“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tyler in Smith County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Tyler Commercial College

Tyler Commercial College Marker image. Click for full size.
By Randal B. Gilbert, December 11, 2015
1. Tyler Commercial College Marker
Inscription. In 1894, C.L. and Noah Adair opened the Adair Normal School to provide a University-level education, but the school closed in 1896. In 1899, a charter was filed with the Secretary of State's office for Tyler Commercial College. The college used a vacant building, known as the Texas Fruit Palace, for classrooms. On April 1, 1904, Tyler Commercial College was incorporated with C.L. and Noah Adair, H.E. Byrne and F.A. Glenn as directors of the college. Henry Byrne came to Tyler as the creator of a form of shorthand known as Byrne shorthand and taught courses in transcribing, but also provided the majority of textbooks from his publishing facilities. In 1924, Byrne sold his shares of Tyler Commercial College and moved to Dallas where he continued his publishing company.

In March 1901, a diploma from Tyler Commercial College entitled holders to a teachers certificate. A fire destroyed the building in 1903 and the college moved to the west side of South College Street. The curriculum was expanded to include courses in the secretarial field, railroad courses, and, by 1931, Tyler Commercial College boasted a radio studio. Tyler Commercial College grew to be the largest commercial college in the nation. In April 1942 the first class of the Army Signal Corps school detachment began with Major Virgil Caldwell Commanding Officer and John
Tyler Commercial College Marker image. Click for full size.
By Randal B. Gilbert, December 11, 2015
2. Tyler Commercial College Marker
The marker is at the site of the building, which was razed in 1968.
Sheppard Instructor and the first group of men began training in radio communications which was in great demand during World War II. In April 1957, the Rutherford Metropolitan School of Business in Dallas purchased Tyler Commercial College and the college moved to South Broadway, remaining in operation until 1980. Tyler Commercial College represented a shift from agricultural education to business education.
Erected 2012 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17351.)
Location. 32° 21.007′ N, 95° 18.106′ W. Marker is in Tyler, Texas, in Smith County. Marker is on South College Avenue south of West Erwin Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 109 S College Ave, Tyler TX 75702, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tyler Carnegie Library (within shouting distance of this marker); Christ Episcopal Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); City of Tyler (about 400 feet away); Marvin Methodist Church (about 400 feet away); The First County Agricultural Extension Agent (about 400 feet away); Smith County C.S.A. / Tyler-Smith County C.S.A. Men and Units
Tyler Commercial College Building image. Click for full size.
By Unknown photographer, circa 1910
3. Tyler Commercial College Building
The new (c.1910) Tyler Commercial College building with its arched third floor windows was a good example of the Chicago School Architecture style. The size of the building reflected the school's large enrollment.
Photograph courtesy of the Smith County Historical Society - Archives Collection, 125 S. College, Tyler, Texas
(about 500 feet away); Smith County as a 19th Century Legal Center (about 600 feet away); First Baptist Church of Tyler (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Tyler.
Categories. Education
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Randal B. Gilbert of Tyler, Texas. This page has been viewed 90 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Randal B. Gilbert of Tyler, Texas.   3. submitted on , by Randal B. Gilbert of Tyler, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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