Tyler, James Hoge, 1846-1925

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James Hoge Tyler was Lieutenant Governor (1890-1894) and Governor of Virginia (1898-1902).

From the description of Papers of James Hoge Tyler, 1892-1901 (bulk 1898-1901). (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122584897

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.

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.

For additional biographical information on the Tyler family, see the J. Hoge Tyler Family Collection finding aid .

From the guide to the J. Hoge Tyler Diary, 1846-1925, 2009, (Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf McConnell, Frank P., b. 1870. Papers, 1912-1918. William & Mary Libraries
creatorOf Abbott, Lyman, 1835-1922. Papers of the Barringer family [manuscript], 1828-1963. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Montague, Andrew Jackson, 1862-1937. Papers, 1854-1938. Library of Virginia
referencedIn Brunswick County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes and Pardons, 1791-1806; 1898-1903 The Library of Virginia
creatorOf Ellyson, J. Taylor (James Taylor), 1847-1919. Papers of James Taylor Ellyson 1865, 1896-1910. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Hildreth Brothers (Longmont, Colo.). James Tyler family of Longmont portraits. Boulder Public Library
creatorOf J. Hoge Tyler Diary, 1846-1925, 2009 Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
creatorOf Parker, John Crafford, 1862-1918. Papers of John Crafford Parker [manuscript] 1874-1936. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Kemper, James Lawson, 1823-1895. Papers : of James Lawson Kemper, 1837-1903. Virginia Historical Society Library
referencedIn Photograph album of members of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901-1902, 1901-1902. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Jones, William Atkinson, 1849-1918. Papers of William Atkinson Jones [manuscript] 1830-1918. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Tyler, James Hoge, 1846-1925. Papers, 1900-1911. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Tyler, James Hoge, 1846-1925. Papers, 1900-1911. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Rosser, Thomas Lafayette, 1836-1910. Papers of Thomas Lafayette Rosser, Jr. and the Rosser and Gordon families [manuscript] 1764 (1834-1910) 1969. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Smyth, John H. Letter : Richmond [Virginia] to Governor-elect J. Hoge Tyler, East Radford, Virginia, 1897 December 17. Library of Virginia
creatorOf Virginia. Governor (1898-1902 : Tyler). Papers, 1898-1902. Library of Virginia
creatorOf Tyler, James Hoge, 1846-1925. Papers of James Hoge Tyler, 1892-1901 (bulk 1898-1901). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Brock, R. A. (Robert Alonzo), 1839-1914 person
associatedWith Brunswick County (Va.) Circuit Court corporateBody
associatedWith Ellyson, J. Taylor (James Taylor), 1847-1919. person
associatedWith Jones, William Atkinson, 1849-1918. person
associatedWith Kemper, James Lawson, 1823-1895. person
associatedWith McConnell, Frank P., b. 1870. person
associatedWith Montague, Andrew Jackson, 1862-1937. person
associatedWith Parker, John Crafford, 1862-1918. person
associatedWith Rosser, Thomas Lafayette, 1836-1910. person
associatedWith Smyth, John H. person
associatedWith Tyler, Eliza Hoge, 1815-1846 person
associatedWith Tyler, James Hoge, 1846-1923. person
associatedWith Tyler, Sue Hammet, 1845-1927 person
associatedWith Virginia. Governor (1898-1902 : Tyler) corporateBody
associatedWith Virginia. Lieutenant Governor (1890-1894 : Tyler) corporateBody
associatedWith Wilson, Eliza (Lily) Tyler, b. 1882 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Criminal justice, Administration of--19th century--Sources
Local/Regional History


Birth 1846-08-11

Death 1925-01-03


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