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 below. 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/schoolhouse 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.
| First United
Massey, December 2012
|" 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
| The most noticeable
building in Garrison
Photo Courtesy Ken
Rudine August 2006
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