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Garland in Bowie County, Texas

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Descendants of the Garland family, unknown names and dates.

East of DeKalb, Bowie County, Texas and a few miles south of the Red River is the tiny community of Garland. Now consisting mostly of a collection of churches down FM 1701 from the small cemetery, peppered with a few houses, this little place holds a lot of history.

John C. Garland, who came from Tennessee with several enslaved people in the middle of the 19th century, freed them in 1862 and deeded to them tracts of land. Two of the people freed were Ruth and James Garland, who formed the center of this new community, with its school being the other center. In 1923, the community built a five-teacher school house using Rosenwald Funds. The "teacherage" - a home built for the teachers - still stands.

The photo depicts descendants of Ruth and James Garland at their home in the Garland Colony. I don't have their names but they were the ancestors of Dr. Raynard Kington, who is also a descendant of Ruth and James Garland. This photo was published in the New Boston News in 2021.

The family does not look happy, and the young boy and young man look like they were in a fight? There's no context for this photograph.

There aren't a whole lot of photos of the Garland Colony, unfortunately. I tried to hail the Rosenwald School database at Fisk University but it seems that the database has been removed (!!!!). Very frustrating!

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