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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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EDWIN METCALF, one of the best-known citizens of Norristown, is a native of Howgate, England, where he was born in 1848. He is a son of Edward and Sarah (Chapman) Metcalf. The family in England have an authentic history dating back to 1066, the time of the Norman Conquest. In later generations it is traced through William Metcalf, great-great-grandfather of Edwin, Richard Metcalf (great-grandfather), and Sir Edward Metcalf, (grandfather), to Edward Metcalf, (father), who was a florist and fancy fruit-grower by occupation, and resided on the old homestead in England all his life. Politically, the father was a conservative.

Edward Metcalf married Sarah Chapman, the couple having seven children, as follows: Williah, Elizabeth (died in childhood), Martha (died also at an early age), Richard, now a resident of Brooklyn, New York; Ann, Edwin and Alfred the last named a barrister in England. The parents are now both deceased, the father dying at the age of eighty-four, and the mother at eighty- two, both in the year 1880. Edwin Metcalf left his native land when he was twenty years of age, having graduated meanwhile from the colleges of Nasboro, Whitby, and Eton. He took a course of free-hand drawing in the Academy of Fine Arts in London, and later had the advantage of a two years’ course in civil engineering at Oxford University. He was employed for a time in the capacity of a civil engineer on the Great Northwestern Railway. Afterwards he journeyed through the Holy Land, and made a tour into the interior of Africa, after which he came to America, locating in 1868 at Norristown. Forming a partnership with his brother in the business of a florist, he continued in that for a time, then removing to Philadelphia, where he entered the employ of the North Pennsylvania Railroad Company, remaining there two years. He then became the manager of the lithographing establishment of Potts, Damen & Co., of Philadelphia, and later took a position with the National Bureau of Engraving as a steel plate engraver for the government. Remaining in this employment for a period of fourteen years, he was compelled to abandon it and resign his position because of failing eyesight. In 1888 he returned to Norristown and resumed the business of a florist, which he conducted very successfully for a number of years, retiring from it a few years ago on account of ill-health. In 1884 Mr. Metcalf married Mattie Davis. The couple have had three children, all daughters: Elizabeth V., Edna G., (deceased), and Elsie G. Mr. Metcalf and his family occupy a handsome residence on West Main street, Norristown.

Mr. Metcalf is an earnest Republican in politics, and soon after settling in business in Norristown, began to take an active interest in the management of local affairs. He became a candidate for the position of councilman, was elected, and was a very useful member of that body, taking a progressive and businesslike view of every question that arose. On his retirement from that office he was elected borough treasurer by his party associates in town council, which position he has held ever since by successive annual re-elections. Attentive to business, courteous and obliging, and having a reputation for the highest integrity, few men have won to such a degree the respect and esteem of the entire community.

Mr. Metcalf is a member of Curtis Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of the Order of Heptasophs, and of Lynwood Lodge, Ancient Order of United Workmen. Himself and family are attached to the First Presbyterian church, Norristown.

Mr. Metcalf’s health was seriously impaired in consequence of a railroad accident in which he suffered severely from shock, a short distance below Norristown. Though able to attend to business, he has never entirely recovered from its effects.

The property owned by the family in England, it may be added, was granted to their ancestor by Oliver Cromwell in the time of the Commonwealth, and has descended to the present owner in an unbroken line.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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