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Historical Markers

Listed here are historical markers sponsored by the Garland Landmark Society, as well as official state markers, which are placed under the auspices of the Texas Historical Commission, headquartered in Austin. The inscription on each marker is included.

Where available, background narratives from the state marker applications are linked as they were submitted by the applicants and examined by the Dallas County Historical Commission. These narratives vary in length, style and detail, but each adds perspective to the summary inscriptions appearing on the markers themselves.

While it may be assumed that each applicant-preparer made every effort to verify the available facts, and that those were later reviewed at the county level, the Landmark Society can make no warranty as to the accuracy of the narratives.

Landmark Markers & Locations

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Cemetery Trees (2004) | Garland Ave., N. of Miller Rd. Intersection

Two trees in this Knights of Pythias section of the cemetery have been classified champions by the Texas Forest Service and listed with the Dallas Historic Tree Coalition.

In 1995 the Shumard Red Oak (Quercus Shumardii) at left was designated TFS Metroplex Champion, meaning the largest of that species known in all of Dallas, Tarrant and eight adjoining counties. With a height of 70 feet this specimen had a crown spread of 95 feet and a trunk circumference of more than 177 inches at chest-height (4-1/2 feet from the ground). One of the oldest living things in the Garland area, the tree once sheltered hitching posts for mourners in the horse-and-buggy days.

The Incense Cedar (Libocedrus decurrens) standing 90 feet south earned the TFS State Champion designation in 1998, because there was none larger registered in Texas. Since this species is native to the U. S. Pacific coast, the origin of this tree is uncertain, but legend holds that W. B. Bell planted it near the family plot about 1932. At a height of 63 feet the cedar boasted a crown spread of 29 feet and a trunk circumference of 90 inches at chest-height.

Both trees grew in pathways established by the K of P fraternal order when they developed surrounding burial plots ca. 1900.


Central Park | Beside Granger Center in Central Park

Central Park marks Garland’s first purchase of recreational space and the beginning of its Park and Recreation System.

The park occupies a heavily wooded part of the 640-acre G. W. "Wash" Routh homestead settled in Garland’s predecessor township of old Duck Creek in 1854. It lies near the site of that community’s first public structure, a multi-use school, church and meeting hall whose functions were central to local life from the 1840’s.

Later, the property was acquired by D. Cecil and Ora Tucker Williams, who established the privately owned and operated Williams Park here. Their facilities included a swimming "hole," bathhouse and concession stands as well as picnic and playground space. Dams placed across Duck Creek at the park site beginning in 1926 impounded the water for swimming in what was called Lake Garland. The Williams Park operation closed after its 1939 season, and the family removed the dam that had raised the creek water level all the way back to Forest Lane. Nevertheless, public access for picnics was preserved through a road along the creek bank, and for several seasons ground there was leased for a miniature golf course.

Following World War II the Garland Junior Chamber of Commerce, better known as the Jaycees, proposed several site options and spearheaded efforts to provide a public park for the city. The park proposal appeared on the ballot for Garland’s 1947 bond election in which all issues carried except one for a municipal airport. Through their annual Jaycee Jubilee celebrations, the Jaycees donated funds for Central Park improvements, including an army surplus barracks building that once served as a community center.

The City of Garland acquired this 50-acre parcel from the Williamses on January 10, 1948, for $27,000 and 157 acres of city land previously earmarked as the municipal airport site. Mayor Ray Olinger and City Secretary Jim Stultz signed the agreement for the city. Mr. Williams, son of Garland’s first mayor Marion Davis Williams, was a former president of the Garland school board and succeeded Mr. Olinger as Garland’s mayor the following spring.

The Garland ISD later acquired the 157 acres of traded land from the Williamses for one-half of its appraised price at the time, eventually building Williams Stadium as well as administrative and operational facilities at that site.


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State Markers & Locations

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Anderson Family Cemetery ( 1972) | Marina Dr., South of US 60/30

Opened with burials of William (1785?-1858) and Celia (Lair) Anderson (1791?-1859), Kentuckians who lived on Missouri frontier before following to Dallas County a son, John Lair Anderson (1819-85), a Peters colony settler of 1846, also buried here. The William Anderson home stood about 90 yards to the southwest of this cemetery. Narrative


First Baptist Church (1999) | Ave. D at 9th St.

Baptists in the pioneer Duck Creek community began meeting regularly in a log schoolhouse probably as early as the 1850s. On March 8, 1868, sixteen Baptists assembled in the schoolhouse and formally organized Antioch Baptist Church, calling W. B. Long as their first pastor. The first church house was built in 1870. Sunday School classes began in 1873, and a Ladies' Aid Society was organized in 1883. The church moved into the rapidly growing new town of Garland in 1890 and began to flourish. In 1904 the congregation divided amicably into two equal groups after a conflict about the best course for mission work. Antioch Baptist and First Baptist Church of Garland were reunited in 1915 as Garland Baptist Church. The church prospered with the community. The Ladies' Aid Society and other groups within the congregation worked to raise funds to support the church and its programs. A more modern church building was erected in 1930. The church assumed the name First Baptist Church of Garland in 1946 as other Baptist churches were begun in the city. A fourth worship center was built in 1953, followed by educational facilities in 1958, 1963, 1980 and 1996. By 1999, the church had assisted in establishing 19 missions. Many of those grew into large Garland churches. First Baptist Church continues to serve the local community and the larger world through numerous worship, outreach and mission programs. Creative Sunday School programs and a variety of worship experiences are designed to meet the changing spiritual needs of the city in the 21st century. Narrative


First Christian Church (2000) | 115 S. Glenbrook

As the township of Duck Creek began to take shape in 1858, four denominations shared religious services in the Duck Creek schoolhouse. Area development was delayed by the onset of the Civil War, but by the 1870s the town was recovering. The Rev. W. B. Cole organized First Christian Church in 1875 with 21 charter members. They met in the schoolhouse for several years. In 1884, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad missed Duck Creek by one mile. A new township called Embree sprang up beside the railroad line. In 1885, the Rev. W. B. Cole's son, Charles l. Cole, became the growing congregation's first full-time minister; the following year, church members erected their own house of worship. In 1888 the congregation purchased the land on this site and moved the church building here. The two townships incorporated in 1891 to become Garland. The congregation grew with the area. Between 1922 and 1924 a new brick building was erected. The church was remodeled and additions were made as needed. The congregation persevered despite the difficulties of the Depression era. From 1954 to 1964 the church established two new congregations, Monica Park and Western Heights Christian churches. The membership of the First Christian Church of Garland reached 1000 in the year 2000. At the dawn of the 21st century, the First Christian Church serves its congregation and the wider community with such outreach ministries as counseling services and offering free meeting space and financial aid to many nonprofit organizations. The First Christian Church of Garland continues in the traditions of its founders.


First Methodist Church (1996) | 801 W. Ave. B

Organized in 1855 by 18 charter members, this congregation was served by circuit-riding ministers who conducted worship services in a log cabin schoolhouse located on Duck Creek. A sanctuary built in 1871 was destroyed by a tornado in 1874. The City of Garland was formed in 1887 when the surrounding communities merged. The Methodist Church has been part of Garland's history since its begining. Several buildings have served the congregation, which continues active ministries to its members and community outreach and foreign missionary programs. Narrative


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