Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia
HISTORY OF MACOUPIN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
DESCRIPTIVE OF ITS SCENERY,
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS.
JAMES D. METCALF
was born in Hawkins county, Kentucky, May 12th, 1834. William Metcalf, his father, was a native of Virginia.
The family is of Scotch ancestry. William Metcalf married Huldah Davis, who was born in Kentucky. Ten children were
born to them, six of whom are still living. Mr. Metcalf left Kentucky in the spring of 1835, and settled in the western part
of Macoupin county; here he purchased land and remained for two or three years, when he removed to Greene county,
and remained until the spring of 1857, when he came to Girard, 1874; from here moved to South Otter township, where he
and his aged wife still reside. The subject of our sketch received a fair education in the common schools of Greene county.
At the age of eighteen years he entered Shurtleff college, at Upper Alton, where he remained one term, after which he
taught one term of school in Greene county, and the next winter following taught one term in Arkansas. In 1853, he returned
to Greenfield, where, in connection with his brother, T. M. Metcalf, he engaged in general mercantile business, at which he
remained until the summer of 1855, when he tried farming one year in Western Mound township. In November, 1856, he
came to Girard, and opened up a drug store, at which he continued, by himself and in connection with others, until 1868,
when he sold out and engaged in the lumber business. One year later he went back to the drug and grocery business, at
which he continued until 1875, when he was elected president of the Girard Banking Company. Since that time he has
devoted almost all of his attention to the banking business, and under his skillful and safe management the Bank has done
a thriving business, and become one of the safest in the county. On the 1st of June, 1854, he was united in marriage to
Miss Brunette, daughter of Dr. G. B. Mason, of Greene county, Illinois. Eight children have been born to them, five of
whom are living. Charles, the eldest son, is married and engaged in business in Girard, and the rest are still beneath the
parental roof. In politics Mr. Metcalf is republican. He cast his first vote for Fillmore, in 1856. In his township and town
he has been frequently elected to positions of trust. At the first election held under the township organization, he was
elected to represent his township - Virden - in the Board of Supervisors. During that term he succeeded in getting the
township of Virden divided, and the next year was elected supervisor of Girard township. He has held the office of
president of the town board of trustees and school director, for several terms each. In 1876 he was a candidate for the
office of representative of legislature for this district, but was defeated in the nominating convention. Both he and his
excellent wife have been members of the Christian church, since 1856. He has been an elder in that church for the last
Mr. Metcalf is an old resident of Girard. In fact, he came to the town when it was in its infancy. He was a member
of the first village board, and a director when the first school house was built. He has been since then identified with
every enterprise that had for its object the increase of the material wealth and progress of Girard and vicinity. In the
business of life Mr. Metcalf has been more than ordinarily successful, which he attributes to certain rules he adopted for
business life, and to which he has rigidly adhered, and those were, never to contract beyond his ability to pay, and always
to meet obligations promptly. A rigid adherence to these simple rules will, in the end, bring success.
In his manners Mr. Metcalf is a plain, quiet, unassuming gentleman. He has many warm friends in the community
where he is best known, all of whom vouch for his personal integrity and character as a man and citizen.
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