Shelby  County,  Indiana
Biographical  Sketches

Silas  Metzger

            Silas Metzger,  was born in Germany, May 25, 1826, and is the son of  Joseph and  Mary (Helpart) Metzger,  both of whom were natives of the " Fatherland " and lived and died there.  Our subject is the eldest of five children and was educated in the old country.  He came to America in 1847, and settled in Shelbyville, having lived here ever since.  He began the wine and liquor business in this city about 1855, and has since continued in it.  He erected his beautiful and commodious business house in 1878.  Mr. Metzger is one of the old settlers of this county.  He was married in 1858, to  Miss Anna Mary Deprez,  who was born in 1841, and is the daughter of  John Deprez,  formerly of this city, now deceased.  This union has produced six children,  Peter,  Anna, deceased,  Laura,  Edward,  Lena  and  Zora.  Mr. Metzger is a Democrat, and is one of our wealthiest citizens.
History of Shelby County, Indiana,  "Shelbyville Sketches," page 514-15, Chicago: Brant & Fuller, 1887.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

The  Shelby  Democrat
February 20, 1879
VOL. 1; No. 37
from the article, SMILING  SHELBYVILLE!
Silas Metzger.
         The subject of this writing is one of the law-abiding, staid and substantial business men of the city of Shelbyville.  He was born near Friberg, Waldstat county, in the state of the Grand Duke of Baden, German, in the year 1826.  He had the misfortune to lose his mother by death when he was but twelve years of age.  In 1840, he being fourteen years old, he entered upon the duties of teamster in his native country.  The method of transporting goods of commerce from place to place in that country at that time was by wagons, and it was in this business that Mr. Metzger engaged.  He continued in the same about three and a half years, when his father died.  Having no special tie to bind him to his native land, and as he had heard considerable talk of the many opportunities and advantages offered to all who made this great and glorious Republic their home, he concluded to cast his lot with the American people, and, accordingly, set sail for the United States.  He was seventy days making the trip from Havre de Grace to New Orleans.  After landing at the latter place he started for Cincinnati, and after ten days' trip reached that city safely.  He remained in Cincinnati two weeks looking for employment, but found none.  During his wanderings in that city he was told he could get work in Shelbyville, and he immediately headed for the West, and arrived here in the month of May, 1849.  He secured a position as porter for John M. Woollen, who run a hotel in the building on the northeast corner of  Harrison and Franklin streets, the property of  Jasper Sprague.  At that day this was the principal hotel of the city.  A few months later, not being satisfied with his bargain, he left Mr. Woollen and engaged his services to Dr. Selman  [. . . .  missing line?]  
          His earlier days were attended with many trials and discouragements.  At the time of his coming to this city he could scarcely speak any English at all, and it was with great difficulty that his American friends, especially those immediately associated with him, could make their wants and wishes known.  His is a record replete with business success.  He began business life with no capital to speak of, but by close attention to business, perseverance and economical habits he has gained rapidly in this world's goods, until now he is rated as one of our wealthiest and most influential citizens.  His success in business is due, to a great extent, to his amiable wife, Mary, who was ready and willing at all times to assist him in any way that might be
          Mr. Metzger runs a saloon, but not a doggery.  His is an orderly house - one which any citizen can enter with impunity.  He runs his establishment on the cash basis, keeps no slate and, as a consequence, he is not bothered with loafers who are continually "on the beat" and a disgrace to any business house.  His place of business is very popular, and he can safely say that he has the most quiet and respectable house in the city.  His side-board is replete with the best and purest of liquors of all kinds, from which drinks are gotten up in the best style of the art - larger cities not excepted.  Mr. Metzger is ably assisted by his gentlemanly sons,  Peter and Edward.
Next biography in the "Smiling Shelbyville" newspaper article, W. J. Ryse.
Contributed by Jeanne Surber

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