Metz, Vernon Co, MO History and Genealogy




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(previously Pleasant Valley)




   After the Civil War, the township settled slowly but substantially. In 1873 the municipal organization was effected and the township named Metz, for the town of that name. Previously, the area was part of Osage Township.

   The town of Metz, originally on Reed's Creek, north of the Osage in this township, was established in the fall of 1870. The locality was formerly known as Pleasant Valley. A fine steam planing mill gave the village some notoriety and attracted much custom.

How Our Town Happened onto its Name (from "The Metz Times")

[From information furnished by W. L. Yeates, T. M. Summers, and L. M. Baze.]

A stranger who hears the name "Metz" may get the idea that the town's population came direct from the city of Berlin, the banks of the Rhine or some other point in Emperor William's domain.  True it is a German name, but if there is a thoroughbred Deitscherman living within five miles of Metz he is unknown to the writer.

   A settlement on Reed's creek about one and one-half miles east of where Metz is now located, had been called Pleasant Valley for several years.  Finally a general merchandise store was opened.  In the fall of 1870 the government was asked to establish a postoffice at the place.  D. P. Swearingen, whom many knew as "Uncle Dave," was the merchant and he was chosen postmaster.  "Pleasant Valley" was sent to the postal authorities as the name for the office.  In course of time a letter was received stating that there was an office of that name in the state and it would be necessary to select another.  "Uncle Dave" appointed three leading men of the village to do the christening.  A meeting was held as per agreement, and though loath to give up Pleasant Valley, they decided to leave it to the postmaster's good judgment.  "Uncle Dave" favored a short name.  He had been reading the "Weekly Missouri Republican" (now the St. Louis "Republic") about the Franco-Prussian War and General Bazaine's capitulation at Metz, one of the large cities of Germany.

   "Boys," he said, "I've got it; let's call 'er Metz."

   "All right!" responded the three men in concert.

Then the merchant-postmaster pulled a jug from under the counter and passed it around, after which the dogs were called and all joined in a 'coon hunt in the Osage bottoms.


In May, 1890, the Missouri Pacific railroad was completed.  It missed Metz about a mile.  The inhabitants of the village found themselves isolated, within earshot of the shrieks of the locomotive, but too far away for practical purposes.  Dr. G. W. Petty was the first to break away from the old town.  He moved his store building and contents to the present site and soon the new town of Metz was laid out.  Others followed, and in a short time Pleasant Valley, as many still called it, was only a reminiscence." 

Information above from the 1911 History of Vernon County, Missouri

From Metz

   D. P. Swearingen built the first house in the place in the spring of 1867, hauling the lumber from Sedalia on a wagon before the railroad ever ran from Sedalia to the southwest. In the year 1868 ten acres was laid off in town lots. The first death after it became a town was that of Mrs. D. P. Swearingen. The first birth was Rosa Rucker who was born in September, 1879. The present school house was built in the year 1879, at a cost of about $1,200 and has an enrollment of 115 scholars in that district attending. The first marriage was T. L. O'Brien and Nancy Swearingen, by Rev. R. H. Harris, June 28th, 1868.

   There is some little improvement going on there now. A new Southern Methodist church is being built at a cost of $1,000. There is a saw mill there belonging to Wilson & Pond. The mill has been running ever since 1868. The past year they have made about 180,000 feet of lumber, and shipped most of it to Kansas City. They also run a grist mill in connection, and ground about 3,000 bushels of meal the past year.

   The population of Metz is about 100. T. J. Pond manufactures coffins and all kinds of furniture. He has followed the business forty years and his work cannot be surpassed by any one in the state. Dr. Petty runs the only store in the place, it being a general store. The soil around Metz is good, and crops look well.

The Nevada Noticer, Nevada, MO.  Thursday, November 1, 1888

Metz Now Has Street Lights

     Metz has street lights. After months of waiting the Public Service Company turned them on at 12 o’clock Monday. Some got the idea the lights were turned on at that particular time on account of the eclipse of the sun which was scheduled to occur at 12:51 that day, but not so. The seventeen lights, one on each block in town, showed up plainly in spite of daytime and they look much better at night. This is a step forward that Metz can boast of.

The Metz Times, Metz, Missouri.  Friday, May 2, 1930, page 1


Metz Businesses


Metz Churches


Metz Fire 8 August 1903

Metz Fire 6 June 1907

Metz Fire 8 November 1907


Metz G.A.R. Mt. McGregor Post No. 252


Metz Houses


Metz Maps and Pictures


Metz Schools


Metz Sports Teams


Metz Train Depot




"We Like It Small" Bittersweet Magazine Article, 1976.



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