Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Verus Hope Metzger (1859-1891)

Verus Metzger, courtesy of

  We continue our stay in Pennsylvania to highlight one Verus Hope Metzger, a native of Lycoming County who served a term in the Pennsylvania State Senate in the late 19th century. Metzger holds the sad distinction of being just two months past his 32nd birthday at the time of his death, making him the youngest politician to be profiled here. Despite his lack of years, Metzger looks to have been a figure of some repute in Lycoming County, being a former county district attorney in addition to his Senate service. 
   A lifelong resident of Lycoming County, Verus H. Metzger was born in the town of Clinton on March 25, 1859, being the son of John Jacob (1838-1900) and Endetta Metzger. A prominent man in his own right, John Metzger served Lycoming County as its district attorney from 1862-1865 and in 1876 was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. From 1889-1900 he occupied the post of President Judge of Lycoming County, serving until his death at age 62.
  Verus Metzger began his education in the Williamsport, Pennsylvania public school and later attended the Dickinson Seminary. A graduate of the Gettysburg College in the class of 1878, Metzger began the study of law under the tutelage of his father and in 1881 was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar. Verus Metzger married in 1884 to Lulu Conradi (1863-1913) and later had two children, both of whom's names are unknown at the time of this writing.
   Soon after his admittance to the bar Metzger began a law practice in Lycoming County and for a period of about five years was a member of Co. G., 12th regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard. In November 1883 he was elected as Lycoming County's District Attorney, taking office at just 24 years of age. He served three years as district attorney and in November 1886 was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate, defeating Republican nominee Daniel Lewis by a vote of 12, 440 to 8, 894.
   Taking his seat at the start of the January 1887 term, Verus Metzger was the youngest man to serve in that session, being just 28 years of age. His four-year stint in the senate saw him serve on the committees on Banks; Federal Relations; the Judiciary and Retrenchment and Reform. Metzger's term in the senate expired in December 1890 and he "retired with credit."
   Verus Metzger's life after his senate service proved to be short, and for a year prior to his death had been afflicted with diabetes (mentioned in his death notice below.) He died at his home in Williamsport on May 28, 1891, just two months after his 32nd birthday. Less than two years after the death of her husband, Lulu Metzger remarried in Elmira, New York to one Charles W. Morris, a bookkeeper employed in that city. Their marriage took place on January 12, 1893. Little is known of the remainder of Lulu's life, excepting her death at age 50 on December 27, 1913. She was later interred under the name of Lulu Conradi Morris at the Nisky Hill Cemetery in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Metzger's death notice from the Bloomsburg Columbian, June 4, 1891.

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