Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Girls -- Callie

It’s interesting that Caroline “Callie” Metzner followed a similar path as older sister Delana.  But before we get to that, a little background.   

Callie was born in St. Louisville, Ohio to William and Barbara Metzner. There are discrepancies in her birth year – it’s either 1861 or 1866.  Her death certificate records it as 1866, but it was her stepson who reported it and he may not have been entirely sure of the year.  In genealogy this can happen, and does happen.  I suspect that Callie was born in 1861 and here is why. The first public record of Callie is the 1870 census. She is recorded as 9 years old and living with her parents and siblings. Since this is the record closest to her actual birth year, it’s likely that it’s the most correct. Then in 1880 she was recorded as 19 -- again placing her birth around 1861.

By 1880 Callie has left her childhood home in Licking County to keep house for the Bell family of Knox County.  If you recall, her sister Delana was also out of the Metzner home in 1880 and working as a servant in a different household -- a very common practice for young, unmarried women.
The Newark Advocate, 11 April 1908

What is especially interesting is that both Delana and Callie married widowers with young children.  In 1888 Callie married the widower Columbus S. Hall of Knox County. His deceased wife, Mary V. Niebel, had given birth to their 6th child, Hattie Ann, on March 30 1885, then Mary died 11 days later, almost certainly from complications due to childbirth.  Columbus found himself with a new baby and small children and needed someone to immediately care for all of them. I like to think that Callie stepped into the picture at that point (in 1885) but we can't be certain because Callie and Columbus didn't marry for another three years (in 1888).  It would have been very improper for a young unmarried woman to live in the home of a widowed man for 3 years.  Perhaps Columbus farmed his kids out to relatives for a few years until he found a suitable wife.  Once married to Callie, the children would have come back home.  Now, of course, we don't know that this is actually what happened. Callie may have moved in to care for the family as soon as Mary died, but there are no records to prove it.   

Callie and Columbus never had any children.  Was that because their marriage was one of convenience? Or was Callie unable to have children?  What we do know is that Callie died on June 15, 1910 at age 49 due to complications from tuberculosis from which she had suffered for 18 months. Her obituary doesn't mention the TB but does indicate the sudden complication that caused her death:

Unidentified newspaper, Newark, Ohio, 15 June 1910

Callie is a good example of how records of 19th century women can be very sparse.  Her husband Columbus is well documented however  – not just because he was a man, but because he was a well-known local veterinarian and held the office of mayor for the city of Utica, Ohio. Having a prominent stature in the community can also provide fodder for newspapers when things go awry.  For Columbus, it happened through his daughter Hattie. Excerpts from newspaper accounts tell the events that captured the attention of the Hall family and the town of Utica for two weeks at the end of the 19th century.  Note, in one of the excerpts there is a single reference to Hattie's stepmother (Callie Metzner Hall).

Newark Daily Advocate, 27 Dec 1899

Newark Daily Advocate, 28 Dec 1899

Newark Daily Advocate, 1 Jan 1900

Newark Daily Advocate, 6 Jan 1900. This is the article that mentions her "stepmother" i.e., Callie Metzner.

In the end, 28-year-old Thomas Rogers of Spring Lake, Michigan was arrested for the abduction of Hattie Hall.  It appears that she ran away and met Rogers in Chicago.  Because Rogers was an adult, he was tried and convicted of abduction of a minor and sentenced to one year in the Illinois State Penitentiary.

Nothing is forthcoming about Hattie's life after this event. The only other record found for her was her death record.  She died on May 25, 1911 in Columbus, Ohio.  She was 26 years old and death was caused from a morphine overdose. Oh my ...  I wonder what truly went on with Hattie for her to reach this sad end.

Her father Columbus, the husband of our Caroline "Callie" Metzner, died on 27 Oct 1920 in Mt. Vernon, Ohio.  He was 67 years old. 


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