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Biography of John Tyler

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John Tyler was well known in Claremont as an inventor and builder. He was a son of John Tyler and a grandson of Benjamin Tyler, both eminent mechanics. Benjamin, who settled in Claremont in the spring of 1776, built the first dam across the Sugar River at West Claremont, and was for many years one of the most public-spirited men in town. The History of Claremont gives the following facts concerning his grandson:-

“John Tyler was born in Claremont, March 26, 1818. He learned the trade of millwright, serving an apprenticeship of seven years, and was then for eight years foreman of the shop where he learned his trade in Barre, Vt. West Lebanon in 1850, and for several years did a large business in building mills, sometimes employing fifty men. He returned to Claremont in 1872, where he has since resided. He was engineer and superintendent in building the Sugar River paper-mill, and was a principal stockholder and the President of the company.

“Mr. Tyler is the inventor of the Tyler turbine water-wheel, which he had patented in 1856, and which he manufactured for many years. His was the first iron water-wheel made, and nine different patents were subsequently granted him for improvements upon it. These wheels found their way all over the country, some of them also finding their way abroad; and for years they were considered the best turbine wheels manufactured, this fact being thoroughly developed some years ago by a comparative and competitive test of the products of other makers of similar wheels. He was also the inventor and patentee of Tyler’s copper cylinder washer for washing paper stock. In 1874 he built the reservoir known as the Bible Hill Aqueduct, which supplies over two hundred families in Claremont village with pure fresh spring water for household purposes. He was a stockholder of the Ben Mere Inn at Sunapee Lake, also in the Woodsum Steamboat Company. In both of these enterprises Mr. Tyler was deeply interested. He not only used his influence to make Sunapee Lake what it is to-day, but he opened his purse wide to aid in its improvement. He was a far-seeing and sagacious business man. If he started into any kind of business that was backward in getting on to a paying basis, he labored the harder for it. He was a stanch Republican. He was a member of the legislature in 1891-92, and his record is a clean one. He was a publicspirited, genial man; and in his death Claremont lost a most worthy citizen. He was a lover of good horses, and in his stables could always be found the best blooded and handsomest to be had. In religious convictions he leaned toward the Universalist faith; and he always attended divine worship at the First Universalist Church, although never uniting with the society.” He was a most liberal man, and no worthy cause was brought to his notice that failed to receive assistance at his hands. He died at his home, November 28, 1896.

While a young man working at his trade in Barre, Vt., he married Roxalana Robinson, of that town, who died on the first anniversary of their marriage. Not long after he married Miss Mary J. Smith, of Rutland, Vt., with whom he lived for fifty years, she passing away but a few years since at their home on Pleasant Street. Mr. Tyler married for the third time, October 31, 1894, Miss Anna Maria, daughter of Taylor and Sybil (Lawton) Alexander, who survives him. She is also a Universalist.


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