On May 14, 1883, the recently formed Garfield Colony, named for President James A. Garfield, who had been assassinated in 1881, organized a school district. Rancher Jeff Corrick donated one acre of his land to build the school in 1883 on the north-west corner of present day Shepherd and Minnewawa Avenues. In 1887, two more acres were purchased for a reported $40 in gold coin. Local grower John Cadwallader was also a donor of land for the school. On June 27, 1899, Garfield District, along with Red Banks, Jefferson, Mississippi, Wolters, Temperance, and Clovis Districts joined the Clovis Union High School District.
In 1906, the original Garfield facility was replaced by a small wood school house built at the same location of the 1883 school. In 1912, a bond for $4000 was approved to fund an additional facility to accommodate the growing number of students. It was built on the Shepherd and Minnewawa site, with the 1906 school remaining intact and used for first and second grade classes. The new facility, which included classrooms for third through eighth grades, was framed in wood and had a brick veneer with a brick archway welcoming students through the front door. Buggies and horses were housed in the shed behind the school while class was in session.
In September, 1952, voters approved the annexation of Garfield School District into Dry Creek Union District, with the 1952-1953 school year being the last year the classes were held at the original Garfield School. On September 7, 1990, the building, which had just been designated a historic site in February, 1990, was burned to the ground. Only the brick archway remains on the northwest corner of Shepherd and Minnewawa today.