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 Texas : Towns / East Texas :

GARRISON, TEXAS

Nacogdoches County, East Texas
Highway 59
18 Miles N of Nacogdoches
34 Miles S of Carthage

Population: 844 (2000)

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Garrison Texas downtown
Downtown Garrison
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson January 2006
History in a Pecan Shell

The town is named after Captain. J. H. (Jim) Garrison who bought land near here in the mid 1880s and sold a portion of it to the expanding Houston, East and West Texas Railroad when they were looking for a right-of-way to the Louisiana State Line.

The sale was made in 1884 with eleven acres 125 going for the right-of-way, a depot and lots to be sold for businesses and residfences. The depot was designated Garrison and this soon applied to the area immediately around the tracks. Captain Garrison's office for his real-estate and crosstie business was the first to open.

Other crucial businesses soon opened, including a sawmill, store and the Greenwood Hotel - which may be the building above. The arrival of the town's first train in 1886 was celebrated by a free ride (albeit on flatcars) for all Garrisonites back to Nacogdoches.

Garrison's first school, a log church/ church burned that same year. Classes were taught in homes until the Mineral Springs Institute could be constructed. A new brick public school opened in 1911 but burned five years later.

Since incorporation proceeding were interupted in Nacogdoches, Garrison claims that their incorporation was the first in the county. Undisputed is the fact that Garrison elected Maud Irwin the first female mayor in Texas in 1937.

From a population of 500 in the mid-1890s, Garrison had double that number by 1915. Mineral springs made Garrison a (minor) health resort. Excavating clay for firebrick and exploiting the small coal deposits helped the economy, but after 1929 the coal mining operations ceased when cheaper natural gas replaced coal. Clay for brick continues to be a part of the Garrison economy.

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Garrison Texas hotel

The most noticeable building in Garrison

Photo Courtesy Ken Rudine August 2006

Photographer's Note -
I finally got a shot of the old hotel in Garrison TX on Hwy 59. If you are not camera ready before you get to Garrison, you'll miss it entirely. After "Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo and Blair" the next town down the road is Garrison. "There ain't much here, but here is the best of it". - Ken Rudine, September 01, 2006
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