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Tyler-Wilson Family Papers

Identifier: Ms-2017-014

Scope and Content

This collection contains personal papers of Virginia Governor James Hoge Tyler; his wife Sue Hammet Tyler; their children Edward H. Tyler, James Hoge Tyler Jr., Stockton Heth Tyler, Lucy Belle Norwood Tyler McConnell, Sue Hampton Tyler Jopling, Hal C. Tyler, and Lily Tyler Wilson; and Lily Tyler Wilson's children J. Hoge Tyler Wilson, Lily Norwood Wilson, and Henry Harrison Wilson II. The collection consists largely of correspondence and advertising / promotional materials.

The correspondence of Governor Tyler represented here is mostly devoted to his efforts in having a heating system installed in "Halwick," the Tylers' home in Radford, Virginia. The folder includes correspondence, contracts, and printed material from the Peck-Hammond Company relating to the Moline System. Also included is a Halwick floor plan. Apart from two pieces of personal correspondence, the remainder of Tyler's material consists of advertising material, including items from the Advanced Agricultural Publishing Company; White Enamel Refrigerator Company; F. S. Royster Guano Company; and the Toggery Shop (Radford, Virginia). Most of the folders devoted to other family members contain just a few pieces of personal correspondence, personal financial documents, and ephemera. The materials for Lily Tyler Wilson and her daughter, Lily Norwood Wilson, are somewhat more extensive, each consisting of a number of pieces of personal correspondence, much of this written during the younger Lily's 1935 trip to Europe.

The collection also contains the 1925 European travel diary of Nancy E. Lukens, whose relationship (if any) to the Tylers and Wilsons is unknown. The diary commences on June 5 with Lukens' arrival in New York City; proceeds through her trans-Atlantic cruise aboard the Ms Rotterdam; and continues with her tour of Great Britain, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, and France. The diary ends on August 2, with a description of Lukens' visit to the Louvre Museum.

The various advertising and promotional materials completing the collection had undoubtedly been sent to various members of the Tyler family, but because they could not be associated with any individual, they are collected together separately. Of possible particular interest among these items are promotional materials from the Frank E. Davis Fish Company (including price lists), the Dreamland Theatre of Radford, the Miss Radford beauty pageant of 1934, and the Radford Chatauqua.


  • 1899 - 1960


Language of Materials

Materials in this 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.

Biographical Note

James Hoge Tyler (1846-1925), Virginia governor from 1898 to 1902, was born in Caroline County, Virginia in 1846. He was the son of George and Eliza Hoge Tyler but was reared by his grandparents, James and Eleanor Howe Hoge, in Pulaski County, Virginia.

Tyler joined the Confederate army and served as a private in the Signal Corps throughout the Civil War. After the war, he returned to Pulaski County, where he had inherited the Hoge farm. He renamed the farm "Belle Hampton" and become a successful farmer and businessman.

Tyler married Sue Montgomery Hammet (1845-1927) in 1868. While living at Belle Hampton, the Tylers had eight children: Edward H., James H. Jr., Stockton Heth, Lucy Belle, Sue H., Henry C. ("Hal"), Eliza ("Lily") and Eleanor Howe Tyler (died in infancy). In 1891, the family moved to "Halwick," their home in Radford.

Tyler was elected to the state senate in 1877 and served one term. He also served on the board of visitors and as rector of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). He served as Virginia's lieutenant governor 1890 to 1894 and as governor from 1898 to 1902. Tyler remained somewhat active in state politics in his later years and also served as food administrator for Radford and Montgomery County during World War I.

Eldest child of James H. and Sue Hammet Tyler, Edward Hammet ("Ned") Tyler (1869-1939) graduated from Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. He managed the family farm at Belle Hampton and also owned Kirkland Farm near Dublin (Pulaski County), Virginia.

James Hoge Tyler Jr. (1871-1937) attended Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and graduated from Hampden-Sidney College. 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 (1879-1924) in 1908, and the couple lived in Roanoke.

Stockton Heth Tyler (1874-1943) 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 in 1904; the couple had five children. Tyler served as mayor of Norfolk, Virginia from 1924 to 1932.

Lucy Belle Norwood Tyler (1876-1955) married Colonel Frank Percy McConnell (1870-1941) in 1908. The couple, with their son, James Hoge Tyler McConnell, lived in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where Frank McConnell was engaged in several business enterprises, before returning by 1927 to Radford.

Sue Hampton Tyler (1877-1949) married Rev. Robert Ware Jopling (1865-1944), a Presbyterian minister, in 1915. The couple had two children, Sue Tyler and James Robert Jopling, and resided in Texas and South Carolina. Following her husband's death, Sue Jopling made her home in Norfolk, Virginia.

Henry Clement ("Hal") Tyler (1878-1941) graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1901. He established a law practice in Radford, where he was appointed commonwealth attorney in 1906. 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. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1924 to 1925.

Known to her family and friends as "Lily," Eliza Lillian Tyler (1882-1974) married Henry Harrison Wilson (1882-1933) in 1915. The Wilsons eventually made their home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and had three children: James Hoge Tyler (1916-1994), Lily Norwood (1919-2008), and Henry Harrison Wilson II (1923-2016). Following her husband's death, Lily Wilson returned to Virginia and by 1948 was living at the Tyler family home.

Born in 1902, Nancy E. Lukens was the daughter of Charles S. Lukens of Roanoke, Virginia. She graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College and later obtained a master's degree from Columbia University. Her obituary indicates that Lukens began teaching at Roanoke's Jefferson High School in 1925. She also served on Roanoke's library board and as president of the Roanoke Rescue Mission. She is listed in Jefferson High annuals as Nancy Lukens as late as 1945 but later married Dr. Clarence William Hamilton. Nancy Lukens Hamilton retired from teaching in 1950 and died in Roanoke in 1959. Her relationship (if any) to the Tylers is unknown.

More detailed biographical information on the J. Hoge Tyler family may be found in the J. Hoge Tyler Family Collection, Ms1967-002.)


0.5 Cubic Feet (1 box)


The Tyler-Wilson Papers consist largely of correspondence of Virginia Governor James Hoge Tyler's family and his daughter Lily Tyler Wilson's family. Also includes a 1925 European travel diary maintained by Nancy E. Lukens.


The collection is arranged by family group, in order of birth, followed by the Nancy Lukens diary, and ending with a set of advertising/promotional materials not associated with any particular family or individual.

Source of Acquisition

The Tyler-Wilson Family Papers were donated to Special Collections in 2016.

Related Archival Materials

See also the finding aid for the J. Hoge Tyler Family Collection, Ms1967-002. The materials in this collection undoubtedly originated from the same source and had somehow been separated from the larger collection before it was donated to Special Collections in 1967.

Separated Materials

The following items were removed from the collection, to be added to the Rare Book Collection:

The Blacksburg Sun, March 28, 1973

The Blacksburg Sun (NIT souvenir edition), April 4, 1973

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Tyler-Wilson Family Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Tyler-Wilson Family Papers commenced in June 2017 and was completed in July 2017.

Tyler-Wilson Family Papers, 1899-1960
John M. Jackson, Archivist
2017 (CC0 1.0)
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