Smith County Texas

Things to Do in Tyler, Texas


Are you looking for things to do in Tyler, Texas? The population of Tyler is growing at a fast rate, and so is tourism. The Keepin’ Tyler Rosy Destination Training tour is hosted by The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce for employees of the hospitality industry of Tyler. I was fortunate enough to be a part of this tour along with 22 fellow associates and Susan Travis, Vice President of Tourism ...[Read More]

Alliene Gaston Coker, The First Woman Elected as an Officer of a Tyler Bank

Alliene Gaston Coker, The First Woman Elected as an Officer of a Tyler Bank

At our April 2019 monthly meeting, Kathy Gaston, a Smith County Historical Society Board member, spoke about Alliene Gaston Coker, the first woman elected as an officer of a Tyler bank.   Alliene Gaston Coker was born in 1891 to a prominent Tyler dentist, Finis Ewing Gaston, and his wife, Bessie Clarinda James. A lifelong resident of Tyler, Alliene was proud of her family and her city. She wa ...[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]



History Mystery Fun at the Museum – in Tyler, TX! Smith County Historical Society has a way of continuing the learning process children need through their Summer, Fall, and Winter breaks. Fun At The Museum            Studies show that student’s achievement scores decline over summer break. This decline is referred to as Summer Learning Loss. In response to this issue, the Smith County Histor ...[Read More]

Brothers Meet on WW1 French Battlefield

Brothers Meet on French Battlefield Extracts from a World War 1 letter from Lieut. Charles N. McClendon to his father in which he tells of meeting his brother, Lieut. S. S. McClendon, Jr., on the Western Battle front in France: Oct. 23rd, 1918 “Dear Father: “I received your “beaucoup letters from home.  You can imagine how greatly I appreciated them.  The letters from you I carried to Sidney as he ...[Read More]

Charles Newcomb McClendon – WW1 Servicemen Sponsorship 2018

Charles Newcomb McClendon – WW1 Servicemen Sponsorship 2018 Sponsored by Daye Collins Life Before WW1 When Charles Newcomb McClendon was born on September 2, 1892, in Tyler, Texas, his father, Sidney Smith McClendon, was 27 and his mother, Annie Rebecca (Bonner) McClendon, was 24.  He was the second child born of nine children.  He married Norma McClendon on December 12, 1916, in Morris Coun ...[Read More]