New California

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Map of Glasscock County

Garden City, the county seat of Glasscock County, is at the intersection of State Highway 158 and Ranch Road 33. After the formal organization of Glasscock County in 1893, an Ohio land company sent a Mr. Gardner to act as agent and to operate a store. A small settlement resulted in the establishment in 1886 of a post office named Garden City in his honor. Apparently it was to have been Gardner City but was misspelled by Washington officials. Two other settlements also near the center of the county, New California and Dixie, vied with Garden City to be county seat. New California was selected because it was on higher ground, and water was more readily available. At that time, however, there were only two dwellings at New California, and Garden City had a post office, a school building, and several residences. Most of the houses were placed on wheels and moved to the new site, 1½ miles from the old Garden City. On April 5, 1893, the commissioners' court changed the name of New California to Garden City.

In 1893 a two-story building of local stone was constructed for use as a courthouse and jail. The lower floor was used for court sessions, and the upper served as the jail. On August 27, 1910, a larger stone courthouse was completed, but the smaller jail building remained in use when needed until 1980. Once for a period of seven consecutive years the jail was never used, long enough for a mesquite tree to grow up and block the entrance. Between 1908 and 1910 the town had a bank and several real estate offices. A newspaper, the Garden City Gazette, was established by J. Marvin Hunter, noted frontier editor, and published from 1905 to 1913. The population dropped to 100 in 1925. Between 1927 and 1943 it varied from 100 to 250. It was 200 in 1945, when the town had eight rated businesses.

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Helen Wilkerson, Marilyn Read | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

New California is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists

No

Place type

New California is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Garden City)

Has Post Office

No

Is Incorporated

No