Born in Richmond, Virginia, Arthur Lynwood Tyler grew up in Henderson. After graduating from Henderson High School as Salutatorian of his class, Tyler attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for one year. He left the university to help support his family when his father was seriously injured in a railroad accident. In 1915, a 19 year old Arthur Tyler came to Rocky Mount to manage Anchor department store. Tyler spent one year in the Army in World War I and returned to Rocky Mount for a couple of years. He was transferred by Anchor to New York as a buyer. He returned in North Carolina to manage a store in Winston Salem and by 1928 was president and manager of the chain. In 1931 he joined Henry Belk and became manager of the Rocky Mount Belk store. Together they opened the Belk’s Tyler Store in Rocky Mount, the first of 14 stores in the chain that would eventually employee hundreds and serve the southeast as one of the leading retail clothing stores of the region. In addition to managing the Belk-Tyler stores and training the staff, Mr. Tyler also served as President of the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce, President of the Rocky Mount Merchant’s Association and served on the board of Trustees of both St. Mary’s College in Raleigh and East Carolina University. He was also instrumental in the development of Wesleyan College. He served as Sunday School Superintendent for 25 years at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Mr.Tyler died in 1978.
Inducted into Hall of Fame 2012