Chemung County NY
History of Tompkins, Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga 1879
Page 262 - Asher Tyler Biography
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1879 Four County History - Table of Contents
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Hon. Asher Tyler was born at Bridgewater, Oneida Co., N. Y., May 10, 1798. He was descended from a prominent family, his parents being natives of Connecticut. His uncle, Colonel Tyler, was largely interested in the early settlement of this country, and an extensive trader with the Indians.

Mr. Tyler spent his early life in the county of his birth, and was educated at Hamilton College, being a graduate of the class of 1817. He studied the profession of law and was admitted to the bar, but did not engage in general practice only so far as it concerned the legal business of the Devereaux Land Company, of which he became agent. During the years he acted as agent for this company he was located at Ellicottville, Cattarangus Co., N. Y., and represented that county as representative from the Cattarangus District in the Twenty-eighth Congress for two years. While occupying this position with fidelity to his constituents and honor to himself, he formed the acquaintance and won the respect of many of the leading public men of that day, between whom and him an intimacy grew up, which was only strengthened by the lapse of years.

His large experience in land matters afterwards introduced him to the responsible position of land agent of the Erie Railway Company, in which office that portion of the road between Middletown and Dunkirk was assigned to his charge. For many years he was connected with this railway, and besides securing titles to all the lands in his division of the road, he made accurate drawings of every piece of land, with the name of the owner placed thereon, and the belting road crossing them at all angles. He served the interests of the company with ability and distinction. In the year 1848 he came to Elmira and occupied continuously to the time of his decease, Aug. 1, 1875, the residence now occupied by his family on Main Street.

Mr. Tyler was one of the charter members of the Elmira Rolling Mill Company, and to his sagacity and foresight the subsequent prosperity of that enterprise was measurably due. The latter years of his life were passed aloof from business cares and among his books, and in these companions his gifted mind found that store of information on general topics which gave his conversation so great a charm, and which gave him so wide a knowledge of matters in general that he had but few peers. Among his acquaintances he was at home on almost any subject that could be proposed, and his power of conversation was extraordinary. In the death of Mr. Tyler there passed away, perhaps, the best knowledge, wisely and accurately held, of the border-time Indian history that was extant among the people of Elmira. He held it in the intelligence of one who knew its value and could discriminate between what was but fancied tradition or invention and the real annals of the first owners of the soil. He knew the Indian when as yet the white man’s mastery over the lands west of Schenectady was only in process of recognition, -when the legend and forest law and tribal government had their distinct effect. "Probably there was no man living on this continent at the time of his death who was more learned in Indian character, habits, and origin." -Lewis H. Redfield.

As a business man he possessed sagacity, foresight, and honesty, a quick judgment as to shams, and intuition almost as to results, and a hater of mean things. Possessed of generosity and charity for any in need beyond his means to give, he practiced almost unexampled liberality with the deserving unfortunate.

In the year 1828 he married Matilda, daughter of John Youle, of New York. She was born May 27, 1802, and survives him, together with four daughters. An only son, John Alexis, died in Minneapolis, Minn., June 31, 1865.