A Capsule History of Garner, NC
Garner, North Carolina, is situated in the St. Mary's Township of Wake County in the central piedmont region of the state. Garner grew up along the railroad tracks, just off what is now East Garner Road; this is the current day Downtown Historic District. Today the town limits of Garner touch the southern city limits of Raleigh, North Carolina's Capital City. The greater Garner area's history is closely tied to several neighboring crossroads and communities, including the Auburn, Ebenezer, McCullers, Panther Branch and Williams Crossroads areas.
There are documented records of residents and a church in the Garner area prior to the Revolutionary War, as early as the 1750's. Several current residents can trace their property back to land grants from King George III. The earliest known name of the community was the village of Garner's Station in the 1870's through the 1890's. The town was named by Thomas Bingham, who served as postmaster and the first mayor of Garner's Station. In the Charter of 1883, the town commissioners were Eli Dupree, T. W. Bennett, and J. M. Spence. The village constable was E. Rogers. In 1905, the town was re-chartered as the Town of Garner, and J. B. Richardson was mayor. The first aldermen were H. D. Rand, J. J. Bagwell, H. Bryan, M. C. Penny, and J. S. Buffaloe.
Early leading families in the greater Garner community were named Avera, Bagwell, Banks, Baucom, Blalock, Britt, Broughton, Bryan, Buffaloe, Dupree, Haywood, Lane, Middleton, Mitchener, Montague, Myatt, Penny, Phillips, Poole, Rand, Richardson, Sauls, Turner, Wall, Whitaker, Williams and Yeargan, among others. Many of them were local farmers, tradespeople, and business owners. Henry Fort, an African American cabinet maker, is the earliest known person of color to have a business in Garner during the late 1800's.