JOHN S TYLER
Among the earliest settlers identified with the development of Brown county and its farming and stock raising interests was John S. Tyler, who is also a representative member of one of the prominent families of the nation. Many of its members have attained eminent positions in connection with politics and other public affairs. He was born in New London county, Connecticut, November 16, 1825, and is a son of Henry C. and Harriet (Hyde) Tyler, also natives of the Charter Oak state, where they were married and remained throughout their lives.
The ancestry of the family can be traced back to three brothers of the name of Tyler who emigrated from Shropshire, England, in 1640, to America. They were Job, Hopestill and Joseph Tyler, and there is a claim of a relation to John Tyler, president of the United States. From the colonial epoch in the history of our country down to the present time their descendants have figured conspicuously in connection with many affairs which have aided in shaping the policy of the nation. One of the brothers, Job Tyler, settled in Massachusetts. He had a son, Hopestill Tyler, who was married in 1706 to Hannah Safford. One of their children, James Tyler, was the father of General John Tyler, who married Mary Coit and among their children was John Tyler, the grandfather of our subject. General John Tyler and his wife, Mary Coit, were both natives of Connecticut and were married there December 14, 1742. They had a numerous and prominent family, including Mitchell; James, who died September 4, 1750; John, who died May 19, 1752; Abigail L.; Olive, the wife of Daniel Coit; John, who was born July 22, 1755; Lydia, the wife of Colonel Samuel Mott, and Abigail L., who was the wife of Captain Nathaniel Lord. The, father of this family died July 4, 1804, in Connecticut, and his wife passed away in that state on the 11th of November, 1801.
Brigadier-General John Tyler received his appointment from the general assembly of the state of Connecticut, by which body he was made lieutenant of the Third Company, or training band, of Preston, in the year 1752. In 1755, when the general assembly of Connecticut decided to join with the colonies of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New York in raising an army of five thousand men to proceed against the French at Crown Point and erect a fortress upon an eminence near the fort built by the French, John Tyler was appointed by the assembly as the second lieutenant of the militia company to be raised in his neighborhood for that expedition. He was assigned to duty in the Third Company, and in 1756, when the assembly ordered another force of twenty-five hundred men for the expedition, John Tyler was promoted to the rank of captain and marched with the first companies against the French and Indians. In 1755 he rendered faithful and important service in the official positions which he filled and this experience proved to him an excellent training school for service in the Revolution. When the colonies attempted to throw off the yoke of oppression he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, thus serving until May 1, 1775, when he was discharged. In 1776 he joined the army as a brigadier-general and was one of the valiant defenders of colonial rights during the war which brought liberty to the nation.
John Tyler, a son of Brigadier-General Tyler, married Mary Bordman, and they became the parents of eight children, namely: Joseph C., Mary, Olive,. John, Henry C., Dwight R., Thomas S. and Abby.
Of this number Henry C. Tyler became the father of our subject. He married Harriet Hyde and they had two children: Lucy, the wife of Joseph Geist, and John S. The mother died November 24, 1827, and the following year Mr. Tyler wedded Tirza Moss, by whom he had four children, -- Mary B., Harriet, Olive and Henry, who grew to mature years, -- and a son and daughter who died in infancy. The mother of these children died September 18, 1864, and the father's death occurred February 18, 1875. They were consistent members of the Congregational church and the father was a leading and influential farmer in Connecticut, where he spent his entire life.
John S. Tyler, of this review, was reared and educated in the state of his nativity, remaining at his parental home until he had attained his majority. His educational privileges were those afforded by the common schools and for one winter he engaged in teaching in Connecticut. On leaving the east he made his way to Dubuque, Iowa, where he worked in the lead mines for a short time and then removed to Calhoun county, Illinois, where he was engaged in the lumber business. Later he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, upon which he made some improvements, but in April, 1856, he sold that property and with a team of horses came to Kansas.
After prospecting for some little time he located on Delaware creek, Brown county, where he yet lives. He at first secured a squatter's claim of one hundred and sixty acres, and when the land came into the market he entered it from the government, thus securing his title to the tract. Upon the place he built a log cabin and at once began the development of the farm. There were few settlers in the locality and these lived along the streams where the timber was growing. Their homes were widely scattered, but a spirit of hospitality existed. Mr. Tyler had no trouble with the Indians and border ruffians, although excitement waxed high at that time, when John Brown and "Jim" Lane, the noted abolition leaders, were conspicuous in the county, and the latter owned a cabin and fort in the township where Mr. Tyler still resides. Game of all kinds was plentiful, but money was scarce; great hospitality existed and there was no social distinction in that country; there was everything to be made and nothing to lose, and the pioneers came with the determination of securing homes in this new region. Mr. Tyler secured a tract of land and soon afterward began stock raising. He did his trading at Iowa Point, thirty miles from his home, and there went for his mail, but subsequently he traded at Atchison. During the civil war he was an active member of the militia. In his farming and stock raising ventures he met with success and, judiciously investing his capital in land, he is now the owner of a valuable homestead of over seven hundred acres, in addition to lands in other counties. His possessions altogether aggregate about seventeen hundred acres. He has successfully carried on general farming and raises and handles stock, buying cattle which he feeds and fattens for the markets. The products of his farm are used in this way, and he often buys large quantities. of grain for stock-feeding purposes. Usually he takes his cattle to market himself, formerly selling in Chicago, but of late years in Kansas City. He now keeps on hand a large herd of cattle and personally supervises his business affairs, although he has reached the advanced age of seventy-five years.
In June, 1866, Mr. Tyler was united in marriage with Harriet Chase, who was born in Maine, October 18, 184o. She is a lady of culture and intelligence and before her marriage was a teacher in the Kansas schools. Her parents were James and Abigail (Trull) Chase, who were connected with prominent families of Boston. Her father was a resident of Maine at the time of his marriage and in 1859 came to Kansas. In the following year he brought his family, locating near Hiawatha. He became one of the extensive farmers and stock shippers and later in life he engaged in the lumber business in Hiawatha. His honorable business methods commended him to the confidence and respect of the entire community, and his death, which occurred April 22, 1878, was mourned by his many friends as well as by his own family. His wife survived him until December 23, 1896. Both were consistent members of the Baptist church. They had three children: Elbridge, a farmer and stock and grain dealer, Mrs. Tyler, and Lewis E., who is living on the homestead farm.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Tyler have been born four children: Augustus H., who died at the age of twenty years; James C., who completed a course in the Ottawa University and the Johns Hopkins University; Lois, the wife .of G. W. Haflich, and John H., at home. He was born January 1, 1880, and is now practically the manager of the home farm, being a young man of exceptional business ability.
Mr. and Mrs. Tyler hold membership in the Baptist church, in which he takes a deep interest, and is now serving as a deacon. He is an earnest worker in the Sunday school and has a life membership in the American Baptist Home Missionary Society. In politics, he was formerly a Whig and now a Republican. He served as county commissioner and in an early day listed the property of the county, but has never sought office. In his business ventures he has been very successful and has not only become one of the prosperous residents of Brown county, but is also a respected citizen worthy of the highest regard.