Garland is a city in the U.S. state of Texas. It is a large city northeast of Dallas and is a part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. It is located almost entirely within Dallas County, except a small portion located in Collin County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 226,876, making it the eighty-seventh most populous city in the United States of America and the twelfth most populous city in the state of Texas.
Immigrants began arriving in the Peters colony area around 1850, but a community wasn't created until 1874. Two communities 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 regarding 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. The move was completed in 1887. The new location was named Garland after U.S. Attorney General Augustus Hill Garland. Soon after,the towns of Embree and Duck Creek were combined, and the three areas combined to form the city of Garland, which was incorporated in 1891. By 1904 the town had a population of 819 people.
In 1920, local businessmen financed a new electrical generator plant (sold by Fairbanks-Morse) for the town. Out of this was formed Garland Power & Light, the municipal electric provider that still powers the city today.
Businesses began to move back 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 major Dallas radio station, built its radio antenna tower in Garland, and it is operational to this day. During World War II, several aircraft plants were operated in the area, and the Kraft Foods company purchased a vacant one after the war for its own use. By 1950, the population of Garland exceeded 10,000 people.
Following World War II, the suburban population boom that the whole country experienced also reached Garland. By 1960, the population nearly quadrupled from the 1950 figure to about 38,500. By 1970, the population had doubled to about 81,500. By 1980, the population reached 138,850.Charles R. Matthews served as mayor in the 1980s; he was later a member of the elected Texas Railroad Commission.
In the 2000s, Garland added several notable developments, mostly in the northern portion of the city. Hawaiian Falls waterpark opened in 2003 (Garland formerly had a Wet 'n Wild waterpark, which closed in 1993). The Garland Independent School District's Special Events Center, an arena and conference facility, opened in 2005, as did Firewheel Town Center, an outdoor mall with more than 100 businesses.
In 2009 the city, in conjunction with the developer Trammell Crow Company, finished a public/private partnership to develop the old courthouse and parking lot (the land between 5th Street, 6th Street and on the North Side of Austin Street) into a new mixed-use, transit oriented development named 5th Street Crossing. Catercorner to both City Hall and the downtown DART Rail station, the project consists of 189 residential apartment units, of flex retail, and six live-work units.