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First Name: Wilder

Last Name: Metcalf

Birthplace: Milo, ME, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Stevens

Date of Birth: 10 September 1855

Date of Death: 1935

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served:
Wilder Stevens Metcalf

•  Spanish-American War (1898)
•  Philippine-American War (1899 - 1902)
•  Mexican Expedition (1916 - 1917)


Wilder Stevens Metcalf
Brigadier General, U.S. Army

Wilder Stevens Metcalf was born on 10 September 1855 in Milo, ME. He was the son of Isaac Metcalf, a native of Royalston, MA, who was a Civil Engineer, and Antoinette Brigham Putnam, a native of New Hampshire and daughter of Rev. John Milton Putnam, a Congregational minister. The Putnam family was one of New England's staunchest Revolutionary families. Isaac S. Metcalf served as a Colonel in the Ohio Home Guard during the Civil war, being too old for active service in the field.

Metcalf grew to manhood in Elyria, OH, and graduated from Elyria High School in 1872. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1878. From 1878-87, he resided in Wellington, OH, where he worked as a bookkeeper with a wholesale cheese and butter firm. In 1887 he moved to Lawrence, KS, and, on 1 April became the partner of Edward Russell in the farm mortgage business. After Russell's death in 1898, Metcalf continued the business alone.

Prior to leaving Ohio, Metcalf served in the Ohio National Guard for three years, beginning as a Private and reaching the rank of First Lieutenant. At Lawrence, he enlisted as a Private in the Kansas National Guard and subsequently held every position in the First Infantry of the Kansas National Guard, from Private up to Colonel.

He was with the Regiment in 1898 when the Spanish-American war broke out and, upon the outbreak of that war, was commissioned a Major of the Twentieth Kansas Regiment under Colonel Frederick Funston. He went to San Francisco with his Regiment, and then to the Philippines, where it spent one year in the war with the Filipinos. Meanwhile, upon Colonel Funston's promotion to Brigadier General, Major Metcalf was elected Colonel of the Regiment and received every vote in the Regiment but one. From May 1899 until he mustered out, he was in command of this Regiment in the insurrection that prevailed in the Philippines. In October, his Regiment returned home, and he was mustered out at San Francisco. He was twice wounded during this service.

In the fall of 1899, Metcalf was brevetted Brigadier General by President McKinley and, upon his return to Lawrence from the Philippines service, he again became the Colonel of the First Infantry of the Kansas National Guard.

In December 1901, without any solicitation upon his part, Metcalf was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt as U.S. Pension Agent, at Topeka, KS. He took charge of the office on 1 March 1902, and held the position until 1 September 1910, having been reappointed by Roosevelt on 30 January 1906.

In 1909 he was appointed by the Secretary of War as a member of the National Militia Board, which consisted of five members, and his Kansas National Guard Regiment served on the Mexican border in 1916.

Metcalf retired from active service as Kansas National Guard Commander in 1919.

Metcalf was awarded the Purple Heart by the War Department in recognition of his services on 23 February and 29 March 1899 while serving as a Major in the Twentieth Kansas Volunteer Infantry in the Philippines.

In Retirement

Metcalf was a member of the Masonic order, being a Knight Templar and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He was also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; the Army and Navy Club of Washington, DC; the Kansas City and University Clubs of Kansas City, MO; and the Topeka Club of Topeka. He also belonged to the Military Order of Foreign Wars, to the Spanish-American War Veterans, to the Army of the Philippines, and to the Military Order of the Carabas.


Metcalf was married on 30 July 1878 to Mary Eliza Crosier of Wellington, OH, who died on 8 September 1914. He later married Alice L. Bullene.

Death and Burial

Wilder Stevens Metcalf died in 1935 and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, KS.

Honoree ID: 2860   Created by: MHOH




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