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De Witt C. Tyler, M. D. Though he is now retiring from the work which had engaged his attention for so many years Doctor Tyler is properly credited with being the oldest physician and surgeon of Clifton, where he began practice thirty-six years ago. By intense devotion to his work Doctor Tyler long enjoyed a splendid practice in Clay and Washington counties, and though much of his service had gone unremunerated he had exercised fine business ability and owned a large amount of property in this section of the state.
Doctor Tyler was born at Roscoe, Illinois, March 13, 1850, and largely educated himself by earning the means necessary for his higher education. He is of old American and New England stock. His great-grand-father and also his grandfather, Asa Tyler, were natives of Vermont. Asa was born in that colony in 1777, served with credit in the War of 1812 and became a pioneer farmer in Illinois. He died at Monroe in Ogle County, Illinois, in 1873. He married Fannie Tupper, who also died at Monroe.
Freeman Tyler, father of Doctor Tyler, was born in New York State in 1819. In 1832, when he was thirteen years of age, his parents removed to Ohio, locating east of Cleveland, where he grew up and married. He was a cooper by trade, and in 1840 went to Belvidere, Illinois, where he followed his chosen work, located at Roscoe in 1841, in 1854 established a cooperage shop in Beloit, Wisconsin, following that he engaged in farming in Ogle County, Illinois, and from there in 1867 moved to Sycamore, Illinois, where he continued farming until 1880. In that year he came to Kansas and lived on a farm near Ottawa until his death in 1903. He was a democrat in politics and a member of the Masonic fraternity. The maiden name of his wife was Harriet Newell Sexton. She was born in New York State in 1818 and died at Ottawa, Kansas, in 1899. Their children were six in number: Albert W., who became a farmer near Ottawa, Kansas, and died at the age of sixty-six; Mrs. Anna E. Waid, deceased, and her husband, also deceased, was a farmer in Pennsylvania; A. Frank is a retired farmer at Rockford, Illinois; the fourth of the children is Doctor Tyler; R. P. Tyler is a retired farmer at Ottawa, Kansas; and Hattie B. Ringer, a widow, lives at Ottawa, her husband having been a grocer in Olpe, Lyon County, Kansas.
Doctor Tyler spent his early childhood at Beloit, Wisconsin, and attended school there until he was eleven years of age. For the next four years he assisted his father on the farm and at fifteen he entered the Sycamore High School in Illinois. Like many successful professional men Doctor Tyler entered upon his chosen work after a long novitiate as a teacher. He began teaching in country schools in Illinois at the age of eighteen, spent three years in that work, and in 1876 graduated from the State Normal University of Illinois at Normal. He resumed teaching for three years and at the same time studied medicine under a private preceptor. Doctor Tyler is a graduate of Rush Medical College at Chicago, taking his M. D. degree with the class of 1881. After six months of preliminary practice in Kansas City, Missouri, he moved to Clifton in the fall of 1881 and had been steadily engaged in his calling in that town and surrounding country ever since. His offices are on Parallel Street. Doctor Tyler was formerly an active member in the county and state medical societies and the American Medical Association, having membership twenty-five years, but had resigned preparatory to retiring from practice. For four years he was a member of the United States Pension Examining Board.
Besides his home on Bartlett Avenue Doctor Tyler owned another dwelling house on the same street, a store on Parallel Avenue, had a farm of 240 acres four miles north of Clifton, one of 160 acres seven miles north of Vining and one of eighty acres three miles north of Clifton. He is a democrat in politics, is past master of Clifton Lodge No. 122, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and a member of Clyde Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and Topeka Consistory No. 1 of the Scottish Rite. He had long been active in the Clifton Commercial Club.
In 1885, at Princeton, Illinois, Doctor Tyler married Miss Mary E. Edwards, daughter of Richard and Betsey (Samson) Edwards. Her father, now deceased, was for over twenty years president of the State Normal University of Illinois. Her mother, at the age of ninety-three, makes her home at Bloomington, Illinois. Dr. and Mrs. Tyler have one son, Frank E., a graduate of the Cifton High School, in the classical course from the Kansas State University and in 1914 received his degree in law from Harvard University Law School. He is now in active training as a member of the Officers Reserve Corps at Fort Riley, Kansas.