Garner is a proud community located in North Iowa, 12 miles west of Interstate 35 and the Avenue of the Saints. Garner has a long and distinguished history as a progressive and successful community. The town of Garner was platted in the summer of 1870 in conjunction with the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway. Garner was named after Col. W. W. Garner, a civil engineer on the Rock Island Railroad, and was incorporated in 1881. Garner was home to the Fred and August Duesenberg bicycle shop in the 1880’s. These brothers later went on to build the Duesenberg auto famous for its racing ability. Garner grew from its original incorporated population of 321 to nearly 2000 people by 1960 and then to its current level of nearly 3000 persons.
Garner is home to the Garner-Hayfield Community School District, a highly regarded district of nearly 1000 students with K-12 facilities located in Garner. The City government offers full services including police, fire protection, streets, snow removal, city water & sewer, parks and library. The City contracts for solid waste and recycling services. The City’s aquatic center, built in 2006-2007, serves as a vital summertime hub for the families of the community. The Swimming Pool Park is one of the major parks in Garner and serves one of the chief recreational needs in the community.
A vibrant downtown business district is anchored by The Goodnature Store, one of the few remaining independent department stores in the state, which serves as a major draw from the surrounding area. Garner has two fully-served industrial parks and is home to over 800 industrial jobs, with over 4000 industrial jobs available within the county. Hancock County is home to great employers such as Winnebago Industries, 3M, Iowa Mold Tooling and Stellar Industries. Additionally, Garner has developed into a prime “bedroom community” for the nearby communities of Mason City and Clear Lake. In 2007, eighteen new homes were constructed in the city limits, which compares very favorably with nearly all rural communities of its size in the state. Hancock County is also known for its prime agricultural land.