In 1874, The Midland Pacific Railroad built the first railway in Seward County and they wanted to extend a line west from Lincoln. On a level place along the line, a depot was established and the town of Germantown was platted by Hiland Fraisure. The name Germantown was given because most of the residents were from Germany. The train helped the community grow and in this same year the first business was established, Germantown Creamery.
February 21, 1889 was the Incorporation of the Village of Germantown Board and the members were selected at this first meeting. By 1890, Germantown’s Business District contained 13 enterprises and had 225 residents. The first weekly newspaper was called the Germantown Gleamer and it was in publication from 1894-1897. In 1900, August Beckman purchased the bank from an unknown owner and hired an architect in 1917 and the present building was completed 1-2 years later. By this time the population of Germantown had grown to 500 residents and the second weekly newspaper, the Garland Herald, was now in publication until 1934. In 1926, the Garland Volunteer Fire Department held their first meeting and adopted their constitution and by laws.
During World War l, in response to the disfavor of anything German, the residents and Village Board members decided they had to change the name of their town. They petitioned the Seward County District Court to rename Germantown. In October 1918, 47 people signed the petition that reads “We the undersign (sic) petition the District Court to change the name of our town Germantown, to Garland. In honor and memory of our first soldier who gave his life in the service of his country. That democracy might make the world a better place to live in.” Since the petition did not specify the manner of death, the honor went to Raymond Garland who had been a mortician in town for 30 years. Although he was not killed in action, he did die from typhoid while traveling from the war on his way home to France. Currently, the population of Garland is 247. Even though our Village is smaller than it once was, our goal is to continue to improve the quality of Garland for our children and grandchildren.