Garland is a suburban of Dallas, Texas, in Dallas County, Texas, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 215,768. Garland is somewhat famous for being one of the inspirations for former Garland resident Mike Judge’s television show, King of the Hill, which is set in “Arlen, Texas.”
Settlers began arriving in the Peters colony area around 1850 but a community wasn’t created until 1874. Two communities actually sprung 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 over 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 and in 1887, that’s exactly what happened. The new location was named “Garland” after then Attorney General Augustus Hill Garland. Both Embree and Duck Creek were dissolved and they combined to form the city of Garland. In 1891, the new city was incorporated. By 1904, the town had a population of 819 people.
In 1920, local businessmen put money together to fund a new generator for the town sold by Fairbanks-Morse. Out of this was formed Garland Power & Light, the municipal electric provider that still powers the city today.
Businesses began to move 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 local radio station, built a radio tower in Garland. During World War II, several aircraft plants were operated in the area and Kraft Foods purchased one after the war for their own manufacturing usage. By 1950, the population had reached 10,571 people.
From 1950 to 1954, the area suffered from a serious drought. To meet the water needs, which came from wells, the city began using the waters of nearby Lake Lavon as a means to improve the water supply.
Following World War II, the suburban population boom that the nation experienced also reached Garland. By 1960, the population had more than tripled from 1950 numbers to 38,501. By 1970, it more than doubled again to 81,437. By 1980, the population crossed the 100,000-person threshold with 138,857 people and nearly doubled again in 20 years to 215,768 in 2000.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Garland was home to one of the two Dallas-area Wet ‘n Wild facilities before the company’s purchase by Six Flags and eventual closure of the Garland facility in 1993 (the Arlington facility was renamed Six Flags Hurricane Harbor).
Garland is also home to 3D Realms, the video game company that created and developed Duke Nukem 3D, developed Max Payne and Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne. They are currently working on Duke Nukem Forever.
In addition to Mike Judge previously taking residence in Garland, singer LeAnn Rimes also grew up in Garland. Lonestar keyboard player Dean Sams was also born in Garland. David Koresh attended Garland High before his involvement in the infamous Waco incident.
There were 73,241 households out of which 41.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.3% were non-families. 19.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.37.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $49,156, and the median income for a family was $53,545. Males had a median income of $35,859 versus $29,392 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,000. About 6.8% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.3% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.
Most of Garland is in Garland Independent School District. Parts of Garland extend into other districts, including Dallas Independent School District, Mesquite Independent School District, and Richardson Independent School District. 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, including Garland High School, North Garland High School, South Garland High School, Naaman Forest High School, Rowlett High School, and Sachse High School. Lakeview Centennial High School is a GISD magnet school located in Garland. Garland High School is home to the district’s International Baccalaureate program. North Garland High School is the math, science and Technology magnet.
The MISD portion of Garland is served by Price Elementary School, Vanston Middle School, and North Mesquite High School.