The City of Tyler’s Half Mile of History program resulted from recommendations that came out of the Tyler 1st Comprehensive Plan. One of the goals of the Historic Preservation Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan is to:
“Promote and display diverse aspects of Tyler’s history to enhance resident and
visitor awareness of its importance.”
The goal of the Half Mile of History program is to pay tribute to people, places, organizations and events that have contributed to the rich history of Tyler and Smith County.
The Half Mile of History is a permanent, outdoor, half-mile loop that surrounds the downtown square in the heart of Downtown Tyler. Stone plaques are placed in the sidewalk to commemorate significant people, places or events.
Col. Bryan Marsh: Marsh was born in Alabama in 1833. He was a soldier, planter, merchant, Texas Ranger and sheriff of Smith County. He died in Tyler on March 25, 1901, and a tombstone marks his grave in Tyler’s Oakwood Cemetery.
W.D. Swann: When war broke out in 1861, William “Billy” David Swann ran away from home and joined the battery being recruited by Major James Douglas.
Following the war, Swann married Sallie “Sarah” Hitt, moved to Tyler with their seven children and bought the house at 911 W. Houston St. He joined the Guaranty State Bank as Vice President, serving under T.B. Butler. The bank later merged with Citizens National Bank. He served as its Director until the last years of his life.
Thomas Elam Swann: Thomas Elam “T.E” Swann was the son of early Texas pioneer Thomas Rowan Swann. He began his business career at the early age of thirteen, taking a job in a drug store for 25 cents a week. By 1895, he had saved enough to open a small store – Swann Furniture Company. He gave annual Christmas tree celebrations for poor children in Smith County and also made contributions to Tyler area churches. He was described in his obituary as a “builder of homes and men.”
For more information on the program click here.