You are here

Tyler and Vicinity (Smith County)

-A A +A

Tyler was named for President John Tyler in recognition of his support for admitting Texas as the twenty-eighth state of the Union. The town was laid out around a two-block central square. Early settlers, primarily from Alabama and Tennessee, were attracted by the area’s rich alluvial soils and dense forests of pines and hardwoods. A slave-based economy emerged during the antebellum period, with the principal crops being corn and cotton. The arrival of railroad lines between 1874 and 1882 solidified Tyler’s position as a regional agricultural and distribution center in the heart of East Texas. Economic diversification in the early twentieth century included peach and rose industries, which were suited to the climate and local soils. Today, the Texas Rose Festival continues to attract large crowds. The discovery of the East Texas oilfield in 1930 transformed Tyler into a center for the oil and gas industry. Oil companies and field developers established offices in the city, constructing downtown office buildings and impressive residences in the neighborhoods south of downtown. During World War II, Camp Fannin U.S. Army Infantry Replacement Center provided basic training from 1943 to 1946. Today, oil and timber are mainstays of a diverse, urbanized economy. A 20 percent population growth from 2000 to 2010 makes Tyler one of the fastest growing metropolitan statistical areas in the state.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.