Written by Edna Liggin
(Until we get another Shiloh Sketch organized we submit this sketch of a pioneer Bernice doctor who no doubt had many old Shiloh patients. This sketch is from Chamber’s History of Louisiana, written in 1926)
One of the ablest figures in the medical profession in Union Parish for many years has been Dr. David B. Garland of Bernice. He was graduated from Tulane University in 1895 and has since taken a number of post graduate courses including one at the Chicago Post Graduate School of Medicine.
Dr. Garland was born in Claiborne Parish in 1861, but the community in which he was born subsequently became part of Webster Parish. He spent his boyhood on the old farm there, being a son of W. W. and Eleanor Lee Garland who came from South Carolina, bringing their four children to Louisiana in 1856 and locating what was then Claiborne Parish. W. W. Garland was a farmer and served four years as a Confederate soldier being in the ranks until after the surrender of Vicksburg and then employed at the mechanical department of the service in the shops at Shreveport. He was a devout Methodist and as long as he lived conducted family prayers. He died at the age of 63 and his wife at 85. They had a large family of seven sons and four daughters.
Dr. Garland grew up on a farm, attended rural schools, worked in stores during 1881-82 and in 1883 returned to the homestead to operate the farm for the benefit of his mother and the younger children. His time was largely taken up with farming until he entered medical college and in 1884 he married while an undergraduate at Tulane University. He practiced medicine at Live Oak Plantation in Natchitoches Parish, this being the usual custom of medical students. After graduating in 1895 he spent a year at Dykesville, four years at Junction City and since then has been located at Bernice in Union Parish. In connection with his general practice he has looked after the practice for mills, and since 1907 has been local surgeon for the Rock Island Railway. Dr. Garland never took a serious interest in politics beyond voting his convictions for ones he regarded capable of holding office.
In 1884 he married Miss Viola Carr, daughter of J. Carr, a pioneer of Claiborne Parish and a Confederate veteran. Mrs. Garland died in 1900 and he subsequently married Miss Daisy Dawson, daughter of Toombs Dawson of Lisbon. Dr. Garland by his first marriage has five children. Luther in the jewelry business at Minden; Carlton, a merchant at Baton Rouge, after several attempts was accepted for service in the quartermaster department at Camp Martin during World War I; Harper, during the war was in the Confidential Pay Dept. of the Stone and Webster Syndicate at the Hog Island Navy Yard near Philadelphia and is now in the treasurer’s office of the Texas Oil Co. at Houston; Nell was educated at the Louisiana State Normal College and is now a teacher at Weldon. The youngest, John D., is in school. Dr. Garland is a Methodist and has given generously for the building of churches and the support of ministers. He has always been a devoted home lover, yet is fond of society and enjoys the companionship of his fellow men. He is a member of the Southern and American Railway Surgeons Asso. and the Rock Island Asso. of Surgeons.