School History

When the state of Alabama was 59 years old, the town of Garden City was
established near the railroad, in 1878, by German immigrants from Chicago, Illinois.
It was given the name “Garden City” in honor of Chicago, whose motto is “City in a
Garden.”
The first school met in a log cabin built by the German colonists to house new
settlers until they got established. It became a public school in 1886. Land was donated
in 1898 for a new one-room school building.
On the first day the new school was opened, Miss Kitty Holland, the teacher,
lined the children up and marched them up the hill to their new building. According
to Mr. Grover Fannin, one of the first students of the new school, “The old schoolhouse
only had one room when we moved there so all the grades were in that one room. A few
years later they built a room on the back and put the little kids in it. We had a well in the
yard with a pump on it. We used to run to the well at recess and pump water for the girls
to drink. We had heaters in the building. The boys took time about and fired the heaters
and the girls took time about to sweep the floor every day. The boys on fireman duty
would have to move the benches for the girls to sweep.”
By 1921, there were 112 students and 3 teachers. When the students left Garden
City and went to the one county high school, they rode a train called the Accommodation
Train.
In the early 1930’s, during the Great Depression, the town knew it needed a new
school, so they worked to build one. During this time, over 25% of our nation’s citizens
were out of work. Many banks closed and people lost all the money they had saved and
put in the banks. In spite of this, the people of Garden City worked toward their goal of
building a new school. They asked for donations, had fundraisers, donated wood and
labor, and built the building we use today.
Throughout our history, the people from the community and the students of the
school have taken great pride in our building and grounds. We are still able to use today
buildings that are 75 to 100 years old because Garden City took care of what we have. It
is our job now to continue to take care of and take pride in our school and community!