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Hon. Austin Tyler, who was an extensive builder and the largest land-owner of his day in Claremont, was born there, January 6, 1790, son of Ephraim and Abigail (Pardee) Tyler. His grandfather, Colonel Benjamin Tyler, born at Wallingford, Conn., February 22, 1732, married Mehitable Andrews, and removed to Farmington, Conn. From that place Colonel Tyler went to Claremont in the spring of 1767, and the Town History gives the information that he built the first dam across Sugar River at West Claremont, having been given a tract of land for that purpose by the town. After the completion of the dam he returned to Farmington; and in the following March, with his wife, six children, and household effects on an ox sled, he started for Claremont. In 1768 he built a grist-mill and saw-mill in connection with his dam. The blocks for the millstones were obtained from a quarry on Ascutney Mountain, worked by him and his sons for several years, and were carried over the Connecticut River on the ice, and brought to West Claremont. Here they were finished into millstones, and supplied to mills in nearly all parts of New England, Canada, and New York. Colonel Tyler built another dam near the site of High Bridge, and a forge and smelting works in connection therewith. The ore used was brought from Charlestown, N.H., and the lime from Weathersfield, Vt. The Colonel invented and had patented a process for dressing flax. He also devised an improved bucket for a wooden water wheel with an upright shaft, called the rye fly or tub wheel, for which he was granted two patents successively, in 1800 and in 1804. When seventy-five years old he retired from active business, and was succeeded by his sons John, Benjamin, and Noah. He died in Claremont, March 9, 1814, leaving eleven children, to each of whom he gave a good farm. He was Selectman in 1768 and 1769. His son, Ephraim Tyler, who died December 16, 1823, at the age of sixty-four years, married Abigail Pardee, who died March 18, 1814, aged fifty-three years. They had the following children; namely, Miles, Rebekah, Sally, Benjamin, Pardee, William, Ephraim, Jr., Austin, Sarah, Abigail, Lola, and Maria.
One of the most active, enterprising, and public-spirited men of his time, Austin Tyler built the Sullivan factory and the Stone paper-mill. His enterprise included all branches of his business. The clearing of the land and the lumbering, as well as the building, were personally conducted by him. He constantly employed from thirty to forty men, and he built for rent and sometimes for sale throughout his active life. He held various offices of public trust, the duties of which he discharged with the utmost fidelity. Claremont for nine years, was Moderator on many occasions, served in the capacity of Justice of the Peace, was Representative to the New Hampshire legislature for eight years, and was State Senator in 1838.
Mr. Tyler married Almira Kingsbury, the only child of Esquire Daniel Kingsbury. She was born in Keene, N.H., March 6, 1799, and died December 9, 1867. Mr. Tyler died August 12, 1844. They had seven children-Henry D., Louise, Emeline, Elizabeth Bailey, Frederick Austin, Sarah Frances, and Ellen Almira. Henry D. Tyler, who was born August 13, 1815, when thirty-one years old enlisted under Captain Webster, Company A, went with his regiment to Mexico, took an active part in the war, and died at San Antonio, Tex., June 16, 1868, aged fifty-three years. Louise, born March 30, 1818, who was highly educated, became the wife of Nathaniel Westgate, of Enfield, N.H., and died March 6, 1895. Emeline, who was born April 21, 1820, married Asa T. Starbird, and died at Dover, Kan., March 4, 1876. Elizabeth Bailey, born September 15, 1822, died in Boston, April 26, 1868, the wife of Samuel W. Howe. Frederick Austin, born December 10, 1824, who was a prominent hotel man in his time, married Mary Robbins, and died February 11, 1890. Sarah Frances, born December 27, 1834, married Joseph K. Egerton, and died at Northfield, Vt., March 9, 1886. Ellen Almira, born May 29, 1827, on January 18, 1854, married John Leonard Lovering, of Hartford, Vt., who died at Faribault, Minn., in 1862. They had two children-Leonard Austin and Anna Tyler. Of the son the Town History says: “Leonard was born at Hartford, Vt., November 13, 1855; was appointed cadet at West Point in 1872; graduated and was commissioned Second Lieutenant of the Fourth United States Infantry, June 15, 1876; was promoted First Lieutenant of same, January 3, 1885, and Captain of same, October 15, 1893. He was detailed by the War Department Assisting Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology, at the United States Military Academy, West Point, 1881-85; Engineer Officer, Department of the Columbia, 1888-89; Aidede-camp to Brigadier-general Thomas H. Ruger, of the United States Army, 1891; and in command of his company at Boisé City, Idaho, in 1894 ,” He is now acting Captain at Fort Sheridan, Chicago, Ill. His sister Anna was born at Hartford, Vt., September 21, 1857. She married April 14, 1887, Charles W. Barrett, of Melrose, and has two children.