James Tyler, Jr. (1869-1961), Architect

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Lincoln, Nebraska, 1894-1950

James Tyler, Jr. was born in August 1869 in London, England. He was the son of Lincoln architect James Tyler, with whom James Jr. worked many years, first as a draftsman and then as a partner. James Jr. was also a longtime Lincoln architect and was selected as Nebraska's state architect on June 4, 1903 by the Board of Public Lands & Buildings.[1][2][11] For the first three decades of his practice as an architect, he typically worked in partnership with his father, his brother-in-law Eugene H. Brandt, or with both men as Tyler, Brandt & Tyler, Architects. However, he appears to have practiced alone briefly in 1915 when Brandt went into the office of A. W. Woods, and was again a solo practitioner after the death of Brandt in 1918 and his father in 1919. Like his father, Tyler was an active Mason and helped organize Lincoln Liberty Lodge 300-AF&AM, and served as its first master in 1918-1919. In 1947, Tyler was made a life member of Sir Galahad Priory No. 7. He received the Knights of the York Cross of Honor (the highest honor the York Rite of Masonry can bestow), was a past eminent commander of Mt. Moriah Commandery 4, past high priest of Lincoln Council 4, and member of Scottish Rite and Sesostris Temple. [4][5] In 1952, Tyler was honored at a banquet for 50 years of service to Masonry. He married Julia Blanche Palmer in 1894; they had two children before they divorced in 1926.[19][20][21] He married Anna Grothe in Chicago in 1928.[10] Tyler died on February 21, 1961, survived by his daughter, Mrs. Marian Matthews of San Jose; his son, Claire P. of San Jose; his brother, Edward of Los Angeles; sisters, Mrs. F. M. Ryan of Lincoln and Mrs. Ethel Gaylord of Fort Meyer, Florida; 3 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and his cousin, Gertrude A. Tyler of Lincoln.[8][9]

This page is a contribution to the publication, Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. See the format and contents page for more information on the compilation and page organization.

Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings

Lincoln, Nebraska, 1915, 1926-1930, 1926-29, 1930-31, 1934-39, 1940-42, 1945, 1947, 1950

Educational & Professional Associations

1886-1892: draftsman for his father, James Tyler, architect.

1889: travel to England with Charles Chowins.[13]

1893-1907: architect, James Tyler & Son, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1903-1905: State Architect of Nebraska.[1][2][11]

1908-1915: architect and partner, Tyler & Brandt, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1915, 1925-1950: architect, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1916-1924: architect and partner, Tyler, Brandt & Tyler, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Buildings & Projects


After several years as a draftsman in his father's office, James Tyler Jr. joined James Sr. in an architectural partnership. In 1903-1905, James Jr. was also State Architect of Nebraska. It was a matter of some controversy at the time as to whether he could and did continue to carry out some amount of private work during those years. See James Tyler & Son, Architects, for their work of the 1894-1907 period.

Plumbing & Heating for Soldiers & Sailors Home (1905), Milford, Nebraska.[3][a]


James Tyler & Son, Architects transitioned into Tyler & Brandt, Architects in 1907, when James Sr. focused his attention on his role as Lincoln's water commissioner and James Jr. continued the family architectural practice in partnership with his brother-in-law Eugene H. Brandt. See the page Tyler & Brandt, Architects for their work of 1907-1914.


James Tyler, Jr. appears to have practiced independently for a brief period in 1915, when his brother-in-law Brandt was working in the office of A. W. Woods, before the Tyler kin resumed the family practice as Tyler, Brandt & Tyler, Architects around 1916.

W. A. Wooster residence (1915), Fairbury, Nebraska.[14][16]

Farmers' State Bank (1915), Loomis, Nebraska.[12]

Remodeling and extensions to First Baptist Church (1915), Fairbury, Nebraska.[15]

Remodeling and addition to a bungalow for B. F. McLucas (1915), Fairbury, Nebraska.[17]

Remodeling and addition to a residence for Geo. W. Hansen (1915), Fairbury, Nebraska.[18]


See the page Tyler, Brandt & Tyler, Architects for the work of the firm of James Tyler Jr., E. H. Brandt, and James Tyler Sr. Brandt died in 1918 and Tyler Sr. in 1919, but James Jr. continued the firm name through about 1924.


While the volume of his work appears to have declined sharply after the deaths of his brother-in-law and his father, James Jr. continued to be listed in the Lincoln city directories as an active architect for decades afterwards.

Parsonage (1927), Vine Congregational Church, 530 N 25th, Lincoln, Nebraska.[22] (LC13:D09-411)

Four-story brick apartment house/"The Senator" (1927), 1630 H Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[23]

Brick storefront for R. R. Livingston (1927), 136 N. 14th ("Zoo Bar" in 2018), Lincoln, Nebraska.[25]

Demma Brothers Produce Company (1928), 2201 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[24]

Park School (1930), NE corner of Charles & W 4th Streets, Fairbury, Nebraska. (JF04-431)

Undated Projects

Woolworth Store (n.d.), Lincoln, Nebraska.[11]

Remodel of Beatrice State Home (n.d.), Lincoln, Nebraska.[11]

Disputed Attributions

Little Block (n.d.), 11th & "O" St., Lincoln, Nebraska.[11][b]

Honors & Awards

1947: Knights of the York Cross of Honor, York Rite of Masonry.[4][5]


a. Tyler did this work while he was State Architect.[3]

b. The firm Fiske & Dieman, Architects designed the Little Building in 1907 and Fiske's successor Meginnis & Schaumberg, Architects remodeled the building and designed the additional 6th story in the 1930s.


1. Board of Public Lands & Buildings, records in the State Archives, Nebraska State Historical Society.

2. Lincoln Trade Review 2:1 (1903): 4. "James Tyler, Jr., of the firm of J. Tyler & Son, has been appointed State Architect by the Board of Public Lands & Bldgs. The appointment was much desider (sic) by many architects in the state owing to the prestige attaching to the office and Mr. Tyler is to be congratulated on his appointment."

3. Heating & Plumbing Specifications, Soldiers & Sailor's Home, Milford, Nebraska. State Archives, Nebraska State Historical Society.

4. “James Tyler Funeral Set For Monday,” Lincoln Star (February 23, 1961), 32:4.

5. “Tyler,” Lincoln Star (February 23, 1961), 32:7.

6. “Tyler,” Lincoln Star (February 24, 1961), 24:6.

7. “Tyler,” Lincoln Star (February 25, 1961), 14:5.

8. “Tyler,” Lincoln Star (February 26, 1961), 4B.

9. “Tyler,” Lincoln Star (February 27, 1961), 12:6.

10. "Society Personals...Mr. and Mrs. James Tyler have returned from their honeymoon..." Lincoln (Nebraska) State Journal (July 8, 1928), B-4.

11. Mrs. Maryan Tyler Matthew. Personal interview. November 27, 1978.

12. "Lincoln, Nebr....Bank: 1 sty. & bas. 35x60. $6M. Loomis, Nebr. Archt. James Tyler, Jr....Owner Farmers' State Bank," American Contractor (February 27, 1915), 69A.

13. "Personal," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (July 14, 1889), 5.

14. "Lincoln, Neb...James Tyler, Jr...is preparing plans for a residence in Fairbury, Neb., for W. A Wooster," Improvement Bulletin (April 17, 1915), 15.

15. "Lincoln, Nebr....Church (rem. & extensions, seating 800-900, inc. school rm. & aud. with gallery)," American Contractor (February 27, 1915), 69A.

16. "Lincoln, Nebr....Res.: 1 1/2 sty. & bas 45x32, Fairbury, Nebr. Archt. James Tyler, Jr....Owner W. A. WOoster, Fairbury," American Contractor (February 27, 1915), 69A.

17. "Lincoln, Nebr....Bungalow (rem. & add).: 1 sty. & bas. 48x57. $4M. Fairbury, Nebr. Archt. James Tyler, Jr....Owner B. R. Lucas, Fairbury," American Contractor (April 24, 1915), 77; "McLucas" in American Contractor (May 1, 1915), 107.

18. "Lincoln, Nebr....Res. (rem. & add.): 2 sty. & bas. $2M. Fairbury, Nebr. Archt. James Tyler, Jr....Owner Geo. W. Hansen," American Contractor (May 15, 1915), 92.

19. Ancestry.com. Nebraska, Marriage Records, 1855-1908, [database on-line]. s.v. "James Tyler Jr." Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2017.

20. "Mere Mention...James Tyler filed a divorce action...," Lincoln (Nebraska) State Journal (September 9, 1925), 8; "Here in Lincoln...Granted Divorce--James Tyler...from Julia B. Tyler," Lincoln (Nebraska) Star (March 9, 1926), 6.

21. "Julia Blanche Tyler Dies," (Lincoln, Nebraska) Evening State Journal (July 7, 1924), 1 (illustrated).

22. City of Lincoln building permit #16560, issued June 10, 1927; estimated cost: $6,000.

23. City of Lincoln building permit #16507 (with associated drawings), issued May 28, 1927; estimated cost $35,000; architect (on drawings): James Tyler.

24. City of Lincoln building permit #18220 (with associated drawings), issued November 23, 1928; estimated cost $8,000.

25. City of Lincoln building permit #16402 (with associated drawings), issued 1927.

Additional Sources

Portrait in Nebraskans, 1854-1904 (Omaha: Bee Publishing Co., 1904), 168. [978.2.B39n]

Page Citation

D. Murphy & E. F. Zimmer, “James Tyler, Jr. (1869-1961), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, April 3, 2018. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, November 29, 2022.

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