Tyler, Orville Thomas (1810–1886)

By: Jeanette H. Flachmeier

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 1, 1995

Orville Thomas Tyler, early settler and legislator, was born at West Brookfield, Massachusetts, on August 28, 1810. In 1834 he traveled to Texas in a sailboat and located his headright above the three forks of Little River near the site of present Belton. He was a merchant in Houston in 1837, and in 1839 he settled at Nashville. About 1844 he entered the cattle business in Austin County, where he became county commissioner. In the late 1840s he moved to Coryell County and engaged in farming and stock raising. He became chief justice upon the organization of the county in 1854. Tyler was called "Judge" because of his service as chief justice, but he was never a lawyer. He married Carolyn Childers in 1850, and they had three sons and two daughters. In 1862 Tyler was elected to represent the Sixty-first District in the House of the Tenth Legislature, where he served as chairman of the committee on privileges and elections. In 1864 he moved to Salado. He lived there for twenty years and was president of the board of trustees of Salado College. He moved to Belton in 1884, where he died on April 17, 1886. He was a Mason and Baptist.

Lewis E. Daniell, Types of Successful Men in Texas (Austin: Von Boeckmann, 1890). A Memorial and Biographical History of McLennan, Falls, Bell, and Coryell Counties (Chicago: Lewis, 1893; rpt., St. Louis: Ingmire, 1984). Frank E. Simmons, History of Coryell County (Gatesville, Texas: Coryell County News, 1936).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Jeanette H. Flachmeier, “Tyler, Orville Thomas,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/tyler-orville-thomas.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995