Robert Tyler came to our Hoover Historical Society January meeting, and I got to visit with him! He and his wife Clara are members. His dad, Luther Tyler, had been so helpful when we were gathering Bluff Park history to celebrate the birthday of the school back in 1988. Luther had even given the Bluff Park Elementary the podium that his wife Irene used while teaching at the Summit School. We walked down to the lunchroom to see the podium and read the inscription on the brass plate. As we walked, Robert shared some interesting stories about the settlement of the Tyler family on Shades Mountain. Mr. Tyler’s father was Luther Tyler, and his grandfather was William Marion Tyler. Robert’s mother was Irene Hagins Tyler. Irene was one of two teachers at the Summit School. (The other was Ann Susan Hale Copeland—”Susie.”)
Just a little Tyler history– three Tyler brothers (Job, Jim and William Marion) began living on Shades Mountain in 1888. They came from Tallapoosa County (Waverly) to farm. (The grave of their father, William Henry Tyler, is in Waverly.) They bought 240 acres and each brother developed his own 80 acres.
William Marion Tyler’s first wife was Mattie Hale. William Marion and Mattie had four children. The oldest was Cecil, then Lillian, Luther (born in 1898), and Harvey. Mattie Hale died on Christmas Day 1902, and it was for that reason that Luther Tyler never cared for Christmas; it was such a sad time. William Marion was left on the farm with the four children.
He had a sister named Vera who lived in Bessemer and she came and helped with the children until he married Mary Warren. She came from Columbus, Georgia, with her two children from a previous marriage, Dupont and Irene. They married in 1909.
Mr. Tyler’s four children and Mrs. Tyler’s two children all became one big happy family. In those days Oxmoor was the nearest place to shop and the closest place to get the train. The six children had plenty of room to roam and play in that day—and no traffic to worry about! There were only a dozen or so families on the mountain in the area known now as Vestavia and Bluff Park. Robert remembers picking peaches in the acreage behind his grandfather’s house. The house is no longer there, but the property is—it’s the site of Shades Mountain Independent Church on Tyler Road.
— Peggy Patton (2013)