Rev. David Garland (1815-1887) was pastor of the Second Congregational Church of Bethel (in Mayville) for 38 years.  On October 16, 1887, at age 72, he died in the pulpit of the First Congregational Church in Bethel. Mr. Garland was of a robust constitution, full of healthful vigor, never, having been by illness unfitted for service for a single Sunday during the 38 years he labored in Bethel. During the time of his ministry in Bethel he attended 573 funerals and performed 204 marriages. Due to his location, a vast amount of work from small outlying towns within 25 to 30 miles of his church devolved on him.

“The fruits of his labors in his own parish so far as figures show them, were the addition of 132 to the membership of the church, a goodly number, when we remember his parish was small (Mayville, Northwest Bethel and North Bethel). “ Mr. Garland took a deep and active interest in the educational affairs of this town. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Gould’s Academy some ten years and was Supervisor of the Public Schools for 25 years.

He was born in Newfield, Maine, March 22, 1815. He graduated from Amherst College in 1843 and from Andover Seminary in 1846.  He received a call to the Second Congregational Church in Bethel, then recently organized, consisting of 29 members. He entered upon his labors in Bethel in April, 1849, and on the 15th of August he was ordained pastor of the church.

On September 17, 1849, he married Mary Elizabeth Twitchell, daughter of Thaddeus, of Bethel. She died January 23, 1867. He afterward married, December 17, 1867, Miss Mary Jane Baker, daughter of Mr. Elijah Baker of Dalton, N.H., who survived her husband.  Reverend Garland was a neighbor of his father-in-law. The former Garland home and that of the Twitchell’s still stand in Mayville. The church society dissolved in 1890 and the members rejoined the First Congregational Church. Reverend Garland was buried in the Mayville, now Riverside Cemetery. 

Although the Second Congregational Church is gone, members of the  West Parish Congregational Church erected a Garland Memorial Chapel as a permanent reminder of the deep esteem in which Rev. Garland was held. It was dedicated April 28, 1892. 

Read more about the efforts to create a chapel


References: This account of Rev. Garland’s life as well as Garland’s portrait photograph came from the scrapbook of Evelyn Hamilton that was donated to the Bethel Historical Society. Photos are also from the Bethel Historical Society collections.



Rev. David Garland – Pastor, 2d Congregational Church, Bethel, Maine

Updated January 14, 2014

The two photographs above show (1) the location of Rev Garland’s 2nd Congregational Church in Mayville as seen from the road called Lover’s Lane in contemporary Bethel.  The very long shed like structure to the right of the church is the 1869-1927 covered bridge.  (2) The photo immediately above, a close-up of the church’s immediate surroundings. The barn to the left of the church is the former Mason Farm barn, in 2014 a motel of the Norseman Inn.  To the right of the church is the Stearns homestead which burned in 1936.

(Photos: courtesy of Bethel Historical Society.)

Garland monument at Bethel Riverside Cemetery. During Rev. Garland’s years as pastor of the Mayville church its members were also the cemetery’s custodians.

Above: David Garland and two unidentified ladies.  One of the women is probably Rev. Garland’s wife Mary Jane, his second wife, and also  indicating the photo was  probably taken in the 1870s -1880s. In 2014 the Garland home is occupied by Ross and Carole Timberlake. The fence in foreground borders the Bethel-Rumford road, today’s U.S. Route currently named the Mayville Road.


PO Box 763

Bethel, Maine 04217

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A view of Rev. Garland’s domain