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Dr. Metz

Raising a Victorian Gentleman

family portrait

Born in the Northern Indiana county of Whitley on January 17, 1887, Arthur Ray Metz was reared by his parents Ozias and Fanny (Rumsyre) Metz on a prosperous farm as a son of the middle class. Descended from a French-born Swiss immigrant, Jacob Metz, who came to this country about 1775 and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the Metz family appears to have been hard-working and God-fearing: a fine example of the American work ethic and a model of the late Victorian family.

The family placed a great deal of emphasis on education; still present in the Metz collection of memorabilia are many of young Arthur's early textbooks, including After School Stories for the Young, 1892, Bancroft's 2nd Reader, 1883, and Indiana Educational Series Complete Arithmetic, 1886 (with Arthur's hand traced in ink inside the front cover and inscribed "Arthur Metz is a bad boy").

Having inherited his mother's preservationist instincts—Mother Metz kept a photograph album of the family accomplishments that included the children dressed in their best, as well as photographs of the family's most prized possession, the farm—as well as the Victorian décor sensibility (no room was ever too crowded with objects and memorabilia), Arthur saved everything he ever owned, including the yearbooks of his education at the schools of South Whitley.

family homeArthur Metz graduated in 1909 with a bachelor of arts degree from Indiana University and received his medical degree from Rush Medical College of the University of Chicago in 1911. He served an internship at Cincinnati General Hospital for eighteen months from 1911 to 1913. Furthermore, in 1913 he became assistant to the chief surgeon of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Co. (East Lines), the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. in the Chicago terminal, and the Chicago Union Station Co., holding the position with the last-named company for many years. Returning to Chicago in 1913, he took the post of resident surgeon at Monroe Street Hospital. In 1914 the hospital closed and moved into the new Washington Boulevard Hospital, and Metz continued on as resident surgeon, eventually advancing to chief surgeon and president of the hospital staff in 1928.

young Arthur During his lifetime he was a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery; a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Medical Association; an honorary member of Minneapolis (Minn.) Surgical Society; and a member of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (pres. 1952); American Association of Industrial Physicians and Surgeons; Association of American Railroads; American Association of Railway Surgeons; Association of Surgeons of the Pennsylvania Railroad (pres. 1947); Radiological Society of North America, Western (pres. 1946) and Central surgical associations; Chicago Surgical Society (pres. 1937); Illinois and Chicago medical societies; Chicago Roentgen-Ray Society, and Institute of Medicine of Chicago. He died on June 15, 1963.

Photo captions, top to bottom:  1. From the Metz Family Album; l. to r.: Arthur Metz, age 3 or 4 (?); mother, Fanny Metz; older brother, Omer Metz   2. From the Metz Family Album; The Metz Family Farm, Whitley, Indiana; l. to r.: mother Fanny and Arthur Metz, 6 weeks old; Omer Metz; Maud, a cousin(?)   3. From the Metz Family Album; Arthur Metz, age 5, in his best Victorian Sunday garb
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