Side A: James Seneca Tyler was born free in Columbus in 1837 and was an early settler of central Ohio. During his life he held several prominent positions. He served in the Fifth U.S. Colored Regiment in the Civil War and mustered out as Quarter-Master Sergeant having worked as a sutler’s clerk at Camp Chase. He was the first African American engrossing clerk chosen by the Ohio House of Representatives serving the 62nd and 66th General Assemblies. Between terms, he worked as Court Bailiff under Sheriff John U. Rickenbaker, and later was secretary to Chief of Police Edward Pagels. During Governor Joseph Foraker’s term, he served as night officer at the State Capitol building. He also served as Attache under Governor William McKinley. For many years he worked as a chef at Ambos Restaurant and Goodale House. He and his wife Maria lived at 1107 Highland Avenue where they raised 13 children.
Side B: The Tyler’s were early settlers in the state of Ohio. Alfred Kelley, the first Mayor of Cleveland and lawyer, Ohio legislator, and “father” of the Ohio Canal System, brought Maria McAfee Tyler’s mother, Ann Fowler McAfee to Ohio in 1817 at the age of 5. Maria and James S. Tyler had 13 children, including Ralph W. Tyler, Columbus Dispatch and Cleveland Advocate journalist, WW I correspondent, and auditor to the navy under President Theodore Roosevelt; Dr. James A. Tyler, M.D. and Mayor of Rendville, Ohio during the influenza epidemic of 1918; Julius B. Tyler, the first African-American to score a touchdown for The Ohio State University football team in 1896; William E. Tyler, Spanish American War veteran; and Jesse G. Tyler, baritone and classical pianist who was the first African American graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1904. Living descendants continue the legacy that began in Columbus over 188 years ago.