GARNER, DAVID B.
GARNER, DAVID B. (1881–1973). David B. Garner, African-American Dallas civic leader, son of John C. and Arah (Scott) Garner, was born in Chenango, Texas, on November 12, 1881. At an early age, Garner and his family moved to Houston where he spent most his childhood. His mother was a servant in the home of David Rice. At age fifteen he became a dining car cook for the Houston and Texas Central Railway and earned up to five dollars a week. Garner moved to Dallas in 1913 and obtained a job as a cook at a downtown café owned by Joseph Rucker, Sr. Garner married Maggie Lou on November 3, 1913, at St. John Baptist Church and had one daughter, Jerri Sue. Later in his career, Garner worked for A. W. Cullum before going to cook at the Federal Reserve Bank for twenty-six years; he retired in 1941.
Though a cook by trade, it was not Garner’s culinary skills that ushered him into Dallas’s social history. Instead, he actively engaged in almost every major civic project benefiting African-American life. For example, Garner played an integral part in the founding of the Moorland Branch YMCA by helping raise $50,000, which was regarded as the “greatest amount of money ever raised by Negroes for a cause in Dallas.”
Garner was an active member of the St. John Baptist Church for sixty years and served as a deacon as well as chairman of the deacon board. He worked for the State Fair of Texas as a consultant and advisor until his eighty-sixth birthday. As a fair representative, Garner promoted the State Fair all over Texas, boosting attendance and heightening awareness of an event named “Negro Achievement Day,” which recognized individual African-American accomplishments. Garner served as a charter member of the Dallas Negro Chamber of Commerce (now Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce), was a life member of the Negro Real Estate Board, a member of the NAACP, and the Masonic Lodge.
Garner’s affectionate attitude of paternalism earned him the nickname “Daddy Garner.” He died in his Dallas home on August 3, 1973, due to old age as well as lingering complications from injuries suffered in a traffic accident in 1959.
Dallas Morning News, July 2, 1967; November 12, 1967; August 4, 1973.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Mark B. Buchy, "Garner, David B.," accessed May 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fgaaq.
Uploaded on March 20, 2013. Modified on May 21, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles