Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., 95, grandson of U.S. President John Tyler
(too old to reply)
2020-10-05 15:04:58 UTC
John Tyler (1790–1862) was the tenth president of the United States from 1841 to 1845 after briefly serving as the tenth vice president in 1841; he was elected vice president on the 1840 Whig ticket with President William Henry Harrison. Tyler ascended to the presidency after Harrison's death in April 1841, only a month after the start of the new administration.

Tyler fathered 15 children, more than any other American president. He had eight children with his first wife; after her death he married a much younger woman and had seven more children. His fifteenth child was born in 1860, the year Tyler turned 70.

Tyler's 13th child, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. (1853–1935), had three children with his first wife. After her death in 1921 he married a woman 35 years his junior and had three more children, one of whom died in infancy. The other two children were Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. (born 1925) and Harrison Ruffin Tyler (born 1928).

Lyon Tyler Jr. died on September 26, 2020, and is survived by his brother Harrison Tyler. This makes John Tyler the earliest former president with living grandchildren.

One more thing about John Tyler, per Wikipedia: "In December 1841, Tyler was attacked by abolitionist publisher Joshua Leavitt, with the unsubstantiated allegation that Tyler had fathered several sons with his slaves, and later sold them. A number of African American families today maintain a belief in their descent from Tyler, but there is no evidence of such genealogy."

Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr.
1925 - 2020

TYLER, Lyon Gardiner, Jr., age 95, of Franklin, Tenn., died September 26, 2020. His beloved wife of 43 years, Lucy Jane Pope Tyler, preceded him in death. He is survived by his daughter, Susan Selina Pope Tyler; his brother, Harrison Ruffin Tyler of Richmond, Va.; his niece, Julia Gardiner Tyler Samaniego of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; his nephew, Harrison Ruffin Tyler Jr. and wife, Cathy, of Alexandria; and his nephew, William Bouknight Tyler and wife, Kay, of Richmond; as well as eight great-nieces and nephews. Lyon was born in Richmond, Va., to Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. and Susan Ruffin Tyler on January 3, 1925, and lived his youth in Charles City County, Va., and grandson of 10th U.S. President John Tyler. He graduated from St. Christopher's School ('41) and entered The College of William and Mary at age 16, where he was President of the Student Body, a member of the Kappa Alpha Order and graduated in 1947. His formal education was interrupted in 1942 due to World War II, where he served as a Naval officer in the Pacific. After the war, he served in the Naval Intelligence Reserve and retired with the rank of Commander. He earned a law degree from the University of Virginia ('49), served as a law clerk to a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, practiced Virginia law and was elected Commonwealth's Attorney for Charles City County. In 1960, he became the Assistant Director of the Virginia Civil War Centennial Commission, hoping to unite the country rather than further divide it, which led him to earn his doctorate in history from Duke University. He embarked on a teaching career at Virginia Military Institute, where he re-designed the VMI Museum, followed by The Citadel for over 20 years, establishing a Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship for cadets. In 2000, he and his family moved to his wife's family farm in Franklin, Tenn., where he was an active member in many organizations including St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church. Funeral services and interment will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 3, 2020, at Westover Episcopal Church in Charles City, Va. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, Franklin, Tenn. Both services will be live streamed and recorded via the respective church's websites. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Christ for All Nations, P.O. Box 590588, Orlando, Fla. 32859-0588 or cfan.org/donate.
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Published by Richmond Times-Dispatch on Oct. 2, 2020.


A life well lived. My deepest sympathy to the Tyler family, from a descendant of another presidential family.
- Peter J Talbot
4th great grandson of John Adams
Peter J Talbot
October 4, 2020
Big Mongo
2020-10-10 19:12:21 UTC

Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., Grandson of the 10th President, Dies at 95

He and his brother, grandsons of John Tyler, were the third of three generations that remarkably spanned almost the entire history of the American experience.

By Robert D. McFadden
Oct. 7, 2020

Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., the older of two surviving grandsons of the 10th president of the United States, John Tyler, and part of a genealogical marvel that in just three generations spanned almost the entire history of the United States, died on Sept. 26 in Franklin, Tenn. He was 95.

His daughter, Susan Selina Pope Tyler, said his death, at Williamson Medical Center, was caused by Alzheimer’s disease. He lived in Franklin.

Mr. Tyler, a lawyer and historian, and his 91-year-old brother, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, were the last surviving sons of Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. (1853-1935), a longtime president of the College of William & Mary in Virginia.

Lyon Tyler Sr.’s father, who was born just after George Washington became president 231 years ago and who served in the White House from 1841 to 1845, was the president who annexed Texas as the 28th state as America expanded west. But he may be better known for the Whig Party’s catchy 1840 presidential campaign slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.”

The Tyler family was a remarkable case of well-documented successive longevities and late-in-life paternities; the combined life-span of President Tyler and his distinguished son alone was 152 years.

When the website mentalfloss.com reported in 2012 that two grandsons of President Tyler were still alive, and that three generations of Tylers spanned, at the time, 222 years, dating to the early days of the Republic, the news went viral.

New York magazine called it “an amazing, seemingly impossible piece of American trivia.” As Yahoo, The Huffington Post, Fox News and Politico scrambled for interviews, the grandsons related oft-told family stories about Patrick Henry, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, the American Revolution, the Civil War and their grandfather, the president.

Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., in a talk to the Daughters of the American Revolution in 2013 in Dyersburg, Tenn., went back even further: to his great-grandfather, John Tyler Sr., (1747-1813), who served in the Continental Army, became governor of Virginia and had eight children, including the future president.

“John Tyler’s father, also named John, was Thomas Jefferson’s roommate at the College of William & Mary,” Lyon Tyler said. “Jefferson and John Tyler Sr. shared the same political views, played their fiddles together in college and remained lifelong friends.”

His son, the future president, was born in 1790, less than a year after Washington’s first inauguration. He became a governor of Virginia and a United States representative and senator. In the election of 1840, the Whig Party selected William Henry Harrison as its presidential candidate and Tyler as his running mate.

Harrison, a former governor of the Indiana Territory and U.S. senator from Ohio, had led the American forces that crushed Native Americans at the Battle of Tippecanoe in Indiana in 1811.

Tyler, a lifelong slave owner and champion of states’ rights, was added to the ticket to attract Southerners who feared Harrison might have abolitionist leanings. The Whigs mounted a bandwagon campaign against the incumbent Democrat, Martin Van Buren, with the slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.”

Harrison and Tyler won easily, but a month after being sworn in on March 4, 1841, Harrison died of pneumonia. Tyler, the first vice president to succeed a deceased president, took the oath and assumed the full powers of the presidency.

Many in Congress disputed Tyler’s claim to the White House, and some, calling him “His Accidency,” never accepted it. Tyler’s decisive move, however, set a precedent that governed successions until the 25th Amendment clarified the matter in 1967, asserting, “In case of the removal of the president from office, or of his death or resignation, the vice president shall become president.”

At odds with Whig leaders, Tyler vetoed much of their legislation, and most of his cabinet resigned. Whig leaders expelled him from the party and tried unsuccessfully to impeach him. His most notable achievement was to push through statehood for Texas in 1845.

Some historians have called him principled and honest, but most say his presidency was ineffective. Robert Seager II’s biography, “And Tyler Too” (1963), called him “one of America’s most obscure chief executives.”

Tyler retired to his Virginia plantation after leaving the presidency. He sided with the Confederacy when the Civil War began in 1861 and was elected to the Confederate legislature. But he died in 1862, at age 71, before taking his seat.

Tyler fathered 15 children, the most of any American president — eight with his first wife, Letitia (Christian) Tyler, who died in 1842, and seven with Julia (Gardiner) Tyler, who was 24 when she married the 54-year-old president in 1844.

His 13th child, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, was president of William & Mary from 1888 to 1919; chartered in 1693, it is the nation’s second-oldest college, after Harvard. He married Anne Baker Tucker and had three children with her. She died in 1921. Two years later he married Sue Ruffin and had three more children: Lyon Jr., Harrison and Henry, who died in infancy.

Harrison Ruffin Tyler, who was born on Nov. 9, 1928, earned a degree in chemistry from William & Mary in 1949 and another in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech in 1951. In 1968, he co-founded an industrial water treatment business, ChemTreat.

He and his wife, Frances Payne Bouknight Tyler, who died in 2019, lived for many years at his Virginia ancestral home, Sherwood Forest Plantation. The plantation, a 1,600-acre National Historic Landmark on the James River in Charles City County, was built about 1730 and bought by President Tyler in 1842.

Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. was born on Jan. 3, 1925. After graduating from William & Mary, he earned a law degree at the University of Virginia, practiced law in Richmond and Charles City County, and directed the Virginia Civil War Centennial Commission from 1959 to 1963.

He received a doctorate in history from Duke University in 1967 and, in a second career over the next two decades, taught history at the University of Richmond, the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel. He married Lucy Jane Pope in 1958. Ms. Tyler is their daughter. His wife died in 2001.

His daughter and his brother are his only immediate survivors.

Mr. Tyler told the Daughters of the American Revolution that his grandfather had always cared deeply about his children and the truth.

“In his letters to his many sons and daughters,” Mr. Tyler said, “the need for honesty is a regular refrain. For example, this letter to his son John Jr., back in 1832: ‘Truth should always be uttered no matter what the consequences. Nothing so degrades a man as equivocation and deceit.’”

Alex Traub contributed reporting.

Robert D. McFadden is a senior writer on the Obituaries desk and the winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for spot news reporting. He joined The Times in May 1961 and is also the co-author of two books.