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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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PETER A. METZ, a prominent farmer and business man of Skippack township, was born in Towamencin township, Montgomery county, February 23, 1867. He is the son of Henry G. and Susan (Alderfer) Metz.

Henry G. Metz (father) was born in 1833, and was reared on his father’s farm. He became a general farmer and market man, also selling his products to private families. He is a Republican in politics, and held the office of justice of the peace for many years. In religious faith he is a Mennonite, and is a trustee of the meeting. He now lives retired from active duties on the Metz homestead, where he was born. He married Susan, daughter of Benjamin Alderfer, a farmer, miller and market man of Montgomery county. Mr. Alderfer also belonged to the Mennonite meeting. The children of Benjamin Alderfer: Michael, a retired farmer; Abram, a farmer; Jonas, a farmer, Benjamin, Nancy, married J. Groff; Susan (Mrs. Metz). Mrs. Susan Metz was born in 1837 and is still living. The children of Henry G. and Susan Metz: Benjamin, manages his father’s farm; Henry, an operator on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in the dispatcher’s office in Philadelphia; Sheridan, a merchant and Postmaster at Skippack; and Peter A., the subject of this sketch. All these children are Mennonites except Sheridan, who belongs to the Reformed faith.

Peter Metz (grandfather) was reared in Montgomery county, and like nearly all the members of the family was a farmer. He was very successful as a farmer and market man, and was a highly respected citizen. He was a leading member of the Mennonites, and was a trustee of the meeting, In politics he was a Republican, but never desired public office. He married Elizabeth Gottshalk, who died June 26, 1881, aged seventy-eight years. He died on the Metz homestead in 1886, at the age of eighty-three years. Mrs. Metz was the daughter of Dillman Gottshalk, of an old Montgomery county family, The children of Peter and Elizabeth G. Metz: Mrs. Barbara Frederick; Rebecca, Mrs. J. Stover; Catharine, never married; Henry G. (father); Jacob G., John G., a prominent man and a bank director.

The ancestor of Peter A. Metz emigrated from Holland and settled in Pennsylvania during the colonial days. He underwent the privations and hardships of pioneer life, and helped to build homes for his descendants in the wild country. In the graveyard of the Mennonite meeting house, about one half mile above Kulpsville, the name of Metz frequently appears on the early tombstones. Some of the inscriptions are written in German, and have become illegible by the lapse of time.

Peter A. Metz remained on his father’s farm, assisting in its management, until he was twenty-three years of age. In the spring of 1890 he settled on the farm at Creamery, where he has lived ever since. He carries on general farming and keeps a dairy, selling milk to the Creamery. He has always supported the Republican party, and takes an interest in all public questions. He estates and managed different kinds of business has filled some offices, but has never sought for the members of the community. He has been township auditor since 1890, and has been notary public since 1895. He has conducted some auction sales, and has clerked at others. He is a stockholder and treasurer in the Creamery, which is one of the largest and most successful in that section of the state. He is a member of the Johnson branch and a deacon therein. He has also been the leader of the singing, and superintendent of the Sunday school for a number of years. He is a progressive business man, and is highly respected by all who know him.

Mr. Metz married, January 4, 1890, Miss Sarah Z. Johnson, born at the Johnson homestead, where the couple now live, June 6, 1870. She is a daughter of Isaac H, and Sarah (Ziegler) Johnson, both of old and well-known families of Montgomery county, Isaac H. being the son of Henry G. and Sarah J. (Hunsicker) Johnson, Henry G. Johnson was the son of William and ___(Gottshalk) Johnson, also of Montgomery county.

William Johnson, great-grandfather of Mrs. Metz, was a prominent farmer and a member of the Mennonite church. Three Johnson brothers emigrated from Switzerland during the colonial days. They were Mennonites. The children of William Johnson: John, Jacob, William, Henry G. (grandfather); Mary (Mrs. Buckwalter); Nancy (Mrs. Spare); a daughter married Jacob Kiser; and Susan (Mrs. Herstine).

Henry G. Johnson (grandfather) was reared on a farm, and received a fair education, although he was chiefly a self-educated man. He taught German schools for thirty-three years, thirty-one years at the school at Skippack meeting house. He was a competent teacher, and also a good musician, which he taught in German in the schools. He supplied well bound singing books, and worked for the advancement of music, in which he was himself an artist. He was born in Upper Providence township, but spent nearly all the early part of his life in Skippack township, where he married and lived. He was a general farmer, and also clerked at sales. He settled estates and managed different kinds of business for the members of the community. He was a bishop in the Mennonite denomination for twenty-eight years, and when the meeting was divided his party retained possession of the building and grant of land that had been made to the Mennonite meeting, and his congregation has since been known as the Johnson branch of the Mennonite church. In politics Mr. Johnson was a Republican, but never desired political preferment. He died on the Fourth of July, 1879, at the age of seventy-three years, and his wife survived until February 15, 1901, being ninety-six years old at the time of her death. Mrs. Sarah J. Johnson was the daughter of Isaac Hunsicker, who was also the son of Isaac Hunsicker, a descendant of Valentine Hunsicker, who came from Switzerland and settled in Skippack township in 1717, and from whom many preachers and bishops in the Mennonite denomination have descended. Isaac Hunsicker, father of Mrs. Johnson, was a prominent farmer, and a trustee in the Mennonite church. The children of Isaac Hunsicker: John, a farmer and deacon; Isaac, a farmer; Sarah (Mrs. Henry G. Johnson); Katie, Mrs. Jacob Kulp. The children of Henry G. and Sarah J. Johnson: Isaac H., father of Mrs. Metz; Rev. H. H., a preacher in the Mennonite church.

Isaac H. Johnson, father of Mrs. Metz was in early life a teacher in both the German and English subscription schools, and was a very competent business man. He was a leader in the Mennonite church, and a trustree. He was active in Sunday School work and in the singing. He was a stockholder and treasurer of the Creamery for many years; a stockholder and director in the Schwenkfelder National Bank from its first organization; a director in the Perkiomen Valley Fire and Storm Insurance Company; a school director for thirty years; justice of the peace; and also at one time township auditor and notary public. At the time of his death he held all these offices except those of notary public and auditor. He wrote many wills and settled many estates. He died November 23, 1903. Isaac H. Johnson was married three times, his first wife being Sarah Ziegler, daughter of Abraham Ziegler, a prominent farmer and Republican. They had one daughter, Sarah, married Peter A. Metz. Isaac H. Johnson married (second wife) Kate Krupp, daughter of Jacob Krupp, a prominent farmer and Mennonite. They had one son: Isaac, still unmarried, and resides with his father’s family. Isaac H. Johnson married (third wife) the widow of Bonville Kulp, and daughter of William Gottshalk. She had eight children by her first husband, all grown before her last marriage. There were no children by this marriage.

The children of Peter A. and Sarah Metz: Katie, born October 11, 1890; H. Newton, born January 13, 1897; Emma P., born January 19, 1901. Mrs. Metz belongs to the Mennonite denomination also.

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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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