This community was first laid out in the fall of 1872 on the farm of J. Barkdoll and named Benton. When the railroad started working on the branch line from Vinton in 1873 they called this little stop Benton Station. In December of 1873 the first post office was established on ground owned by the Garrison family. In 1877 Benton was changed to Garrison because there was another town in Benton County named Benton. The town of Garrison was incorporated in 1880.
By 1910 Garrison had grown to a population of over 500 and was one of the flourishing stations on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific line in Benton County. At the turn of the century Garrison had three churches, a good grade school, two banks, a well-supported weekly paper, two elevators, a brick and tile works, a canning factory and telephone service.
In September 1911 the town of Garrison was almost destroyed by fire. A total of twenty-six buildings were burned, of these nineteen were businesses. Garrison never fully recovered from this disaster.