3. Abraham Metzler and Anna Warren   Leave a comment

Much sorrow surrounds the life of Henry and Esther’s youngest child Abraham. Born in late 1824 or 1825 he was only a boy of 12 or 13 when his father, aged 75, died. Abraham probably lived with his mother and his sister Barbara, a maiden lady, until he married Anna Warren.

Abraham, a young man of 25, 5’8″ tall with black hair, hazel eyes, and dark complexion and Anna, a girl of 19 born in Lancaster County in 1830, the 11th of 12 children of  James Warren and Catherine Ament, were married the 4th of January 1849 by the Reverend John Jacob Strein, Minister of the Gospel of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the city of Lancaster.

James Warren bought and sold numerous properties in the Strasburg area during the early to mid 1800’s. His name appears on Strasburg tax records in 1827, 1828, 1831, and 1832 as a farmer. In 1829 he was a blacksmith, 1839 an innkeeper and in 1845 he is listed as a gentleman. Details of his life are sparse at this time, but by 1850 he was living in Baltimore County, Maryland where he died sometime in August 1871. (Note: Records indicate that at the age of 65, he sold all his holdings in Strasburg and Paradise and moved to Reisterstown Md., where he bought a farm and the Reisterstown Inn. The 1860 census lists him as a ‘gentleman farmer and innkeeper’. The 1870 census lists him as senile – specifically as ‘idiot’. WM)

It is not known where Abraham and Anna set up housekeeping but in 1850, they, too, were living in Baltimore County along with a second James Warren and John Warren, Anna’s brothers. Shortly after the recording of the 1850 census Abraham and Anna returned to Strasburg where he worked as a millwright.  (Note: In September 2011, Joanne and I found a record in the Lancaster Courthouse of the transfer of a house on Main St , Strasburg from Abraham Metzler to his sister Barbara Metzler. On a Strasburg town map of 1855 there is listed a house occupied by ‘Abram Metzler, millwright’. On a similar map of 1875, the same house is listed as occupied by ‘Mrs Barbara Metzler’. Presumably she is mistaken as a married woman since she was caring for her niece Barbara. WM)Strasburg 1875. See house on W. Main near bend 'Mrs. Barbara Metzler' The house and business were located near the Cross Keys Hotel which stood at 101 East Main Street. From 1850 until their deaths, Abraham in 1865 and Anna in 1866, they rented from his sister Barbara.  In 1860, Abraham did own a borough lot valued at $300.

Present day house on East Main St. Strasburg that could be Abraham Metzler’s house

On the 14th of March 1852 Emerson Bennett Metzler was born to Abraham and Anna with Dr. George Hoover the attending physician at his birth. They had a total of 8 children: Josephine E. born 14 February 1854; Esther (Kate) Catherine, born 20 July 1856; Nora Bell, born 21 November 1858; James Warren, born 23 July 1860; Barbara A., born 16 September 1862; and Lawrence and Leroy. It is not known in what years Lawrence and Leroy were born or died. The only place their names have appeared is on the tombstone and it is assumed that they died as infants.

In 1864, the country being torn apart by the turmoil of a Civil War, Abraham traveled to Philadelphia to enlist in the Union Army, leaving behind his wife and 6 small children, the oldest being Emerson aged 12 and the youngest Barbara aged 1 1/2.

Abraham’s decision to enter military service could not have been an easy one for him to make. He had to choose between serving his country or remaining non-combatant and following the principles by which he had been raised.

On the 8th of February 1864, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Abraham Metzler was mustered into service as a Private in the 3rd Regiment of the Pennsylvania Artillery Volunteers, to serve 3 years, or during the war.

The 3rd Artillery was organized for garrison duty at Fortress Monroe, and numerous recruits were sent to it from time to time; Since it sustained few losses, the number of surplus men became so great that on 1 April 1864, a call was made for volunteers to form a new infantry regiment. Abraham was one of over 600 men to answer this call and a new regiment, known as the 188th was organized. He was a member of Company F. On the 25th of April the regiment left Camp Hamilton and marched to Yorktown, where it was associated with the 2nd Connecticut, 4th New Hampshire, and 58th Pennsylvania regiments. The 4th of May his unit was transported to Bermuda Hundred, above City Point, VA, on the James River. During the next 20 months Abraham’s regiment was involved in many heavy battles, often fighting face to face with bayonets.

According to a statement made by 1st lieut. Edward L. McCluen, of Company F, 166 regiment, “Abraham Metzler, while in the line of duty December 12, 1864, at Fort Harrison, VA., on account of the exposure and hardship incident to a soldier’s life, contacted Diarrhea which became chronic and on account of which he was, a short time before the surrender of General Lee, and his army, sent to hospital and mustered out of service; that he never was sick before being attacked with the Diarrhea, of which he suffered until the date of discharge.”

Abraham was discharged from the service of he United States on the 14th day of December 1865, along with the other members of his regiment, at City Point, VA., at the age of 48. He returned to Strasburg and his family a very sick man. The Diarrhea continued and gradually brought on consumption of the lungs and on the 20th of July 1866, Abraham Metzler died leaving a widow, Anna Warren Metzler, and 6 children:  Emerson 14, Josephine 12, Esther 10, Nora Bell not yet 8, James Warren 6, and Barbara almost 4.

Anna continued to live in Strasburg with her children and on December 20 1866 she applied for a widow’s army pension. James Warren died 14 December 1866 at age 6, and on 6 June 1867, at the age of 36, Anna Warren Metzler passed away, leaving 5 orphaned children She had not yet received any of the pension and her total estate was valued at $220.87 and consisted of the following items:

Spring seat sofa                         22.50
6 cane seats and one rocking chair       19.00
10 windsor chairs                         5.00
2 tables and 2 stands               7.87
Bureau and cottage bedstead 14.50
clock and mirror 6.00
shaving bone and 6 blades    2.00
lot queensware knives and spoons         3.75
38 yards carpet                    13.00
oil cloth carpet 7.30
17 yards carpet                   10.00
4 coverlets 11.00
5 comforts 8.00
3 woolen blankets 4.50
lot bed clothes and covers 10.75
bed and bedstead 9.00
2 featherbeds and pillows 13.50
chests and 2 doughtrays 1.75
bowl, basin and 2 cords 1.00
2 cupboards and table 6.50
stove, fixtures and pipe 6.00
kettle, irons, ladles and tinware 7.75
tubs, stance lard and can 4.25
stance, knives buckets 3.00
sundries in wood house 1.50
wardrobe and stair rods 6.75
chest and lot of tools 13.50
Total 220.87

Tub and wicker basket at H. H. house

Various Tools at H. H. house

Clay Crock in fruit cellar of H, H, house

Nora Bell died 3 April 1869, at the age of 10 1/2, and was laid to rest alongside her parents and 3 brothers, Lawrence, Leroy and James Warren in the Strasburg Mennonite Cemetery.

The court appointed Jacob Hildebrand, legal guardian of the minor children on 2 December 1870, but it is doubtful the children ever lived with him. Emerson had already left Lancaster County and was living in Pittsburgh, Josephine was living at the home of Christian Bachman,  a local cabinetmaker working as a domestic servant, Barbara was living with her Aunt Barbara and Esther has yet to be located.

Jacob Hildebrand filed a Minor’s Application for Army Pension on 11 March 1871 and it was approved 13 September 1871. The payment was $8.00 dollars a month plus $2.00 a month for  each child under the age of 16 years, retroactive to July 21, 1866, the day after Abraham had died.

Barbara Metzler, Abrham’s sister, died 21 February 1878 at 9:00 PM at the age of 66 years and 1 day. She also is interred in the Strasburg Mennonite Burial Ground. Her headstone is a lovely white marble, rounded top stone with a single carved rose and inscribed with the following verse:

Tombstone of Barbara Metzler, Strasburg Mennonite Cemetery

Cut down so soon how hard the blow

But God’s own will is always best

Beneath the sod we lay her low

And trust to meet her with the blest.

Aunt Barbara is visualized as a lovable maiden aunt, quite capable of spoiling children. She seems to have devoted a large part of her life to caring for others.

Jacob remained guardian of the children under 18 years of age until 1880 when 3 charges were made against him accusing mismanagement of the estate of Barbara Metzler. Barbara was the only child still a minor in 1880, and was at that time living in Sterling, Whiteside County, Illinois. The charges were not proved but her guardianship was transferred to a Mr. C. L. Sheldon also of Whiteside County, Illinois. H. G. Book was made guardian of her interests in Pennsylvania.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Many questions concerning Abraham and Anna’s children remain unanswered. What happened to Esther after her parents death? Who did Josephine marry and where did she settle? Who was C. L. Sheldon and why did Barbara go to Illinois and Emerson to Pittsburgh? Hopefully the answers to these questions will be discovered. Family members say Barbara and Esther married brothers, one of which was named William Doolittle and they settled in Pasadena,  California. This is most likely correct, but where is Josephine???

The headstone on the grave of Abraham and Anna is much newer and more modern that the stones of other family members that died years later. It is quite possible and probable that this stone was placed there by their daughter Barbara or her descendants.

Since the marriage of Abraham Metzler to Anna Warren every generation has carried the Warren name, beginning with the birth of James Warren Metzler 23 July 1860, followed by Emerson’s first son, Warren A. who also named his first son Warren. This Warren died at the age of 4, but his brother Paul named his first son Warren, now known as Father Warren, and his past May, Robert Charles Metzler, nephew of Father Warren and grandson of Paul took Warren as his Confirmation name, thus completing the line of Warren Metzlers from 1860 to 1982.

Father Warren Metzler with Abraham Metzler & Anna Warren headstone


Posted February 12, 2012 by wmetzler

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