METCALF, SAMUEL T., who is serving for a second time as Superintendent of the Sangamon County Poor Farm, in Sangamon County, Ill., has been a resident of this State for thirty-nine years, and during this period has quietly advanced his own fortunes through his industry along agricultural lines, while, at the same time, his qualities of good citizenship have been frequently recognized by his election to offices of public responsibility. Mr. Metcalf was born at Poolsville, Montgomery County, Md., February 10, 1867, a son of Samuel E. and Martha J. (King) Metcalf. As far back as Mr. Metcalf's recollection reaches, the family has been an agricultural one, originating in one of the eastern States.
Samuel T. Metcalf attended the county schools in Lanesville Township, near his father's home in the earlier years of his school period, and then enjoyed rather better advantages for two winters at the Berry Station school. As his father needed his aid on the farm, he remained at home and assisted in the farm work until he was twenty years of age, the family having come to Illinois in 1872. Stock raising engaged his father's attention, and on many occasions, the elder Mr. Metcalf and his brother drove cattle for market from Sangamon County to St. Louis, Mo. At that time there was much enjoyment to be found in hunting, and Mr. Metcalf was considered a fine shot and had some reason to feel proud of his marksmanship. Then, as in later life, all the clean, wholesome, outdoor sports attracted him and, possibly, engaging in these to a reasonable extent, assisted in his robust physical development and continued fine health.
After leaving home, Mr. Metcalf rented a farm for himself, in Buffalo Township, which he operated for one years, when he moved on a rented farm in Lanesville Township, where he remained for four years, afterward returning to Buffalo Township for two more years. About this time he became interested at Lanesville, where he ran the elevator for nine years, after which, although still maintaining his home at Lanesville, he was employed at the city of Springfield for two and one-half years by the Sattely Plow Company, where he learned the trade of plow fitter.
In the spring of 1904 mr. Metcalf was elected Superintendent of the Sangamon County Poor Farm, and during his four years term there changed the whole aspect of the place. It was during this first administration that he succeeded in having the necessary utilities introduced - a water system and improvements in the light plant - all this being accomplished without undue pressure being felt by the tax payers. After retiring from the office of Superintendent of the Poor Farm Mr. Metcalf resumed his agricultural activities, renting a farm for one year, near Mechanicsburg, and later the Pheasant farm, in Buffalo Township, on which he resided for three years. In the meanwhile mr. Metcalf had been active in local politics and elected to minor offices, serving as town clerk and tax collector of Lanesville Township. As hazards to do his duty, Mr. Metcalf was brought prominently before the public during the riot at Springfield, in 1908, when, as a special deputy of Sheriff Mester, he brought to bay the negro, Taylor, alias Jones, who had killed four negroes at Sheffield, Ala., and also killed a negro names Poynard, near Buffalo, Ill. Not only was Mr. Metcalf exonerated from all blame regarding the death of this evil doer, but the jury made special mention of the personal bravery he had displayed on this occasion. On December 13, 1911, Mr. Metcalf was a second time elected, by the Board of Supervisors of Sangamon County, Superintendent of the Poor Farm, receiving thirty-two votes to twelve votes for his opponent, and he assumed his old duties again on March 1, 1912. It is very generally acknowledged that the condition of this farm, along every line, is superior, under his efficient methods and administration, to any other in the State. He has always been able to maintain cordial relations with the Board of Supervisors, who have not been slow to recognize his practical and efficient methods and his good judgment in making use of the public funds in the interest of both his charges and the tax payers. At a banquet which he tendered the Board of Supervisors at the close of his first administration, proof of the above friendly appreciation was shown, in the presentation by the Board of Supervisors at the close of a Masonic ring, set with diamonds and emblematic of Masonic rites between the 14th and 32nd Degrees of Masonry. Mr. Metcalf is a 32nd Degree Mason and is identified with Illiopolis Lodge, No. 521, A.F. and A.M., Kedron Chapter, No. 138, R.A.M., Springfield Council, No. 2, R. and S.M. Elwood Commandry, No. 6, K.T. and Oriental Consistory, Chicago, Ill. He also belongs to Globe Lodge, No. 325, I.O.O.F., Mechanicsburg, and to the M.W.A., No. 1522, at Lanesville. He founded the first organization of Superintendents and Matrons of County Poor Houses, and in 1909 served as President of the Illinois Association, being first elected to this office at Jacksonville, Ill., and later was reelected at Chicago. Mr. Metcalf is recognized as a broad minded, far seeing man and he is working for better conditions wherever they are needed.
At Decatur, Ill., on January 5, 1878, Mr. Metcalf was married by Rev. Richardson, to Miss Hattie Holmes, a daughter of James and Sarah (Kelly) Holmes. Mr. Holmes died at Mechanicsburg, Ill., and subsequently Mrs. Holmes married Wesley Baldwin and they reside at Mechanicsburg. Mr. and Mrs. Metcalf have two children: Elmer, who was born at Buffalo, Ill., October 10, 1889; and Lucilla, who was born at Buffalo, June 11, 1892. Both son and daughter attended the Millikin University, at Decatur, Ill. Mrs. Metcalf is a member of the Christian Church, Buffalo, Ill., and although Mr. Metcalf is not connected with any denomination, he nevertheless contributes liberally to the support of all churches and church work, irrespective of creed, his one aim and desire being to benefit his fellow men, with the belief that in so doing, he is following the Master's footsteps and teachings.