Monday, July 9, 2012

Featured Manuscript Collection: July/August

Metz Family Papers
MSS 05-02
Finding Aid

The Metz Family Papers contains documents from two generations of Metz family members. The bulk of the collection relates to Walter Ben Metz (1898-1994) of Desoto, Missouri, and Baring Cross (North Little Rock), Arkansas. His papers include bibliographic information, personal correspondence, scrapbooks, and photographs. Other family members included are Walter’s parents, Ben Metz and Winnie Metz McDonald, and his brother, Lewis H. Metz.
Walter B. Metz's passport, 1922
Box 1, File 1

Walter B. Metz began life as a railroad machinist, but left his job to explore South America. He was hired by Standard Oil and sent to South America to survey sources of petroleum in the 1920s. Metz spent twelve years traveling and working in Bolivia, Brazil, and Venezuela. He received a commendation from the Venezuelan government for his humanitarian work and was a member of New York City’s International Explorer’s Club. His travels to South America and experiences in the military are documented in this collection through correspondence and scrapbooks.

Metz was a longtime resident of Baring Cross (North Little Rock), Arkansas. After retiring from the Air Force in 1965 as a civilian procurement inspector, he extensively documented life in the greater Little Rock area and contributed columns to the North Little Rock Times in the 1970s and 1980s.
Walter B. and Lewis H. Metz, ca. 1918
Box 1, File 9, Item 7

Lewis Henry Metz (1895-1985) was also a railroad machinist. He had a membership with International Association of Machinist Apprentices and worked for Missouri Pacific in Arkansas. Metz served in the Navy during World War I and lived in California before returning to Arkansas later in life.
International Association of Machinist Apprentices membership cards for Walter B. (1914) and Lewis H. Metz (1911). Notice that Lewis signed Walter's card as secretary.
Box 1, File 1 and Box 1, File 5

Ben Metz (born ca. 1863), father of Walter B. and Lewis H. Metz, worked as a machinist for Missouri Pacific in Desoto, Missouri, beginning in 1879. Following a job opportunity, he found his way to Arkansas in 1893, and married Winnette Belle Holly soon after.

Letter from Ben to Winnetta, November 27, 1893
Box 1, File 6

Winnetta Holly Metz (born ca. 1874), mother of Walter B. and Lewis H. Metz, married A. B. McDonald of Baring Cross in 1904. She was one of the first people in the Baring Cross community to own a camera. Many of her photographs are included in this collection.

May Bowen on her horse “Moppy” for a ride down 9th Street, 1903
Box 1, File 10, Item 6
Stay tuned - more photographs from the Metz Family Papers will be featured on the blog this month!


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