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George W. Metcalf

METCALF, RIDGEWAY, STRONG

Posted By: Allamakee co. Coordinator
Date: 3/4/2004 at 04:29:46

George W. Metcalf

Metcalf, George Washington, editor and publisher of the Lansing Mirror, is one of the oldest newspaper men in point of continuous service, inthe state. He came to Lansing in 1872 and has been connected with the Mirror since that time. He was born in St. Clairsville, Belmont county, Ohio, January 8, 1856. His father Enoch Metcalf, was born in Chester county, Pa., in 1810; removed to Belmont county, Ohio, at the age of 20 and died there at the age of 59 years. His wife, Abigail Ridgeway, was born in Virginia in 1814, and was brought up a Quaker. She died in Lansing, December 31, 1890, at the age of 76 years. The Metcalf family is of English origin. George W. Metcalf's career as a printer began at the age of 11 years. He had been attending school in Belmont, Ohio, up to that time, when his father noticed an advertisement in the Barnesville, Ohio, Enterprise, calling for a boy to learn the printer's trade. Young Metcalf took the place and worked there for about three years. He afterward worked on the Bellaire Independent and the Steubenville Daily News. He set the first type on that paper, and it was his only experience in a daily newspaper office. Coming to Lansing, Iowa, in 1872, he served as foreman in the office of the Mirror, and when his brother, James T. Metcalf, now superintendent of the money order office in Washington, D.C. was appointed superintendent of the census in 1880, he leased the office to George W. Metcalf and E.M. Woodward, now deceased, who was afterward county attorney of Allamakee county. Three years later Mr. Woodward removed to Minnesota and Mr. Metcalf employed Dick Haney to edit the Mirror, while he continued to do the mechanical work. Mr. Haney is now judge of the supreme court of South Dakota, and lives at Pierre. In April, 1883, Mr. Metcalf took editorial charge of the paper and has continued in its control ever since, with increasing success. His office has been called "the parlor printing office of Iowa," by old printers and those who have examined many offices. This compliment has been earned by the enforcement of Mr. Metcalf's rule to have "everything in its place, and a place for everything." In 1885 the Mirror was almost destroyed by fire, but by the determined efforts of the editor the paper never lost an issue, although he was compelled to drive thirty-six miles overland to have his press work done. To-day he has a thoroughly equipped printing office, with a circulation of about 1,200, an excellent business for a county paper. Those who have tried it know that such results cannot be accomplished without good management and plenty of push. Mr. Metcalf has accomplished all this alone, for the he commenced without capital.

In 1875 Mr. Metcalf was married to Miss Eva Strong. They have four children, the oldest son, Herbert J., born August 24, 1879, is now editor of the New Albin Globe, and is perhaps the youngest editor in the state. George W., born July 4, 1883, is employed on the Mirror. A daughter, Edna May, born September 4, 1876, is married and resides in Chicago.

The Mirror and its editor have always supported the republican ticket and have done their share towards advancing the interests of the party at all times, loyally supporting its candidates in nation, state and county. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

-source: Biographies and Portraits of the Progressive Men of Iowa, Leaders in Business, Politics and the Professions; 1899, Volume I

-transcribed by S. Ferrall


 

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