Kansas History and Heritage Project-Anderson County Biographies

Anderson County Biographies
"Portrait and Biographical Record of Southeastern Kansas"
Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1894

HON. EDWIN T. METCALF, M. D., located in Colony in the fall of 1882, and is now the oldest physician in years of active practice in this place. Skilled in his profession, he has won a high reputation among his brethren of the medical fraternity, and is also widely known in public circles throughout the state. He is the present State Senator from his district, and the upright course which he has taken in the Legislature has brought credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents.

The Doctor was born near Carlinville, Ill., July 27, 1843, and is a son of John M. and Isabelle (Wyeth) Metcalf, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Pennsylvania. His mother was a lineal descendant of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. John Metcalf went to Illinois when a young man with his father, William Metcalf, who settled in Macoupin County, purchasing large tracts of land and locating his sons in that vicinity, which still goes by the name of the Metcalf settlement. He was a slaveholder in Kentucky, but becoming convinced that slavery was wrong, disposed of his negroes and removed to a free state, becoming a wealthy farmer of Illinois.

The Doctor's father worked at farm labor during his youth, and in his leisure hours read medicine with Doctor Wood, of Carrollton, Ill. Subsequently he located as a physician in Winchester, Scott County, but again returned to the farm for a short time. Afterward he located in Greenfield, Ill., removing thence to Waverly, where he died in 1858. His widow is still living and now makes her home in Oakland, Cal. Although reared on a slave plantation in the south, he became a bitter opponent of the institution of slavery, and in 1856 was a delegate to the first Republican convention held in Bloomington, Ill. He was a member of the Baptist Church and of the Masonic fraternity. He died on the Gulf of Mexico, while going to Texas for his health. The Metcalf family numbered seven children: Julia, wife of Silas Burnett, of Dallas, Tex.; Edwin T.; George D., a lawyer of Oakland, Cal.; Harriet, wife of Peter Casserly, of Springfield, Ill.; Richard W., who died in childhood; John W., professor of music in Oakland, Cal.; and one who died in infancy.

Doctor Metcalf of this sketch spent his early life in Waverly, Ill., and there acquired his literary education. In 1862 he enlisted in the Union army, and was assigned to Company G, One Hundred and First Illinois Infantry, in which he served eight months, when he was discharged on account of physical disability. Returning to Waverly in July, 1863, he entered the office of Dr. J. B. Miner, who had resigned his position as First Assistant Surgeon of the One Hundred and First Regiment. With him Mr. Metcalf read medicine for three years, and then attended lectures at Rush Medical College. In 1867 he located in Tallula, Ill., where he successfully engaged in practice until coming to Kansas in 1882.

The Doctor was married in 1864 to Chattie, daughter of James and Thurza Burnett. She was born in Waverly, March 10, 1847. By their union were born seven children: Milton, now a lawyer of Kansas City; Anna, George, Patti, Edwin, John and Belle, who died in infancy.

In politics, Dr. Metcalf is a stalwart Republican, and now represents Anderson and Linn Counties in the State Senate. The last session of the Assembly was a memorable one, as two Houses were organized in the lower branch of the Legislature, a legal one by the Republicans and an illegal one by the Populists. Senator Metcalf was a stanch supporter of the legal House and assisted in defending it at all times. The history of that session is so well known throughout the Union that special mention is unnecessary in this volume. The Doctor has been Chairman of the Committee on Public Health and Immigration, and is a member of several other important committees. He belongs to the Christian Church,and socially is connected with the Masonic fraternity, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Grand Army of the Republic.

Other business interests occupy the attention of our subject besides his practice. He is a stockholder in the People's Bank of Colony and in the Eastern Kansas Telephone Company. He also owns a farm near Colony. When he first came to this place he conducted a drug business, but after a time gave it up, as his attention was all required by his increasing practice. He now receives a liberal patronage and stands in the front rank as a physician. His popularity and prominence in all circles are well merited.

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