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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Plyler, Marion Timothy

by Louise L. Queen, 1994

14 Sept. 1867–24 Mar. 1954

Marion Timothy Plyler, Methodist minister and editor, was born in Iredell County, the son of Robert Conrad and Mary L. Image of Marion Timothy Plyler, from Journal of the North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church 1954, [p.90], published 1954 by [North Carolina: The Conference]. Presented on Internet Archive.Kimball Plyler, and the twin brother of A. W. Plyler. He married Epie Duncan Smith on 20 June 1900, and they had nine children: Edle Mern, Ruth, Leroy S., Marion T., Jr., Conrad N., Eppie Duncan (Mrs. Willis Van Wagoner), Mern (Mrs. James R. Anthony), Grace (Mrs. J. A. McLean), and Eleanor K. (Mrs. Wasson Baird). The two oldest children, Edle Mern and Ruth, died at ages four and three respectively. 

M. T. Plyler received the A.B. degree from Trinity College and M.A. degrees from Trinity and The University of North Carolina; he pursued graduate studies at the University of Chicago. Both The University of North Carolina and Duke University awarded him honorary degrees. He entered the traveling ministry in the North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1892 and served pastorates at Carteret Circuit, Wilmington, Murfreesboro, Grifton Circuit, Plymouth, Louisburg, and Chapel Hill. He also was presiding elder of the Elizabeth City, Durham, and Raleigh districts.

In 1928 Plyler became joint editor and business manager of the North Carolina Christian Advocate, where he served until his retirement. For a number of years he was president of the Board of Managers of the Conference Pastors' School, and he was elected as a delegate from the North Carolina Conference to three General Conferences of the church. He was buried in Maplewood Cemetery, Durham.


Nolan B. Harmon, ed., The Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974).

Journal of the North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church (1954).

Additional Resources:

"Guide to the Marion T. Plyler Papers, circa 1832-1950." Rubenstein Library / Collection Guides. (accessed September 22, 2014).

Harmon, Nolan B. (Nolan Bailey). The Encyclopedia of World Methodism, vol. 2. Nashville: United Methodist Pub. House. 1974. (accessed September 22, 2014).

Plyler, Alva Washington, and Marion Timothy Plyler. Men of the burning heart, Ivey--Dow--Doub. [North Carolina: s.n.]. 1918. (accessed September 23, 2014). 

Plyler, Marion Timothy. Leroy Lee Smith: a lawyer of the old school. Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards & Broughton Print Co. 1916. (accessed September 22, 2014).

Plyler, Marion Timothy. Thomas Neal Ivey, golden-hearted gentleman. Nashville, Tenn: Cokesbury Press. 1925. (accessed September 22, 2014).

Plyler, Marion Timothy. Through eight decades, as minister, editor, author. Durham, N.C.: The Seeman Printery. 1951. (accessed September 23, 2014).

Image Credits:

Methodist Church (U.S.). North Carolina Conference. Journal of the North Carolina Annual Conference of the Methodist Church 1954. [North Carolina: The Conference?]. 1954. (accessed September 23, 2014).