "QuickFacts: Garland, Texas", United States Census Bureau
  6. ^ "Population of Texas Cities and Towns Sorted by County". The County Information Project Texas Association of Counties. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Best Places to Live 2008". CNN Money. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  8. ^ "Best Cities for Working Parents - NerdWallet". (in en-US). Retrieved 2015-07-15. 
  9. ^ "13 Safest Big Cities In America". Cities Journal (in en-us). Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  10. ^ "2015’s Best and Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers". WalletHub. Retrieved 2015-09-23. 
  11. ^ "2015’s Best & Worst Run Cities in America". WalletHub. Retrieved 2015-08-15. 
  12. ^ "A Brief History of Garland". City of Garland. Retrieved 1-8-2012. 
  13. ^ Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, Vermont: Environmental Films. pp. 808–811.  
  14. ^ "Curtis Culwell Center". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  15. ^ JHP Architecture/Urban Design - 5th Street Crossing
  16. ^ "City: 2 gunmen killed outside Muhammad cartoon contest". AP. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  17. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  18. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Garland city, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Garland (city), Texas". State & County QuickFacts. U.S. Census Bureau. 
  21. ^ "Race and Hispanic Origin for Selected Cities and Other Places: Earliest Census to 1990". U.S. Census Bureau. 
  22. ^ "DP03: Selected Economic Characteristics, 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  23. ^ Brettell, Caroline B. '"Big D" Incorporating New Immigrants in a Sunbelt Suburban Metropolis' (Chapter 3). In: Singer, Audrey, Susan Wiley Hardwick, and Caroline Brettell. Twenty-First Century Gateways: Immigrant Incorporation in Suburban America (James A. Johnson metro series). Brookings Institution Press, 2009. ISBN 0815779283, 9780815779285. Start p. 53. CITED: p.62.
  24. ^  
  25. ^ "Texas Primer: The Resistol Hat". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 2011-12-25. 
  26. ^ a b "Resistol Hat History". Resistol Hats. Retrieved 2011-12-25. 
  27. ^ City of Garland CAFR
  28. ^ Patty
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "History of Nicholson Memorial Library System". Nicholson Memorial Library System. Retrieved 1-8-2012. 
  34. ^ "Parks". Garland Parks. Retrieved 1-8-2012. 
  35. ^ "Recreation Centers". Garland Parks. Retrieved 1-8-2012. 
  36. ^ "Clinic Sites and Services:" Parkland Health & Hospital System. Retrieved on October 25, 2012.
  37. ^ "Regional Contact Information" (Archive). Texas Department of Public Safety. Retrieved on April 24, 2014.
  38. ^ "Parole Division Region II." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 15, 2010. Archived August 20, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ "Post Office Location - GARLAND." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 16, 2010.
  40. ^ "Post Office Location - KINGSLEY." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 16, 2010.
  41. ^ "Post Office Location - NORTH GARLAND." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 16, 2010.
  42. ^ "About the Garland Campus". Richland College. Retrieved 2011-12-25. 
  43. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for T57 (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective 3 March 2015.
  44. ^ Richter, Marice (1989-12-10). "Garland awaits day heliport will take off".  
  45. ^ "SKY Helicopters - Facilities". SKY Helicopters. Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  46. ^ Boehm, Rachel (1993-01-07). "Garland approves lease for heliport - Carrollton firm signs 5-year deal".  
  47. ^ "Welcome To Garland Power & Light". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  48. ^ "RAB Hall of Fame: Gene Summers". Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  49. ^
  50. ^ Leaders with Ginni Thomas: Rev C. L. Bryant, Daily Caller, 23 October 2011

External links

  • City of Garland
  • Garland Landmark Society
  • Garland, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
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