GEO. W. VAN METRE DIES IN MARTINSBURG
Brother of J.M. Van Metre of Columbia Succumbs to Pneumonia.
News has been received in Columbia of the death at Martinsburg, W. Va. of George
W. Van Metre, brother of J. M. Van Metre of Columbia and of Mrs. A. F.
Funderburk of Pageland. The funeral services were held at Martinsburg and the
body was laid to rest in Green Hill cemetery that city.
Mr. Van Metre, who was one of Martinsburg’s foremost citizens, was ill only a
few days. Pneumonia caused his death.
The Martinsburg Journal in a detailed account of Mr. Van Metre’s life and death
said in part:
“Mr. Van Metre came from one of the oldest families of this section, his
ancestors being among the early settlers. He was a lifelong resident of the
county, and was born near the Opequon. He was a son of the late James and
Catherine Van Metre. He was educated in Lebanon Valley collage, Pa. and also
graduated as a civil engineer from the International Correspondence School of
Scranton, Pa. about 40 years ago. Since then he had been elected on numerous
occasions as county engineer and in the performance of these duties, and in his
capacity as a private civil engineer, he had covered practically every foot of
ground in Berkeley county and in the city of Martinsburg. By reason of this he
had a most extensive knowledge of property lines, family histories, topography
of the city and county and various stratum, minerals and metals of the county;
animal and bird life, and was at home day or night in any part of the county.”
“He was a reliable and unfailing source of information on any and all subjects
connected with Berkeley county and his hobby was recording meteorological data.
For many years he had been government weather observer in this city and
frequently was called upon to give expert testimony in courts of this section
relating to different conditions of weather, whether it rained or was sunshine
on a certain day in legal dispute and often litigants would submit property line
disputes to his decision.”
“Mr. Van Metre was a practical business man and at one time farmer, his holdings
being substantial, and was possessed of sufficient means to enable him to devote
more or less of his time to scientific problems. He was known to every man,
woman and child and his love for the little ones made him popular with the boys
and girls of several generations. But above all, he was close student of nature
and was never happier than when rambling through the mountains, hills and
valleys of his beloved county, and in all of his travels in other parts of the
country and abroad he came back with a greater love and appreciation for
“In 1898 he married Miss Rosie Ferrel of near Hedgesville, who survives him with
two brothers, I. D. Van Metre, of “Stone House Farm”, J. M. Van Metre of
Columbia, S.C. and two sisters, Mrs. A. F. Funderburk of Pageland, S.C., and
Mrs. P. C. Myers of Hedgesville.”
“The death of Mr. Van Metre removes a man whose loss will be felt in the
community he has so long been intimately associated with public and private life
of the county that it will be difficult to replace him. At the time of his death
he was county surveyor and was perhaps equally well known throughout the Eastern
Panhandle. He was genial in manner and an entertaining conversationalist.
From: The State, Columbia, South Carolina, November 20, 1922