The ancestors of our subject were natives of Virginia and Maryland, and of English origin. They have now become scattered over the whole of the United States. Elias was born Dec. 22, 1821, and is the son of Emanuel and Sarah (Purser) Metcalf, natives of North Carolina. They removed to Kentucky shortly after their marriage, where the father carried on farming until 1812. He then removed to White County, Ill., after having done good service as a soldier in the war of 1812, and from White County he removed to Morgan County, Ill. He departed this life at the homestead in Morgan County, in April, 1866. The mother had passed away previous to the decease of her husband Feb. 26, 1864.
Mr. Metcalf, our subject, early in life became familiar with farm pursuits, and was trained to those habits of industry and economy which have followed him all through life. At the age of twenty-four years he was married to Miss Elizabeth Black, a native of Kentucky. They began life together upon a farm in Morgan County, and became the parents of the following children: John P., the eldest son, married Miss Mary Kelley, of St. Louis, Mo., and they have three children; Nettie became the wife of J. H. Mapes, of Saline, Kan., and is the mother of six children; William R. married Miss Ella Kendall, of Morgan County, and they are the parents of three children; Arthur E. is a resident of St. Louis; Lizzie married Dr. John Trible, of Alton, Ill., and has two children. Mrs. Elizabeth Metcalf departed this life at her home near Jacksonville, Jan. 29, 1863.
Our subject, Dec. 25, 1865, contracted a second marriage with Miss Emily Mead. This lady was born in Delaware County, Ohio, Apr. 21, 1833, and is the daughter of Daniel and Lydia (Root) Mead, natives respectively of Vermont and Ohio. Her father was a marble-cutter by trade, and after a residence of a few years in the Buckeye State, removed to Indiana, where he died in 1857. The mother survives him, making her home in Dubuque, Iowa. Our subject and his wife are members of the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, and Mr. Metcalf politically, votes the straight Republican ticket. He is an earnest advocate of the principles of his party, and keeps himself well posted upon current events.