D. Waldo Tyler.A publication of this nature exercises its most important function when it takes cognizance of the life and labors of those citizens who have risen to prominence and prosperity through their own well directed efforts, and who have been of material value in furthering the advancement and development of the commonwealth. Mr. Tyler has been a resident of Junction City since 1893 and has been actively identified with several enterprises which have been of great assistance to the growth of the city. The interurban railway, connecting the city with Fort Riley, is in a great measure the result of his efforts and initiative.
D. Waldo Tyler is a native of Massachusetts and was born in Worcester, June 22, 1836, son of Moody and Betsey (Barker) Tyler. His ancestors, paternal and maternal, were among the early settlers of America, and numbered among them are men who achieved distinction in the frontier life of those early days, in the commercial era which followed, in the French and Indian wars, and later in the war of independence. Moody Tyler, the father, was a paper maker by trade and for many years was the superintendent of the great Berkshire Mills, at Dalton, Mass., owned by the Cranes, and which, since an early day, have manufactured the paper on which our National bank notes are printed. Moody Tyler died in Dalton, Mass., in 1869.
D. Waldo Tyler was educated in the public schools of Dalton, Mass., was subsequently apprenticed to the machinist's trade, and was employed as a journeyman machinist, in Dalton and Worcester, from 1856 to 1859. In the latter year he was sent to Louisiana, to erect a cotton manufacturing plant, and remained there until the outbreak of hostilities, in 1861, when he returned to Dalton, and shortly afterward entered the United States armory, at Springfield, Mass., as a machinist. In the spring of 1862 he was detailed as inspector in the inspection service of contract arms, in which capacity he visited the various factories then having United States contracts for making Springfield muskets. An opportunity was offered him, in 1864, to engage in farming, and he resigned from this service, removed to Minnesota, and located near Chatfield, Olmstead county. In 1867 he was offered and accepted the foremanship of the Winona & St. Peter railway shops, at Winona, Minn., and in 1869 accepted a similar position in the St. Paul & Pacific railway shops. In 1870 he removed to St. Paul, where he became the master mechanic of the Southern Minnesota railway, now a part of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul system. This position he resigned, in 1871, to become the superintendent of a mill machinery and engine manufacturing plant, at Dubuque, Iowa, at that time the largest industrial concern in that state. He remained in this position for sixteen years, when he resigned, in order to engage in business for himself. In 1886 he located in Marion Junction, Turner county, South Dakota, where he built a flouring mill, which he operated until 1893, and while a resident of South Dakota was elected a member of the first legislature of that state, on the Republican ticket. In 1893 he came to Kansas, located in Junction City, and there resumed his milling enterprise. He built the Aurora Flouring Mills, and has succeeded in establishing an extensive and successful business. Since its establishment its growth has necessitated trebling the capacity of the plant, and the products are placed in both domestic and foreign markets. In the latter '90s Mr. Tyler became convinced that an electric railway to Fort Riley would be of great benefit to Junction City and began the work of education necessary to secure capital and a representative group of organizers. Some two years elapsed before he was able to convince persons possessing capital of the profits and benefits possible from the venture. He secured the active assistance of H. H. Ziegler, S. W. Pierce and Dr. C. K. Raber, and they promoted the organization of the Junction City Railway, Light & Ice Company, having for its object the building and operation of an interurban line to Fort Riley, the manufacture of ice, and electricity for light purposes. The line was completed and the first car was placed in operation, Aug. 10, 1901. In the building of the power house for the company Mr. Tyler again became a master mechanic. Plans for necessary equipment were drawn under his supervision and he purchased and installed the machinery. Dr. Raber, who had been elected president at the time of organization, had been forced to resign on account of ill health previous to the completion of the plant, and Frank E. Tyler, son of D. Waldo Tyler, succeeded him and became the first operating president. The original company, in which Mr. Tyler was a large stockholder and director, was succeeded, in 1909, by the Union Light & Power Company, of which he is also a director. Mr. Tyler has large stock interests in the Dewey Portland Cement Company, of Dewey, Okla., of which his son, Frank E., is president and general manager, and another son, Herbert F., is superintendent. Mr. Tyler was one of the organizers of the Junction City Commercial Club and is an active member.
On July 26, 1861, Mr. Tyler was married to Miss Harriett M. Freeman, daughter of Jesse R. Freeman, a pioneer farmer of Chatfield, Minn., and previously a mason contractor at Cleveland, Ohio. To them have been born four children: Herbert Ferre, born Feb. 4, 1865, is superintendent of the Dewey Portland Cement Company, at Dewey, Okla.; Frederick Waldo, born Sept. 6, 1866, died May 16, 1893, survived by his widow and two childrenMarjorie, born Dec. 3, 1887, and Harold, born May 15, 1889; Frank E., the third son, born March 29, 1869, is president and general manager of the Dewey Portland Cement Company, and resides in Kansas City, Mo.; Wilma Jessie May, the only daughter, is a graduate of the Chicago Musical College and one of the most accomplished and gifted musicians in Kansas. As a harpist she has received high commendation and her studies on this instrument have been under Mme. Chatterton and Profs. Wonderly and Schuecker, of Chicago. Mrs. Tyler is a woman of wide culture and refinement and is popular in the social circles of Junction City, in which she is a leader. Mr. Tyler is in all respects a high type of the conservative, unassuming American, diligent in his various duties and commercial affairs, and conscientious in all things. He has realized a large and substantial success in the commercial world, results obtained through his own well directed efforts and by methods which have been clean, capable and honest, and he is possessed of a well earned popularity and the esteem which comes from honorable living. On July 26, 1911, Mr. and Mrs. Tyler celebrated their Golden Wedding, at their residence in Junction City.Pages 828-830 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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