Smith County Historical Society

Robert Lee Falkner and the R.L. Falkner Collection

Robert Lee Falkner was born Nov. 10, 1911, in Garden Valley in Smith County, Texas to Eugene L. Falkner and wife, Eunice Jackson Neill. He attended Tyler Public Schools and lived in Tyler most of his life. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church. He was an award-winning photographer for the Tyler Courier-Times-Telegraph for four years. He was owner of R. L. Falkner Photography Shop in Tyler for ...[Read More]

YouTube Channel for our Videos

YouTube Channel for our Videos

  Check out our new YouTube Channel link on our Website footer! You can now watch videos of 2 interviews. One interview is with James and Judy Landrum and their recollections and experiences of their life in Smith County, Texas. The other interview is with Margaret Sewell and her very interesting journey and experiences as a child leaving Prussia during WWII, being shot at by the Russians, lo ...[Read More]

The Cut

The Cut

The Cut was the title of the Smith County Historical Society program at our Annual meeting on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. We are happy to say the Payne Auditorium was full of members and visitors! The highlight of the evening was our Board member Larry Wade’s presentation! The Cut was a booming African American business district in north Tyler. Larry spoke of his memories of growing up and living a ...[Read More]

Carnegie Hero Medal Commission

Carnegie Hero Medal Commission

The Smith County Historical Society’s January 2019 Monthly Program was about the Carnegie Hero Medal Commission. Our program speaker was Carol Kehl, our Society’s Past President. I found the subject very interesting and informative, so I reached out to Carol. She was kind enough to send me some more information about the Carnegie Hero Medal Commission. Here is what she sent: “Andrew Carnegie ...[Read More]

Egg Art Eggshibit through April 27, 2019

Egg Art Eggshibit through April 27, 2019

Come see our Egg Art Eggshibit through April 27, 2019!  The Fall 2018 through April 27, 2019 newest exhibit at the Smith County Historical Society is of Egg Art! We have approximately 180 hand blown eggs painted and decorated into whimsical characters. The collection was donated to us by Dr. Kerfoot Walker and family, longtime residents of Tyler, TX. The Walker’s and their three children (now adul ...[Read More]

Tyler’s Music Man ‘Doc’ Witt Celebrates the Armistice in 1918

Tyler’s Music Man ‘Doc’ Witt Celebrates the Armistice in 1918

John Franklin Witt was known to many as ‘Doc’ Witt, Tyler’s Music Man. Mr. Witt was a trumpet player, band leader, composer and teacher of music. He made a name for himself in Smith County Texas through his extraordinary musical talent. He was Bandmaster for the Tyler Kid Band in 1908, then the Tyler Municipal Band in 1916. It is no wonder that this leader of bands helped lead the Armistice ...[Read More]

2018 Genealogy Lock-In Program

The 2018 Genealogy Lock-In Program is a cooperative effort to bring genealogical topics and speakers to a wider audience using modern technology through the Genealogy Network of Texas. There will be 8 one hour to one and a half hour sessions featuring some of the nation’s best known genealogical speakers. This live webinar will be shown on a projection screen in the Smith County Historical Society ...[Read More]

First African American Board Member, Mr. Larry D. Wade, Sr.

New Board Member, Larry D, Wade, Sr.

  The Smith County Historical Society would like to introduce our first African American Board member Mr. Larry D. Wade, Sr. Larry Wade has been a member of our Society for 20 years. He has been involved in our Society Archives on many levels, including the research of African American historical data for Smith County Texas. We are honored to have Mr. Wade represent our Society as a Board mem ...[Read More]

Missing Page from African American Life Book

While I was preparing the index for the book African American Life in Tyler, Texas compiled by Rodney Lamar Atkins, I discovered that the edition published in 2007 and the one published in 2008 had a one page difference. The 2008 edition was missing the information from page 159 in the 2007 edition featuring a profile of Pearlie Henderson. I transcribed the 2007 edition page so that the owners of ...[Read More]

Tyler Star Safety Books

Tyler Star Safety Books

Do you recognize these books from Tyler, TX? “If it causes just one of you to go through life more thoughtfully, and with more consideration for others, then all the work and cost involved in its publication will have been fully justified. If it saves just one of you from a broken arm, or a smashed leg, or a mutilated hand; then it will have been worthwhile.”     This introduction in the ...[Read More]