November 29, 2005

Ex-Plant Owner, D.M. Tyler, Dies

[Reprinted below is a story which appeared July 30, 1964 in the Tulsa World.]

A prominent Oklahoma businessman and philanthropist, Donald M. Tyler, 75, of Bartlesville died Wednesday in Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, following a brief illness.

Tyler retired in 1954 as general manager of the Dewey Portland Cement Company, plants in Dewey and Davenport, Iowa, after 48 years with the firm. He was chairman of the board of the First National Bank of Dewey and a director of the Union National Bank, Bartlesville.

The Tyler family formerly owned the cement plant at Dewey.

His son, John Tyler of Bartlesville, is Republican national committeeman for Oklahoma.

Funeral arrangements are pending with the Keeley-Neekamp Funeral Home in Bartlesville.

A native of Marion, S.D., Tyler moved to Dewey in 1906 from Junction City, Kan., and took a summer job with the Dewey Portland Co. After attending the University of Kansas and the University of Oklahoma he became a full-time employee of the cement firm.

Among his philanthropic projects was the founding of a public library at Dewey in 1941, a project he supplemented 18 years later with the gift of a modern one-story building. In 1962, he financed construction of an agricultural building in Dewey and gave it to Washington County. He also donated the site for the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house, of which he was a member, at the University of Kansas.

He made several large grants to Tulsa’s Hillcrest Medical Center to spur polio research and also donated a 186-head herd of registered Angus cattle to Oklahoma State University in 1961. The herd was sold at auction and the proceeds used to establish a professorship in the OSU animal husbandry department.

Tyler was a charter member of the Bartlesville Rotary Club and an organizer of the Engineers Club. He also initiated the foundation of the Bartlesville Welfare Association and was a trustee of the Jane Phillips Hospital in Bartlesville.

In addition to the Rotary Club and Engineers Club, he was a member of Bartlesville’s Masonic Lodge and of the Royal Jesters.

He is survived by the widow, Julia; a daughter, Mrs. Helen Beesley of Bartlesville, seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

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