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Tyler is the county seat of Smith County, located in east-central Texas, United States. The city of Tyler has long been Smith County’s major economic, educational, financial, medical, and cultural hub. The city is named for John Tyler, the tenth President of the United States. Tyler had a population of 96,900 in 2010, according to the United States Census Bureau, and Tyler’s 2018 estimated population was 105,729. It is 100 miles east-southeast of Dallas. Tyler is the principal city of the Tyler metropolitan statistical area, which had a population of 209,714 in 2010, and is the regional center of the Tyler-Jacksonville combined statistical area, which had a population of 260,559 in 2010.
Tyler is known as the “Rose Capital of America” (also the “Rose City” and the “Rose Capital of the World”), a nickname it earned from a long history of rose production, cultivation, and processing. It is home to the largest rose garden in the United States, a 14-acre public garden complex that has over 38,000 rose bushes of at least 500 different varieties. The Tyler Rose Garden is also home to the annual Texas Rose Festival, attracting tourists by the thousands each year in mid-October. Tyler is also home to the Caldwell Zoo and Broadway Square Mall.
According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $87.7 million in revenues, $101.7 million in expenditures, $49.2 million in total assets, $12.3 million in total liabilities, and $17.6 million in cash in investments.
Primary and secondary schools
Public primary and secondary education for much of the city is provided by the Tyler Independent School District, which includes high schools John Tyler and Robert E. Lee, as well as Tyler ISD Early College High School, Premier High School of Tyler, a public charter school (Cumberland Academy). Several Tyler schools offer international baccalaureate and advanced placement programs.
Portions of incorporated Tyler are served by surrounding school districts. These include sections of southeast Tyler, served by the Whitehouse Independent School District, and some sections in the east which are served by the Chapel Hill Independent School District.
There are also private schools in Tyler, including Grace Community School (Texas), All Saints Episcopal School, Seventh-day Adventist Church School, King’s Academy Christian School, Kingdom Life Academy (Located in the same building but not affiliated with King’s Academy), Christian Heritage School, East Texas Christian Academy, and Good Shepherd Reformed Episcopal School. The Brook Hill School in nearby Bullard, TX is also served by the Tyler Independent School District. The Tyler Catholic School System of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler consists of St. Gregory Cathedral School and Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic Middle and High School.
Tyler has a Cotton Belt Railroad Depot Museum located near the Chamber of Commerce office.
The Smith County Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 1959 by individuals and business firms dedicated to discovering, collecting, and preserving data, records, and other items relating to the history of Smith County, Texas. The Society operates a museum and archives, which is located in the former Carnegie Public Library building in downtown Tyler. Permanent museum exhibits include life-size dioramas of Smith County history, with topics ranging from the Caddo Indians to the 20th century. Other items from the Society’s collections are showcased in revolving, temporary exhibits. The Society’s archival library contains historical artifacts of Smith County, including newspapers, city directories, school records, photographs, maps, historical papers and rare books. The archives are open to the public for research on a limited schedule with volunteer staff on duty. The society is also the official caretaker of Camp Ford Historic Park.