Garden City, located at the intersection on Highway 158 and Ranch Road 33, became the county seat of Glasscock County, shortly after the county was formed in 1893. Three towns vied for the distinction of county seat – Garden City, New California and Dixie. New California was selected because it was on higher ground and had water readily available. Only problem was, there were only two dwellings in New California, while nearby Garden City had a post office, a school and several homes. Residents of Garden City packed up, put their homes on wheels and moved the one and a half miles to New California Then in April 1983, Commissioners’ Court changed the name of New California to Garden City.
A two-story building constructed of local stone was built as a courthouse and jail, with the jail upstairs and the courthouse downstairs. In 1910, a larger stone courthouse was completed, leaving the two-story building to be used exclusively as a jail until 1980, when it was replaced by a modern structure. The stone courthouse, now over 100 years old is still in use. Glasscock County Courthouses >>
J. Marvin Hunter, noted editor of Frontier Times and chronicler of Western history, published the Garden City Gazette from 1905 until 1913.
The population dropped in 1925 to 100, and stayed between 100 and 250 from 1927 to 1943, leveling off at 200 in 1945. Old was discovered at the Spraberry oilfield on the edge of Glasscock County. The population increased to 300 in 1968, along with the number of businesses increasing to 17. In 1989 Garden City had four churches, a grocery store, a cafe, a garage, two filling stations, a post office, a hair salon, an abstract office, and elementary and secondary schools with an enrollment of 407. In 2010, the population had increased to 334.
Garden City Cemetery. The Garden City community began using this burial ground as early as 1886. That year, a child of county commissioner Sullivan Hill and his wife, Lucy, was buried here. Four years later, a sibling was buried at the same spot; the two graves share a single stone. The hill family plot, where Sullivan and Lucy are also buried, is one of many in the cemetery representing the early area settlers. Other early family names found throughout the burial ground are Hanson, Gooch and Cox. Family plots are typically bordered by concrete curbing. Most gravestones are vertical, especially in the older section of the cemetery, which is indicated by the remaining decorative iron fencing. Some of the individual family plots also include original fencing. In 1914, John Etheridge and Perneice Gore Lawler formally designated the original one-acre tract as a cemetery. Today, the county maintains the burial ground, to which three acres were later added. As the final resting place of many of the early settlers and their descendants, the cemetery is a significant link to the community’s history. Historic Texas Cemetery – 2003. – Historical Marker Text.