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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


RICHARD HARRISON GARLAND was one of the original Chicago association that founded the original colony properly regarded historically as the beginning of the modern city of Redlands. He gave a whole-souled devotion to every item in the welfare of the settlement during the years he lived here, and his memory is properly treasured as a pioneer.

Mr. Garland was born at Zanesville, Ohio, July 22, 1842. His father, Andrew Garland, was a stone mason by trade. Andrew Garland superintended the building of historic Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, the capture of which was the first open act of hostility at the beginning of the Civil war. His son Richard H. was a soldier in that war, and helped restore the union broken by the fall of Fort Sumter. From Zanesville Andrew Garland moved to Mount Vernon, Ohio, and was a farmer and stock raiser there until his death in 1873.

Richard Harrison Garland grew up in Ohio, and at the beginning of the Civil war enlisted in Company A of the Sixty-fifth Ohio Infantry. He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamiauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and at Missionary Ridge his brigade captured the batteries in front of General Bragg's headquarters and turned the guns on the enemy. Through partial disablement about that time Mr. Garland was assigned to the Eastern Army, in the Quartermaster's Corps. At the close of the war he remained in the service of the army department in the Freedman's Bureau engaged in distributing supplies and establishing free schools for the negroes in the South. Later he was .transferred to the Pacific Coast with the staff of General Thomas, and was present at the death of that great leader at San Francisco. When he resumed civilian life in 1870 he removed to Chicago, where he became a manufacturer of art furniture and interior decorations.

It was in 1886 that a group of Chicago people formed the association and planned the founding of a town and community in Southern California. Mr. Garland was one of the most active promoters of this project. An investigating committee was sent out and selected 440 acres, divided among the forty members of the association. Seventeen acres was set aside as a townsite and is now the business portion of Redlands. Mr. Garland came to Redlands in 1886, and with characteristic energy began the development of his own lands and worked with his fellow citizens in matters of general improvement. His tract of some thirty acres was situated on Citrus Avenue in East Redlands, and he began its development as an orange plantation. He also received his lot on the townsite on West State Street. He deeded this to his wife, and seven months later she sold it for $1,400. The original cost was $25.00. The main property located by Mr. Garland is still owned by the family. During the twelve active years he spent here he made improvements that reclaimed a sage brush tract into a profitable plantation. He levelled the land and filled up the ditches, installed irrigation, and by his planting started the development which is now represented by one of the most beautiful places at Redlands. The substantial home still in use was erected from materials he transported by team and wagon from San Bernardino, there being no railroad to Redlands. Mr. Garland was one of the early directors of the local Chamber of Commerce, and was for four years a member of the Board of City Trustees. His death on May 27, 1898, removed one of the strongest and best men from local citizenship. He did the work of a pioneer, work that continues cumulative benefit to all subsequent generations. He was a stanch republican in politics, though not interested in politics as a source of personal honor. He was a Scottish Rite Mason.

In 1872 Mr. Garland married Miss Margaret McGovern, a native of New Haven, Connecticut, who as a child moved with her parents to Chicago in 1864. She was the fifth in a family of nine children. Her brother John served throughout the Civil war and was killed at Atlanta by a sharpshooter just at the very close of the war. Mrs. Garland died October 27, 1918, at Redlands. She retained her vigor to old age and her appearance was that of a woman many years her junior. Of her children two survive: Sanford S. and Maud M. Garland.

The death of Mr. Garland in 1898 occurred at a time when, owing to the water shortages, the orange growers faced a crisis. Mrs. Garland showed the strength of her character by courageously taking up the burden, and by her personal resources and prudence and foresight maintaining the Garland orchard under difficulties so that in a large degree she was personally responsible for the beauty and productiveness of the tract today. She met every obligation scrupulously, and succeeded in rearing her children and, moveover, was a kind neighbor and loyal friend, so that many outside her family circle had reason to be grateful for her numerous acts of generosity and kindness.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011