John Metz, a well known and well liked merchant of Marysville, was born in St. Clair, Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania,
on the 13th of January, 1845, a son of Jacob and Ann (Guinn) Metz. The family is of French lineage and two brothers
of the name came from Metz, France, to the United States, at an early period in the colonization of the new world.
They were the progenitors of those of the name in America. The brothers, however, became separated on the Jersey
coast, so that one line of ancestry has been lost.
Jacob Metz was born in Pennsylvania, as was Ann Guinn, and they were married in that state, where they continued
their residence until 1856, when they started for the west with Marion county, Iowa, as their destination. They
settled in Marysville and the father, who was a carpenter, worked at his trade there until his death, which occurred
in 1886, while his wife passed away in 1881. Both were laid to rest in the cemetery here. Mr. Metz planted the
first dandelions seen in Marion county. He was a republican in his political views, capably and efficiently filling
the office of justice of the peace, and was generally interested in public affairs, his aid being always on the
side of progress and improvement. He had four sons in the Union army during the war of the Rebellion: Theodore,
who was a member of Company B, Third Iowa Infantry, and died in the service; Charles, who was a member of Company
G, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry, and also died in the service; Henry, also a member of Company G, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry;
and John, a member of Company G, Thirty third Iowa Infantry. Mrs. Metz and a Mrs. Klein were the first to observe
Decoration day in this county, decorating the graves of the soldiers in 1862, long before the present Memorial
day had been established.
John Metz was one of a family of nine children, six of whom are yet living, and was quite young when brought by
his parents to Iowa. His education was acquired in the public schools of Marysville and in August, 1862, when a
youth of but seventeen years, he enlisted for service in the Civil war, becoming a member of Company G, Thirty
third Iowa Infantry, as previously stated. He was wounded at Spanish Fort on the 28th of March, 1865, after which
he was sent home and was honorably discharged on the 24th of June of the same year. His was a creditable military
record and he participated in a number of hotly contested engagements which featured prominently as factors in
winning the ultimate victory that came to the Union troops.
In early life Mr. Metz learned the carpenter's trade under the direction of his father but after several years'
identification with that occupation turned his attention to commercial pursuits in 1877 by embarking in merchandising,
in which he has since been engaged. He is now proprietor of one of the leading general mercantile establishments,
not only in Marysville but in this section of the state, and he is enjoying a liberal patronage. He bears, too,
an unassailable reputation for integrity and straightforward conduct in all trade relations.
In 1871 Mr. Metz was united in marriage to Miss Wilhehnina Like, a daughter of John A. and Johanna Like, who came
to America from Germany at an early day and were pioneer settlers of Marion county. Mr. and Mrs. Metz have become
the parents of six children: Charles and Lafayette, who are in business with their father; Roy, is engaged in farming
in Idaho; Jacob, who is a farmer and painter and resides in Marysville; John, also residing in Marysville; and
Archie, of Melcher.
The family attend the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Metz gives his political allegiance to the republican
party, of which he became a stanch advocate on attaining his majority. Again and again he has been called to public
office, the duties of which he has discharged with promptness and fidelity. He served for twelve years as postmaster
of Marysville, has been trustee and assessor, and in 1895 and 1896 filled the office of county recorder, during
which period he resided in Knoxville, while his rim conducted the store in his absence. He has also been a member
of the school board and the cause of education finds in him a stalwart champion. A resident of the county from
early boyhood, he is numbered among its pioneer settlers and has been an interested witness of the growth and development
of this section from an early day, his memory forming a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive
present. There have been no spectacular chapters in his life record and enterprise in business combined With public
spirited citizenship and fidelity to duty in every relation have won for him the prominent place which he occupies
in public opinion.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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