James Hoge Tyler

James Hoge Tyler (August 11, 1846 – January 3, 1925) was a Confederate soldier, writer and political figure. He served in the Virginia Senate and became the 16th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia (1890 to 1894) and the 43rd Governor of Virginia (1898 to 1902). He compiled The Family of Hoge, published posthumously in 1927.[2]

James Hoge Tyler
43rd Governor of Virginia
In office
January 1, 1898  January 1, 1902
LieutenantEdward Echols
Preceded byCharles T. O'Ferrall
Succeeded byAndrew Jackson Montague
16th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
In office
January 1, 1890  January 1, 1894
GovernorPhilip W. McKinney
Preceded byJohn E. Massey
Succeeded byRobert Craig Kent
Member of the Virginia Senate
for Giles, Pulaski, Bland, and Tazewell
In office
December 5, 1877  December 3, 1879
Preceded bySamuel H. Newberry
Succeeded byWilliam A. French
(as Sen. for Giles, Pulaski, & Bland)
Samuel Leece
(as Senator for Tazewell)
Personal details
James Hoge Tyler

(1846-08-11)August 11, 1846
Caroline County, Virginia, U.S.
DiedJanuary 3, 1925(1925-01-03) (aged 78)
Radford, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseSue Hammet
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States
Branch/serviceConfederate States Army
Years of service1862–1865
UnitSignal Corps[1]
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Early and family life

Halwyck, originally "Halwick", Tyler's Radford home

James Tyler was born at Blenheim plantation[3] in Caroline County, Virginia, on August 11, 1846, to George Tyler (1817–1889) and his second wife Eliza Hoge (1815-1846).[4] His parents were both descended from the First Families of Virginia.[5] His great-grandfather, also George Tyler (1755-1833), served as a lieutenant in the Caroline County militia during the American Revolutionary War and descended from Richard Tyler who settled in Essex County in the 17th century. His father George Tyler was the eldest son of Henry Tyler (1791-1861) and his wife Lucy Coleman, [6][7] Literally all of his ancestors came to America from England and literally all of them arrived in the Colony of Virginia in the 1600s.[8]

Two hours after James was born, his mother died of complications from the birth. His maternal grandparents took the boy 300 miles by carriage to their home, Hayfield, subsequently known as Belle Hampton, in Pulaski County, Virginia. There he was raised by his maternal grandparents, General James F. Hoge (1783-1861)[9] and Eleanor Haven Howe, as well as his uncle William E. Hoge and his wife Jane with their daughter and two sons of similar ages.[10][11][12] James F. Hoge owned 17 enslaved persons in 1850,[13] and more in 1860.[14]

Private tutors and his grandfather educated James until General Hoge died in 1861. When James Tyler was ten, his grandmother died and his grandfather soon suffered a stroke.[15] J. H. Tyler inherited a number of properties from his maternal grandfather, including Belle-Hampton.[16] The teenager soon joined his father in Caroline County (his paternal grandfather dying in the same year). Because Virginia's secession embroiled Caroline County, Tyler attended a school run by Franklin Minor in Albemarle County.[17]

On November 16, 1868, he married Sou (or Sue) Montgomery Hammet (1845-1927) of Montgomery County, Virginia. The children by that marriage were Edward Hammet Tyler, James Hoge Tyler Jr., Stockton Heth Tyler, Belle Norwood McConnell, Sue Hampton, Henry Clement Tyler, Eliza (Lily), and Eleanor.

American Civil War

About 1862, when he reached the legal age of 16, J. H. Tyler enlisted in the Army of the Confederate States of America.[1] He remained as a private until the war's end rather than accept a commission as an officer and be separated from his friends.

Postwar career

After Virginia's surrender to Union forces, Tyler returned to Pulaski County and tried to resume farming. He also published articles urging manufacturing and mining development. Elected to the Virginia Senate in 1877, he urged state taxes be reduced from 50 to 40 cents and also served on the commission to settle the state debt. Tyler was a member of the boards of public buildings at Blacksburg and Marion, and became rector of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (now known as Virginia Tech).[18]

Active in the state Democratic party, especially the statewide organization created by Senator Thomas Staples Martin, Tyler became the organization's candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and helped settle the disputed border between Maryland and Virginia. He defeated fellow Confederate veteran James Taylor Ellyson before the party's primary to become its candidate for governor in the Virginia 1897 election (and Ellyson began the first of three terms as lieutenant governor).

In the general election, voters elected Tyler Governor of Virginia. He won 64.59% of the vote, defeating Republican Patrick H. McCaull (who won 33.24% of the votes), as well as Prohibitionist L.A. Cutler, Socialist John J. Quantz, and Independent James S. Cowden. During his term as governor, Tyler reduced the public debt by more than a million dollars, but increased the public school fund by $21,000 and the literary fund by $68,000, and also reduced the tax rate from 40 to 30 cents. He also settled the boundary dispute between Tennessee and Virginia.[18]

After his governorship, Tyler returned to Radford, where he resumed farming and lived with his son Hal (Henry C.) Tyler (who was serving as the local Commonwealth's attorney in 1910), and daughters Lily and Lucy.[19] Tyler spent the last years of his life compiling The Family of Hoge, a genealogy of the descendants of William Hoge[20] and Barbara Hume,[21] his great-great-great-grandparents and the American progenitors of the Hoge Family.

A devout Presbyterian, Tyler was thrice elected to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. In 1892 he was a delegate to the Pan Presbyterian Alliance in Toronto, and in 1896 became a delegate to the convention in Glasgow, Scotland, where he presided over one of the sessions. He also served on the boards of trustees of Hampden–Sydney College, the Union Theological Seminary and the Synodical Orphans Home at Lynchburg.

Death and legacy

Governor J.H. Tyler died January 3, 1925, at Halwick (renamed Halwyck by subsequent owners of the property in the 1990s), which he built in 1892, and which his lawyer son Henry C. Tyler and widowed daughter Lily Wilson helped run.[22][23] He was buried in Radford at West View cemetery, where his widow would join him two years later.

The Library of Virginia holds his papers.[24] Halwyck (originally "Halwick") was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.[25] His childhood home, Blenheim, also exists, and Caroline County officials believe it eligible for similar treatment, but its private owners have not yet chosen to apply for that status, which would entail development restrictions.


  1. "James Hoge Tyler". Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  2. A copy is viewable at Heritage Quest Online
  3. Several plantations have the same name. As of 2017, this Blenheim is listed on co.caroline.va.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/413 as potentially eligible for inclusion on the Virginia and National Registers of historic sites
  4. Sons of the American Revolution application of James Hoge Tyler McConnell dated 1951
  5. old illustrious family
  6. Virginia Biographical Encyclopedia online at ancestry.com and genealogytrails.com/vir/caroline/biographies.html
  7. This George Tyler married four times. His only child by his first wife, Jane DeJarnette, died in infancy. This J. Hoge Tyler was the only child of his second wife. He had two children by his third wife, Jane Quisenberry of Caroline County: George William Tyler and Nannie Brown who married John Washington who became superintendent of schools for Caroline county. He also had three sons and two daughters by his fourth wife, Julia Magruder of Albemarle county, including attorney Henry Magruder Tyler of Richmond. A genealogy of the Tyler Family of Essex, Spotsylvania and Caroline Counties online that had been published as The William and Mary Quarterly (Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 279-286) is available through the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture on the JSTOR pay portal.
  8. Family Genealogy, Record and Diary of James Hoge Tyler of Belle Hampton, Pulaski County, Virginia, 1846-1925
  9. General James Hoge
  10. U.S. Federal census 1850, Virginia, Pulaski District 48 dwelling 331, families 331 and 332
  11. Eleanor Haven Howe
  12. General Hoge was the nephew of his wife's father and Eleanor Howe was the niece of her husband's mother, thus they were cousins, both grandchildren of Major Joseph Howe, per http://www.palmspringsbum.org/genealogy/getperson.php?&personID=I1548&tree=Legends Major Joseph Howe. Joseph Howe was the brother (most likely) or cousin of: George Augustus Howe, 3rd Viscount Howe; Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe, 4th Viscount Howe; and Sir William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe.
  13. 1850 U.S. Federal Census slave schedule, Montgomery County, Virginia district 41 lists adult females aged 70, 45, 30 and 16, as well as adult males aged 36, 30, 28, 24, and 18, as well as female children aged 14, 8, and 2 and males aged 12, 10, 6, 4 and 2 years old and a 4-month-old infant
  14. The 1860 U.S. Federal Census slave schedule for Wythe County Virginia district 68 shows William E. Hoge as owning 29 enslaved persons and James Hoge owning a 23-year-old male and 6-year-old female, both black. In addition, the 1860 U.S. Federal Census slave schedule for Montgomery County Virginia shows James F. Hoge as owning 18 enslaved persons: black females aged 80, 50, 43, 28 and two aged 19, as well as males aged 45, 42, 34 and 15, and 8 children (3 female and 5 males)
  15. James Hoge was 76 and James Tyler 13 in 1860, and 26-year-old overseer William S. Echols also lived in the same household, with his wife Margaret and infant son and daughter, according to the 1860 U.S. Federal census for the western district of Virginia's Pulaski County, dwelling 178 family 194. Moreover, the next household was farmer John M. Hoge
  16. Gibson Worsham (February 1989). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Belle-Hampton" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
  17. Virginia Biographical Encyclopedia 1915 online at ancestry.com
  18. Virginia Biographical Encyclopedia online at ancestry.com
  19. U.S. Federal Census 1920, Radford East Ward district 1, house 413, family 424
  20. William Hoge
  21. Barbara Hume
  22. Gibson Worsham (December 1995). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Halwyck" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
  23. U.S. Federal census 190, Radford Virginia district 17, dwelling 452, family 489
  24. A Guide to the Executive Papers of Governor James Hoge Tyler, 1860-1901 (bulk 1898-1901)
  25. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
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