The Diary of Henry F. Metcalf

Diary #6 of my collection has been transcribed and posted! I have two diaries of Henry Metcalf. This is the first, from 1935 Pennsylvania. The second is from 1945 and will be posted laster this year. I have yet to add the list of other names mentioned in the diary… there were a LOT! His personal writings could be a comprehensive list of deaths in the area. I’ve added a PDF of the diary that can be downloaded and searched for names of people and places.

Henry F. Metcalf was born in the mid-1850’s in Pennsylvania. He was married to Pamelia Benedict Metcalf, “Granny” as she is referred to in his diary. They lived most, if not all, of their lives in Tunkhannock, Wyoming Co., Pennsylvania. I have not done extensive research on his family. But daughters, grandchildren, and other relatives are mentioned throughout his pages. He ran the Metcalf museum, filled with interesting items he purchased while traveling (almost daily). The museum was opened, based on my research, the year after this diary.

Here’s one article about the museum from the Wyoming County Press Examiner:

Here’s a sample page from the diary that illustrates a typical travel day and purchases:
Scan 60

12 thoughts on “The Diary of Henry F. Metcalf

  1. Mr. Henry F. Metcalf is my grandfather Henry Metcalf’s grandfather. I have wonderful pictures of him and the family.

    • Hello Rebecca. Henry F. Metcalfe is my 1st cousin 4x removed. I am our family historian and would be very interested in speaking with you (and seeing those photographs!).

      • I don’t know names of Henry f metcalf’s Brother/brothers or sister/sisters names only that his father died around 1860 or so and was a captain in the service and died in dushore? Pa

      • Hello Rebecca. I was so pleased to see your reply. Henry Freeman Metcalf’s father was Major Henry Harper Metcalf 24 Aug 1821- 23 Dec1864. He was born in Garsdale, Yorkshire, England (ancestral home of this line of Metcalfe’s) and died in Dushore, Sullivan, PA and is buried in Tunkhannock. His mother was Sara Ann Dana of the Wilkes-Barre Dana’s.
        His siblings were:
        Mary Genevieve Metcalf (Lewis) 1851-1933
        Emma Helen Metcalf 1854-1863
        Some list an Amy Metcalf but I haven’t found any corroborating info on that yet. There are Amy Metcalf’s that are children of relatives and I think these have been confused.
        I have more information on his ancestors (and yours) if you are interested.

        Would it be possible to see some of the photos that you have? We have no family photos of any of our Metcalf(e) ancestors.

        Again, thank you for responding.

  2. Hello Tina
    I have not checked this web page in a while (two years) I will dig up the pictures I have from when my grandfather Henry Metcalf Dunn was a baby. Has pics of Henry F. Metcalf and granny (Pameila Benedict Metcalf)in them also of Eleanor (Norky?) Metcalf and I believe her sister Marion Metcalf Tewksbury in the album. I also have a picture of a Henry Metcalf on a horse I believe in the 1860 or 65 time frame.

    • I have been researching the 58th Pennsylvania Volunteers for many years. I have written a manuscript history of the regiment and Henry Metcalf plays an important role in it, from the initial organization until the spring of 1864. I have some primary source info about him that I am willing to share. Please reply to this thread if you are interested. Jim DIRisio

  3. I can see from your earlier post that you have a pretty good genealogical summary of Henry Harper Metcalf. When he arrived in what became Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, he became associated with a former Philadelphia lawyer and judge named John Richter Jones. Jones was invested heavily in real estate in the county and Metcalf represented him in several transactions. Metcalf also served as the county’s first district attorney. I have copies of all of the documents in the PA State Archives Henry Metcalf Papers collection and have transcribed them and added footnotes for context. I would be happy to share those if you are interested.

    Jones sought Metcalf out to assist him in recruiting men from Sullivan County for the regiment he organized for Civil War service in the summer/fall of 1861. Metcalf eventually became captain of Company B, 58th PA Vols under Colonel Jones. After Jones was killed in action in May 1863, Metcalf was promoted to major and around this time, things went horribly wrong for him. His public actions became what can be described as peculiar or disturbing. By February 1864 his behavior could no longer be tolerated and Metcalf was court martialed. He was dismissed two months later.

    My research has produced only one possible explanation for what I believe was a mental/emotional breakdown that Metcalf suffered. The Metcalf Papers include a letter in which he was notified that his “dear little daughter Emily” died on 24 June 1863. This was two days before Metcalf’s first documented peculiar behavior.

    I would be interested in any insight or information you might have. Regrettably I have no image of him and would love to find and obtain permission to use it when I publish my manuscript.

      • Jodi. If the diary was written by Henry H. Metcalf who died on 23 December 1864 it could be a fantastic addition to my research. If it was the younger Henry’s (the one born in the 1850s it probably would not have much about the 58th PA Vols. Jim

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