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J. Hoge Tyler Family Collection

Identifier: Ms-1967-002

Scope and Content

This collection contains the papers of James Hoge Tyler, Virginia state senator (1877-1879), lieutenant governor (1890-1894), governor (1898-1902), businessman, church elder, genealogist, and resident of Radford, Virginia. The collection includes Tyler's correspondence as governor, including a set of bound letter books. Also among the political correspondence are a set of subject files, largely relating to political appointments directly under the governor's control but also touching on some of the issues with which Tyler's administration was concerned. Complementing this official correspondence is a voluminous collection of incoming political correspondence, spanning the latter 19th and early 20th centuries, much of it devoted to Tyler's 1897 and 1899 campaigns, but also including references to the political atmosphere in Virginia and the national political issues of the day.

Within Tyler's personal papers are files relating to his involvement in the Presbyterian Church, particularly his service on the boards of various church-related institutions and in various church councils, as well as his leadership in Radford's Presbyterian Church. Tyler's interest in genealogy is documented in a small set of correspondence from other researchers, together with two of his own typescript manuscripts and printed materials. Also within the personal papers is a large collection of incoming correspondence to both J. Hoge and Sue Hammet Tyler. Much of this correspondence is from members of his very large extended Hoge and Tyler families and relates to personal matters, though many of the letters also touch on political and business matters. Though housed among the personal papers, a collection of scrapbooks provides an exhaustive chronicle of Tyler's political career, largely through newspaper clippings.

Tyler's business pursuits are well documented in a collection of correspondence, ledgers, and legal papers. Among these records are those of the Belle Hampton Coal Company and the Radford Development Company, together with records of Tyler's agricultural interests. Also among the business papers are documents relating to Tyler's personal financial activities, including such routine documents as personal checks and receipts.

Of the papers of Tyler's children, perhaps the most significant are those of Stockton Heth Tyler, an army paymaster during the Spanish-American War. In addition to S. Heth Tyler's personal papers are paymaster records which he retained after the war. The papers include payroll records for a number of units and individuals.

Also among the papers of Tyler's children are those of Edward H. Tyler, a Pulaski County, Virginia farmer; Belle Tyler McConnell, whose husband, Frank, was a prominent banker and businessman of Arkansas and Virginia; and Lily Tyler Wilson, whose husband, Henry, was a civil engineer and road contractor in Pennsylvania.

The collection also includes the papers of members of the Hammet family of Mississippi and Virginia. Among these papers are a number of items relating to the affairs of Lammermoor Plantation in Mississippi, including materials concerning the ante bellum operation of the plantation, and later, accounts with the freedmen employed there. Also included among the Hammet papers are the account books of James P. Hammet, a physician of Montgomery County, Virginia.

A small collection of papers belonging to the Sifford family of Pulaski County, Virginia, are included as well and relate to the family's personal activities and business/legal interests. Included among the papers is a small notebook providing the names and birth dates of slaves on an unidentified farm.

Completing the collection is a large collection of photos, including both studio portraits and snapshots of the Tylers, extended family members and friends.


  • 1802 - 1956


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Family History

James Hoge Tyler, Virginia governor from 1898 to 1902, was born at the Tyler family farm, "Blenheim," in Caroline County, Virginia on August 11, 1846. He was the son of George Tyler (1817-1889), a representative of Caroline County, and Eliza Hoge (1815-1846), daughter of General James Hoge. His mother having died during his birth, the young James Hoge Tyler was reared by his grandparents, James and Eleanor Howe Hoge at "Hayfield," their Pulaski County home. Tyler was educated in Pulaski County before attending the school of Franklin Minor in Albermarle County.

(George Tyler (1817-1889), father of James H., married four times: First to Jane De Jarnette (1820-1841)--the couple's only child died in childhood. Eliza Hoge (1815-1846) was Tyler's second wife, the future governor being their only child. Tyler married third Jane Quisenberry. The couple had two children: George William Tyler (married Mary Stuart Carter) and Nannie Brown Tyler (married John Washington). By his fourth wife, Julia Magruder (1837-1873), Tyler fathered six children: Henry Magruder Tyler, Mary Adams Taylor, Julia Magruder Tyler (married James Armistead Otey), Lucinda Coleman Tyler, Evelyn Tyler (married John J. Miller), John Tyler and William Elliot (married Burnley Redd).)

Tyler left school at the age of 16 to join the Confederate army and served as a private in the Signal Corps throughout the Civil War. (His later rank of "major" was apparently a post-war honorific.) After the war, Tyler returned to Pulaski County, where he had inherited the Hoge farm. He would rename the farm "Belle Hampton" and become a successful farmer, raising Durham cattle and serving as president of the Virginia Stock Farmers' Institute and of the Southwest Virginia Live Stock Association. His other business interests would come to include a store, a gristmill, a sawmill, the Belle Hampton Coal Mining Company (sold in 1902 to a New York company), and the Radford Development Company.

Tyler married Sue Montgomery Hammet (daughter of Edward and Clementina Craig Hammet, who built the first home in what it now Radford, Virginia), a native of Radford, on November 16, 1868. While living at Belle Hampton, the Tylers had eight children: Edward H., James H. Jr., Stockton H., Lucy Belle, Sue H., Henry C. ("Hal"), Eliza ("Lily") and Eleanor Howe, who died in infancy. In 1891, the family moved to "Halwick," their home in Radford.

In 1877, Tyler was elected to the state senate, serving one term and advocating retrenchment and reform. He maintained an active role in civic affairs, serving on the board of visitors and as rector of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) and on the state debt commission. During the 1880s, he mounted two unsuccessful congressional campaigns. Tyler also launched an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1889 but secured the second place on the Democratic ticket that year and served as lieutenant governor from 1890 to 1894. While serving as lieutenant governor, Tyler again ran for the governorship in 1893, losing to Charles T. O'Ferrall. In 1897, Tyler successfully campaigned for governor and served from 1898 to 1902.

Tyler's gubernatorial administration was marked by a concern with adjustment of Virginia's state debt. He was a strong supporter of bi-metallism, and was a personal friend of William Jennings Bryan. The American Historical Society's History of Virginia (1926) summarized Tyler's governorship thus:

Governor Tyler's administration was marked by the settlement of the long vexed oyster question, for it was largely through his efforts that the LeCato bill was made effective and the oyster beds of the state made to yield an income to the state instead of an annual deficit. As governor he secured the reduction of taxes and the state debt and the increase of the public school fund and the literary fund. Other measures credited to his administration are the establishment of the Farm Bureau, the reorganization of the agricultural department, a conditional pardon system and the settlement of the Virginia-Tennessee boundary question.

While serving as governor, Tyler launched an unsuccessful campaign for the U. S. Senate seat of incumbent Thomas S. Martin. His unsuccessful 1899 campaign would be Tyler's last, though he would continue to be somewhat active in state politics, playing the role of elder statesman and considering various pleas that he again seek office. During World War I, he served as food administrator for Radford and Montgomery County.

A Presbyterian, Tyler served as a ruling elder and moderator of the Synod of Virginia. He founded the Presbyterian church in East Radford, the area's first brick church. Three times he represented his church in the Presbyterian General Assembly. He also served twice as a delegate to the Pan-Presbyterian Council--once in Toronto, Canada and once in Glasgow, Scotland. He also served on the boards of trustees of the church-affiliated Hampden-Sidney College, Union Theological Seminary, and Synodical Orphans Home at Lynchburg.

James Hoge Tyler died on January 3, 1925; Sue Hammet Tyler, born July 16, 1845, died on April 24, 1927.

Eldest child of James H. and Sue Hammet Tyler, Edward Hammet ("Ned") Tyler was born on December 15, 1869. He graduated from Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) and served in Radford's local defense regiment, the Radford Rifles, during the late 19th century. Tyler remained a bachelor throughout his life and managed the family farm at Belle Hampton and also owned Kirkland Farm near Dublin (Pulaski County, Virginia). He died on March 22, 1939 in Radford.

James Hoge Tyler Jr. was born on December 8, 1871. He attended Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and graduated from Hampden-Sidney College, where he was a member of the Sigma Sigma chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity. He worked in the governor's office during his father's administration and later for the Virginia-Carolina Chemical Company. He married Evelyn Gray Bell (daughter of A. O. Bell) on June 23, 1908, and the couple lived in Roanoke. The Tylers had no children. Evelyn died in Wilmington (Fluvanna County), Virginia around 1924. At the time of his wife's death, Tyler was living in Radford, paralyzed by a stroke; he died in 1937.

Born on September 13, 1874, Stockton Heth Tyler was a graduate of the Washington and Lee School of Law. During the Spanish-American War, he was a major in the U. S. Army, serving as an additional paymaster. He married Nelle Louise Serpell (born June 10, 1878) on November 16, 1904; the couple had five children: Goldsborough Serpell, James Hoge III, Sue Hammet, Nell Serpell, Stockton Jr., and Gulielma Serpell. Tyler served as mayor of Norfolk, Virginia from 1924 to 1932. He died on September 5, 1943.

Lucy Belle Norwood Tyler was born March 9, 1876. She married Colonel Frank Percy McConnell (born July 1, 1870) of Talladega, Alabama on November 16, 1908. The couple, with their son, James Hoge Tyler McConnell, lived initially in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where McConnell was engaged in several business enterprises (including a Bonanza, Arkansas newspaper), before returning by 1927 to Radford. The son of Confederate Colonel William Kennedy McConnell, Frank McConnell commanded the Alabama National Guard's Third Regiment for four years. He was also an active member of Kappa Alpha fraternity, serving as general purser. Frank McConnell died on September 21, 1941; Lucy Belle McConnell on February 4, 1955.

Sue Hampton Tyler was born April 9, 1877. She married Rev. Robert Ware Jopling (1865-1944), a Presbyterian minister, on December 16, 1915. The couple had two children, Sue Tyler and James Robert (1918-1920), and they resided in Texas and South Carolina. Following her husband's death, Sue Jopling made her home in Norfolk, Virginia, where she died in 1949.

Henry Clement ("Hal") Tyler was born in Pulaski County, Virginia on December 10, 1878. He attended St. Alban's Academy in Radford and Richmond College before graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1901. Admitted to the Virginia bar that same year, Tyler returned to Radford, where he established a law practice. In 1906, Tyler was appointed Radford's commonwealth attorney. He continued in that position through successive elections until 1922. In 1909, he was elected city attorney and served in that position until his death. In private practice, Tyler generally handled corporate law, including the legal affairs of the Belle Hampton Coal Company. Tyler also engaged in other businesses, being president of the Radford Hotel Corporation and the Radford Real Estate and Development Company. A Democrat, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1924 to 1925 and on the Radford School Board. He was a member of the American, Virginia and several county bar associations; Phi Delta Phi; Kappa Sigma; and Radford's rotary and golf clubs. He was also a superintendent of the Old Brick Presbyterian Church in Radford and later an elder in Radford's Central Presbyterian Church. Unmarried, Tyler died in Radford on December 1, 1941.

Known to her family and friends as "Lily," Eliza Lillian Tyler was born on September 7, 1882; she married Henry Harrison Wilson (born January 15, 1885) on June 16, 1915. The couple eventually made their home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and had three children: James Hoge Tyler, Lily Norwood and Henry Harrison II. Born in Cumberland County, Virginia on January 15, 1882, Wilson graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1906 with a BS in engineering. He served as an instructor in civil engineering at the university while earning a civil engineering degree the following year. Wilson worked on various projects before being employed from 1908 to 1911 by Winston & Company, contractors for the Ashokan dams in New York. In 1914, he became a special partner in the company's highway and railway construction and in operation of its crushed stone business. Specializing in bridge and other construction work, Wilson became managing partner in 1925 of Winston Brothers Company & H. H. Wilson. He was also president and treasurer of the Lime Bluff Company, director of All States Life Insurance and the Peoples Bank of Radford, Virginia. He was elected president of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors in 1924 and vice-president of the Association of General Contractors of America in 1922. A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Wilson published several articles on highway construction and edited Highway Builder. A descendant of Declaration of Independence signer Benjamin Harrison, Wilson maintained an interest in genealogy. He died in Baltimore, Maryland on May 31, 1933. Following his death, Lily Wilson returned to Virginia and by 1948 was living at the Tyler family home.

Colonel Edward Hammet was the father of Sue Hammet Tyler. Arriving in the area of what is now Radford, Virginia in the 1830s, Hammet married Clementina Craig, who had inherited the Norwood property, near (or on) what is now Radford University, from her father, James Craig. Edward and Clementina had several children, including James Preston, Isabella (married Stockton Heth), John Radford, and Susan (married James Hoge Tyler). The Hammets maintained ownership of lands in Washington and Issaquena counties, Mississippi.

William Henry Hammet / Hammett (1799-1865), brother of Edward Hammet, was born in County Cork, Ireland. He served as chaplain of the University of Virginia (1832-1834) and the Virginia House of Delegates before moving to Princeton, Mississippi. In 1837, he married the widow of Dr. James Metcalfe and became owner of the Lammermoor plantation. A Democrat, Hammet served in Congress from 1843-1845. Evidence within the collection suggests that Hammet was a physician. He died in Washington County, Mississippi and was buried on Lammermoor Plantation.

James Preston Hammet (1832-1829), son of Edward Hammet and a graduate of Virginia Military Institute (class of 1853) studied medicine at the University of Virginia and in Philadelphia. He married Katherine Markham Spiller in 1856; their daughter would marry Judge G. E. Cassel of Radford, Virginia. At the commencement of the Civil War, Hammet organized the "New River Grays," which became Company H, 24th Virginia Infantry, but resigned early in the war. By 1864, he was a Montgomery County, Virginia surgeon, serving on the county's committee of public safety.

Isabella Hammet ("Belle") Heth, daughter of Edward and Clementina Craig Hammet, was born in 1842. She married Captain Stockton Heth, who had served in the 18th Virginia Infantry. Heth, president of the Exchange Bank of Radford, also owned Whitethorne Plantation in Montgomery County, Virginia. The couple's children included Virginia C., Stockton Jr., Sally P., and Sue H. Isabella died in 1910 and is buried in Radford, Virginia.

Very little information could be found on the Sifford family, and it remains unclear why the family's papers were within those of the Tylers. The Siffords were Pulaski County farmers, so it may be assumed there was a relationship with the Hoge family. In 1818, Harman Sifford and John Hoge purchased from Cornelius Brown lands on Back and Neck creeks. George W. H. Sifford, perhaps the son of Harman Sifford, married Elizabeth Loukes on September 8, 1838, and the couple had four children: Henry, Rufus, Joseph, and Mary. During the Civil War, Sifford served in the 4th Regiment of the Virginia Reserves, probably in Company C, the Pulaski Reserves. Several other family members also seem to have served in the Confederate Army, including Henry S. and Joseph (sons of George W. H.), who both served in the 54th Virginia Infantry.


Howe, Daniel Dunbar, Listen to the mockingbird: the life and times of a pioneer Virginia family (Boyce, VA: Carr, 1961).

Tyler, James Hoge, The family of Hoge: a genealogy ([Greensboro, NC: J. J. Stone and Co.], 1927).


42 Cubic Feet (85 boxes)


This collection contains the papers of Virginia Governor James Hoge Tyler, including official, business and personal correspondence, printed materials, scrapbooks, and ledgers; papers of Tyler's children (Edward H., James H. Jr., Stockton H., Belle Tyler McConnell, Sue Tyler Jopling, Hal C. and Lily Tyler Wilson); business records (including records of the Belle Hampton Coal Company and Radford Development Company), genealogical materials, Spanish-American War army pay records, and photographs. Also includes papers of members of the Hammet and Sifford families.


The collection is arranged in the following thirteen series:

SERIES I: POLITICAL PAPERS, 1859-1923. This series contains the political papers of J. Hoge Tyler. The materials relate to Tyler's political career, his term as Virginia governor, and state and national politics of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The series contains correspondence, speech texts, and printed materials. Obviously, Tyler's political and private life were not completely segregated, so within the political correspondence may be found many references to personal and business affairs (conversely, one may of course also find references to political affairs within Tyler's personal and business correspondence). This series is divided among the following eight subseries:

Subseries A: Executive Letter Books, 1898-1901. This subseries contains a compiled, bound set of Tyler's correspondence as governor. The correspondence does not seem to follow a strict arrangement. A set of notebooks, arranged in a rough alphabetical order, serves as an index to the letter books, with separate listings for incoming and outgoing correspondence. The numbering on the incoming letters has no relation to that on the outgoing letters. The index books are arranged alphabetically, while the letters themselves are divided between "incoming" and "outgoing," then arranged numerically. (Note: Two books were originally bound in error, creating a mixed set of incoming and outgoing letters, which have been noted in the finding aid.)

Subseries B: Subject Files, 1897-1901. Tyler's office seems to have maintained files relating to only a few issues with which he had to contend while governor. The series consists largely of files devoted to political appointments. These appointment files were not part of the original subject files but have been included here for convenience; they contain letters from applicants for appointment (or reappointment) to positions over which the governor had power of appointment, together with endorsements from interested parties. The subseries also contains files devoted to several controversies which arose during Tyler's administration and the use of the Virginia Volunteer Infantry to quell instances of civil unrest. These subject files have been assigned file titles and arranged in an artificial alphabetical order.

Subseries C: Gubernatorial Campaign Canvass, 1897. The files in this subseries consist of political correspondence from contacts in various localities, arising from Tyler's 1897 gubernatorial campaign. Correspondents discuss local political activities, contacts, strategies, and outlooks. Arranged alphabetically by locality, with cities and counties inter-filed.

Subseries D:l Senatorial Campaign Canvass, 1899. Like Subseries III, this subseries contains correspondence from Tyler's local contacts throughout Virginia. The correspondence relates to Tyler's failed United States Senate campaign of 1899, with letters regarding insight into local political affairs and leaders. Arranged alphabetically by locality, with cities and counties inter-filed.

Subseries E: General political correspondence, 1870-1923. This subseries contains an extensive collection of Tyler's political correspondence. The letters originate from contacts throughout Virginia and beyond and relate to political activities and questions of the day (particularly bi-metallism in the late 19th century). The subseries also contains correspondence arising from Tyler's several political campaigns prior to 1897. (In these earlier contests, the correspondence was not sorted according to locality, but like the letters from those campaigns, these provide details on local political sentiments and leaders during the time period.) Letters relating to the 1897 and 1899 campaigns but not tied to any particular Virginia locality may also be found here, as may correspondence originating during Tyler's gubernatorial administration but not, for whatever reason, bound with the executive letter books. Apart from letters addressing the period's political questions, the letters also span the wide range of routine matters which one might expect to occupy the chief executive's time: invitations to address organizations, requests for personal favors, and pleas on behalf of prisoners. The political correspondence continues past Tyler's gubernatorial term, as he remained active in party politics and flirted with the idea of again running for office. Arranged chronologically, with copies of just a few pieces of Tyler's outgoing correspondences inter-filed with the incoming correspondence.

Subseries F: Speeches, 1877-1907. Contained in this subseries is a collection of materials relating to political speeches delivered by Tyler. The speech drafts are largely undated and fairly illegible. Drafts of other speeches by Tyler may be found in Series II, Subseries VII and in Series III, Subseries II. Arranged chronologically.

Subseries G: Printed Materials, 1874-1922. This subseries contains a number of pamphlets and speech texts relating to numerous state and political issues, particularly Virginia's state debt and the controversy over bi-metallism. Also relating to politics, particularly various political races, is a collection of newspaper clippings. The subseries also includes a few political broadsides and flyers, announcing such things as slates of political speakers. Arranged by document type.

Subseries H: General Materials, 1865-1901. Completing the series, this small subseries contains materials relating to the 1889 Virginia Democratic Convention, various voter contact lists from 1899, Tyler's notebook from that same campaign, notebooks containing the names of Virginia notaries public and commissioners of deeds, and some miscellaneous political notes made by Tyler. Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

SERIES II: PERSONAL PAPERS, 1860-1926. This series contains the personal papers of Governor J. Hoge Tyler and his wife, Susan Hammet Tyler. The series includes correspondence, speech texts, printed materials, and scrapbooks relating to Tyler's life and interests. The series is divided among the following subseries:

Subseries A: Presbyterian Church, 1866-1925. This subseries contains materials relating to Tyler's involvement in the Presbyterian Church, both locally and nationally, through his service as a church elder and his position on the boards of the Union Theological Seminary and the Synodical Orphans Home in Lynchburg, Virginia. Correspondence within the subseries relates to these activities and to Tyler's involvement with other church-related educational institutions within Virginia, the temperance movement, and participation in various church councils. The subseries also includes drafts of various church-related addresses made by Tyler, as well as printed material and ephemera. Also included are two unidentified church record books, probably from Radford Presbyterian Church. Arranged by document type.

Subseries B: Genealogy, 1876-1948. The materials in this subseries relate to J. Hoge Tyler's interest in his family's history, including the Hoge, Tyler and other extended family lines. The subseries includes letters from other genealogists, as well as two genealogy manuscripts by Tyler and a collection of family history-related newspaper clippings and notes. Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

Subseries C: General Correspondence, 1860-1924. This subseries contains the uncategorized personal correspondence of J. Hoge Tyler. The correspondence relates to many of Tyler's wide-ranging interests, so many of the letters contain references to politics and business activities. Included among the correspondence are requests for Tyler to use his influence on behalf of relatives and acquaintances, as well letters relating to his involvement with the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. A large percentage of the letters here are from members of Tyler's large extended family. (Invitations received by the Tylers may be found in Subseries VII, and letters received from his children may be found in the various series devoted to each offspring.) The subseries contains a relatively small number of drafts of Tyler's outgoing correspondence, arranged chronologically. Incoming correspondence has been arranged alphabetically by surname.

Subseries D: Sue Hammet Tyler Papers, 1865-1927. This subseries contains the correspondence of Sue Hammet Tyler, wife of J. Hoge Tyler. The correspondence is overwhelmingly personal in nature, though some of the letters touch upon Governor Tyler's political and business interests. Included here are letters written by Mrs. Tyler to her husband, children and others. Among the incoming letters are letters from extended family members, including the Heths, Prestons, Capertons and others. Also included among the incoming correspondence are the many letters of condolence she received upon the governor's death. (For a set of farm operation reports made to Mrs. Tyler, see Series III, Subseries II.)

Subseries E: Scrapbooks, 1871-1925. The first two scrapbooks in this series, devoted entirely to newspaper clippings and covering the years 1871-1900, are invaluable in tracking Tyler's political career, containing as they do articles, editorials, letters to the editor, texts from speeches, and articles about his activities, campaigns and gubernatorial administration. The third scrapbook (1901-1919) details the latter part of Tyler's term as governor, while the remainder is devoted to his later political activities and to personal activities and interests. A fourth scrapbook features newspaper articles and tributes following Tyler's death (pasted in a ledger containing minutes (1896-1898) of the finance committee of an unidentified organization (possibly the Radford Trust Company)). The subseries also contains a number of loose items which were removed from scrapbooks 1-3. The four scrapbooks are arranged chronologically, with the loose materials completing the subseries.

Subseries F: Printed Materials, 1887-1929. The printed materials included in this subseries relate to a wide range of Tyler's personal interests. Included are texts of speeches by others; several pamphlets regarding European railways; a booklet from the 1900 reunion of the Army of the Potomac; an 1888 promotional publication for Radford, Virginia; an 1899 issue of The Goodson Gazette (published by the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind); and a copy of the Radford newspaper detailing Tyler's death. The subseries also contains a collection of newspaper clippings which include poetry, obituaries and articles of general interest.

Subseries G: General materials, 1868-1926. Contained within this subseries are other personal papers of the Tylers that did not belong in other subseries. Included here is a file of third-party correspondence belonging to individuals not represented elsewhere in the collection, including letters written by James Hoge, R. S. Hoge, Laura Fitzhugh Preston, Eliza Hoge Tyler, Henry Tyler and others. Also included here are the many invitations and calling cards received by the Tyler family. Tyler's service as food administrator for the Federal Food Administration in Radford and Montgomery County during World War I is represented in a collection of FDA forms and publications. Also included here are drafts of talks delivered by Tyler on a variety of subjects to various schools and organizations. A collection of miscellaneous materials completes the subseries and includes death notices, notes, Tyler's American Red Cross state board certificates, poetry, advertising matter, a broadside announcing the sale of Plumer Memorial Female College, and other ephemera.

SERIES III: BUSINESS AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PAPERS, 1862-1923. Contained in this series are papers relating to the various business interests and personal financial records of J. Hoge Tyler. The series contains such materials as correspondence, ledgers, receipts, personal checks and other legal and financial documents and is divided among the following subseries:

Subseries A: Business Concerns, 1882-1922. This subseries contains papers originating from the many business ventures in which Tyler engaged but is devoted largely to his Belle Hampton Coal Company and the Radford Development Company. Also of particular interest are a set of ledgers from a store Tyler operated at Belle Hampton. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by name of company, then by document type, then chronologically. (Tyler also recorded business transactions in ledgers that had once belonged to members of the Hammet family. These ledgers may be found in Series XI, Subseries I and III.)

Subseries B: Agriculture, 1874-1914. This subseries is devoted to Tyler's short-horn cattle business and other agricultural pursuits. It includes correspondence, cattle pedigrees and registrations. It also includes drafts of speeches delivered before agricultural organizations, business records from his farm, printed materials relating to agriculture and farming implements, and a few miscellaneous documents. (Papers relating to the 1902 Southwest Virginia Livestock Fair, with which Tyler was involved, may be found in Series IX.) Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

Subseries C: General Business and Personal Financial Papers, 1862-1923. Within this subseries is correspondence relating to other business activities of J. Hoge Tyler. The correspondence relates to financial transactions, property sales and rentals, the Hammet estate, bank accounts, business proposals (including a proposed railway from Charleston, South Carolina to Radford), letters of introduction, and others arising from Tyler's myriad business interests. The correspondence also includes letters regarding Tyler's household financial matters, including a number of letters regarding renovations to Halwick, the family home. Also relating to routine financial affairs of the household are receipts, account statements, personal checks, and a ledger. Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

SERIES IV: EDWARD H. TYLER PAPERS, 1877-1935. The papers of Edward H. Tyler, eldest child of James Hoge and Sue Hammet Tyler, graduate of Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, and prominent Pulaski County, Virginia farmer, are contained in this series. The papers includes a number of personal letters, some written to family members during Tyler's time in school. Tyler's business interests are detailed in a farm ledger (which also contains the minutes (1892 to 1894) of the Radford Rifles, a local guard company to which several of the Tylers belonged), an accounts ledger and miscellaneous financial papers, including personal checks, and receipts. Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

SERIES V: JAMES HOGE TYLER JR. FAMILY PAPERS, 1884-1926. This series contains the papers of James Hoge Tyler Jr. and his wife Evelyn. The papers consist largely of letters written by the couple to other members within the Tyler family and relate largely to family and personal matters. Also included is a bank book and two issues of the Sigma Chi Quarterly, a publication of the fraternity to which Tyler, a student of Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and of Hampden-Sidney College, belonged. Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

SERIES VI: STOCKTON HETH TYLER FAMILY PAPERS, 1885-1941. This series contains the personal and military papers of Stockton Heth Tyler, son of J. Hoge and Sue Hammet Tyler, an army paymaster during the Spanish-American War, and mayor of Richmond. The papers include correspondence and forms and are divided between two series:

Subseries A: Personal Papers, 1885-1941. Among the personal papers of Stockton Heth Tyler in this subseries is a collection of his correspondence, largely consisting of letters written to other members of the Tyler family. The subseries also contains letters written by his wife and children to their Tyler relatives. Arranged by correspondent, then chronologically.

Subseries B: Spanish-American War Records, 1898-1899. This subseries contains military records retained by Major Stockton Heth Tyler while serving as an additional paymaster in the U. S. Army during the Spanish-American War. The subseries contains various forms relating to pay for individual officers and enlisted personnel in more than 30 different units and includes reimbursement vouchers, pay vouchers, discharge statements, and company payrolls. Also included are records of other paymaster transactions, official correspondence, and a collection of orders from the adjutant general's office. The subseries is arranged by document type, with documents relating to specific individuals or units being arranged alphabetically, while other documents are arranged chronologically.

SERIES VII: BELLE TYLER MCCONNELL FAMILY PAPERS, 1889-1954. The papers of Belle Tyler McConnell (daughter of J. Hoge and Sue Hammet Tyler) and her husband, banker and businessman Frank P. McConnell, comprise the contents of this series. The series includes Belle Tyler's outgoing correspondence, mostly to her parents, as well as incoming correspondence from various friends and relatives. The correspondence of Frank McConnell relates not only to family matters but to his many business and banking ventures in Bonanza, Arkansas; Richmond; and Radford, Virginia. Also included here are personal financial and legal records, as well as materials relating to Kappa Alpha fraternity (of which Frank McConnell was an officer), and invitations to various events. Also found here is a collection of printed material, relating largely to business and banking, fraternal organizations and transportation lines; advertising matter; and newspaper clippings. A small collection of miscellanea completes the series. Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

SERIES VIII: SUE HAMPTON TYLER JOPLING FAMILY PAPERS, 1896-1940. This series contains correspondence of Sue Hampton Tyler (daughter of J. Hoge and Sue Hammet Tyler) and her husband, Robert W. Jopling, a Presbyterian minister in Austin, Texas and Lancaster, South Carolina. The correspondence relates largely to personal matters and consists mostly of letters from the couple to members of the Tyler family. A folder of miscellaneous materials includes a couple of short letters written by the couple's daughter, Sue Tyler Jopling, during her childhood.

SERIES IX: HAL C. TYLER PAPERS, 1886-1940. The papers of Henry C. ("Hal") Tyler (son of J. Hoge and Sue Hammet Tyler), a Radford, Virginia attorney, are contained in this series. Tyler's papers include his correspondence, devoted to both business/legal and personal matters. Separate from this correspondence are two files devoted to the 1902 Southwest Virginia Livestock Fair in Radford, of which Tyler served as secretary. The collection also includes financial and legal papers and a small assortment of miscellanea, including invitations and dance cards for dances held at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

SERIES X: LILY TYLER WILSON FAMILY PAPERS, 1889-1956. This series contains the papers of Lily Tyler Wilson (daughter of J. Hoge and Sue Hammet Tyler), her husband, Henry H. Wilson, graduate of Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and civil engineer, and the couple's children. The series contains correspondence, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and printed materials and is divided among the following subseries:

Subseries A: Henry H. and Lily Tyler Wilson Papers, 1889-1954. This subseries includes Lily Tyler Wilson's personal correspondence, largely consisting of letters to other members of the Tyler family. Also among her personal papers are a 1909 diary and a typescript compilation of her poetry. Lily Wilson's interest in the theatre is documented in a scrapbook devoted to the stage stars and productions she had seen, while a second chronicles other general interests. The subseries includes a large number of dance cards, many from events held at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in the early 1900s. Also included here are a file of papers (correspondence and published writings) of Henry H. Wilson, as well as materials relating to Wilson's interest in genealogy and printed materials relating to civil engineering and road construction. Within the subseries may also be found a small set of the couple's legal papers; additional printed materials consisting of religious tracts and newspaper clippings of personal interest; and a folder of miscellaneous materials. Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

Subseries B: James Hoge Tyler Wilson Papers, 1918-1950. Comprising this subseries is a small collection of the papers of James Hoge Tyler Wilson (1916-1994), son of Henry H. and Lily Tyler Wilson, graduate of the University of Virginia, World War II Army Air Services pilot, Virginia Tech instructor, and attorney. The subseries consists of two folders of miscellanea, including a devotional book for military personnel and a small selection of correspondence.

Subseries C: Lily Norwood Wilson Papers, 1924-1956. This subseries contains the papers of Lily Norwood Tyler, daughter of Henry H. and Lily Tyler Wilson. Included among the papers is a collection of personal correspondence, as well as a baby book and memorabilia from Wilson's school years (at the Seiler School (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania); St. Catherine's School (Richmond, Virginia); and Episcopal High School (Alexandria, Virginia)) and a 1930s European tour. The subseries also contains event invitations and programs, together with papers relating to the British War Relief Society and Wilson's service as secretary of the Radford, Virginia chapter during the 1930s and 1940s. Also included is a folder of miscellaneous materials containing notes, reports, printed materials and ephemera.

SERIES XI: HAMMET FAMILY PAPERS, 1832-1913. This series contains the papers of the Hammet family of Mississippi and Radford, Virginia, the paternal family of Sue Hammet Tyler. It contains papers and ledgers relating to the management of of a Mississippi plantation and the account books of a 19th century physician. The series includes correspondence, ledgers, financial papers and other materials and is divided among the following subseries:

Subseries A: William Henry Hammet Papers, 1832-1878. Contained within this small subseries are papers of W. H. Hammet, a Washington County, Mississippi plantation owner and congressman. The subseries includes personal and business correspondence, as well as other business papers, including an account book and account statements, estate documents, and lists of slaves on an unidentified plantation. In addition to the papers is a physician's account book, containing entries from Vicksburg and Lammermoor, Mississippi and dating from 1836 to 1851. (The ledger also contains day book account entries of J. Hoge Tyler from 1881 to 1885). Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

Subseries B: Edward Hammet Papers, 1832-1892. This subseries contains the papers of Col. Edward Hammet, a prominent landowner of Radford, Virginia, and heir of William H. Hammet's plantation, Lammermoor, in Mississippi. The series contains papers relating to financial affairs of Lammermoor as well as personal and business correspondence together with legal and financial documents (some of which relate to the lands of John Heavin (Haven) on Plum Creek in Montgomery County, Virginia). Also found here are documents retained by J. Hoge Tyler, acting as executor of Hammet's will. Arranged by subject matter, then chronologically.

Subseries C: James Preston Hammet Papers, 1856-1879. Within this series may be found the papers of James Preston Hammet (son of Edward and Clementina Craig Hammet), Montgomery County, Virginia physician and heir of William H. Hammet's plantation, Lammermoor, in Mississippi. The papers include correspondence relating to personal matters, medical patients, Lammermoor Plantation, and other financial and legal matters. The subseries also includes two pocket diaries containing miscellaneous notes, some seemingly related to the management of Lammermoor Plantation. A separate ledger contains additional records of Lammermoor and appears to document the daily work of the plantation's slaves and freedmen (much of the information in the ledger has been obscured by newspaper clippings relating to Virginia politics later pasted into the book, probably by J. Hoge Tyler). Other papers within the subseries detail the plantation's accounts, including those with freedmen. The subseries also includes papers relating Hammet's other business, legal and personal financial matters. Hammet's medical practice is detailed in two ledgers and a folder of papers containing account and patient records (including calls on freedmen patients). Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

Subseries D: Isabella Hammet Heth Family Papers, 1861-1913. This subseries contains the letters of Isabella Hammet ("Belle") Heth (daughter of Edward and Clementina Craig Hammet) and her husband, Major Stockton Heth. The subseries includes both incoming and outgoing correspondence of both Heths. Divided by correspondent, then arranged chronologically.

SERIES XII: SIFFORD FAMILY PAPERS, 1805-1886. This series contains the papers of the Sifford family of Pulaski County, Virginia. The series includes the personal papers of George Sifford, including correspondence (much of it consisting of personal letters from his brother, Henry Sifford, in Lake City, Iowa) and financial papers. The papers of Samuel Sifford, also in this series, consist largely of financial documents. A folder of miscellaneous papers relates to other members of the Sifford family and also includes a small notebook titled "The Ages of the Black Children," which appears to provide names and dates of birth for slaves on an unidentified farm. Arranged by document type, then chronologically.

SERIES XIII: PHOTOGRAPHS, 1890-1939. This series contains photos belonging to the extended family of James Hoge Tyler. It includes both studio portraits and snapshots of Tyler family, friends and scenery, with more than half of the images remaining unidentified. The first part of the series is arranged by family member, generally following the same sequence as Series I-X. The remainder of the series is arranged by photo type within the following categories: studio portraits; snapshots; buildings; miscellaneous scenery; and animals. Within each category, identified photos precede those which are unidentified.

Source of Acquisition

The J. Hoge Tyler Family Collection was acquired by Newman Library in several installments. The nucleus of the collection, including the early correspondence of the Hammet and Tyler families and the business correspondence and ledgers of J. Hoge Tyler, was donated by Mrs. Sue Tyler Thomas in 1967. In 1972, J. Hoge Tyler Wilson donated approximately two thousand pieces of political and other correspondence dating from 1890 to 1901. Later in 1972, Mr. Wilson withdrew from temporary deposit at the University of Virginia Library a sizeable collection of Tyler papers, including gubernatorial correspondence, and donated them to Virginia Tech. Additions to the collection were made through several dealer purchases in the 1970s and 1980s.

Separated Material

The following items were transferred to the Rare Book Collection:

  1. Clark, Champ, The Philippine problem (Washington, D.C.: [Government Printing Office], 1900).
  2. Goodwin, W. P., Experience of an old soldier in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1862 to 1865 (Bowling Green, VA: Echo Printing, 1907).
  3. Gray, Horace, An Address on the life character and influence of Chief Justice Marshall (Washington, D.C.: Pearson Printing Office, 1901).
  4. Haggard, H. Rider, King Solomon's mines (New York: F. M. Lupton, [19--?]).
  5. Jamestown Official Photograph Corporation, The Jamestown Exposition illustrated (New York: Press of I. H. Blanchard Co., 1907).
  6. John Warwick Daniel, late a senator from Virginia : memorial addresses delivered in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States (Washington : U.S. G.P.O., 1911).
  7. Johnston, Mattie Reed, Six prayers; or, the soul's reflector (Richmond, VA: Whittet & Shepperson, 1899).
  8. Mann, William Hodges, Proclamation by the Governor of Virginia, 1910.
  9. McBride, J. F., The Higher officials of the United States and buildings where all laws are made (Chicago: J. F. McBride & Co., 1894).
  10. Memorial addresses on the life and character of William H. F. Lee (a representative from Virginia) delivered in the House of Representatives and in the Senate ... (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1892).
  11. Military show: program and guide to exhibits ([Fort Snelling, MN: Fort Snelling, 1928]).
  12. Official Army Register for 1899 (Washington: Adjutant General's Office, 1899).
  13. People and Politics ([Roanoke, VA: Stone Printing and Manufacturing, 19--?]).
  14. Settlement of the debt of the state of Virginia : under the bondholders' agreement of May 12, 1890 ... ([New York : Bondholders' Committee, 1892]).
  15. Smith, Orlando, The Agreement between science and religion (New York: C. P. Farrell, [c1906]).
  16. Society of the Army of the Potomac, Proceedings of the thirty-first annual reunion, held at Fredericksburg, May 25th & 26th, 1900 (New York: McGowan & Slipper, 1900).
  17. Southworth, Emma D. E. N. Sybil Brotherton (New York: F. M. Lupton, [19--?]).
  18. Thomas Staples Martin (late a senator from Virginia): memorial addresses delivered in the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States... (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1922).
  19. Tyler, James Hoge, The Family of Hoge : a genealogy ([Greensboro, NC]: James Fulton Hoge, 1927).
  20. Virginia: its agricultural and industrial resources ([Richmond: Virginia Dept. of Agriculture and Immigration, 1914]).
  21. Young, Isabel N., The Hawaiian Islands; and, the story of pineapple (New York : Home Economics Dept., American Can Co., [1935]).

The following items were transferred to the Newspapers Collection:

  1. The Alexandria Times (Alexandria, Virginia), May 29, 1897.
  2. Midland Virginian (Palmyra, Virginia), April 7, 1898.

The following item was transferred to the Historical Maps Collection:

  1. A Historical map of Virginia (Richmond, VA: GHQ Committee, Kappa Alpha Order, 1925).

An oil painting of J. Hoge Tyler and his daughter Lily (Eliza Tyler Wilson) is part of this collection. See Art-359. Due to its size, it is housed separately in the art collection.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the J. Hoge Tyler Family Collection by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement and description of the J. Hoge Tyler Family Collection commenced in January 2004 and was completed in August 2007. Some earlier work on the collection had been performed from 1967 to 1969 and 1971 to 1972.

J. Hoge Tyler Family Collection, 1802-1956
John M. Jackson, Archivist
2007 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US