Black and white photograph of John Van B. Metts, Sr., labeled "Uncle Jack at Camp Severe, 1917." This photograph was probably taken at Camp Sevier, SC, before the soldiers were shipped overseas. John is in the middle front row.
John Van Bokkelen Metts, Sr. (1876-1959) was born in Wilmington. He attended Tileston Normal School and Cape Fear Military Academy. In 1896, Metts enlisted in the Wilmington Light Infantry and fought in the Mexican War, eventually becoming a Colonel. During World War I, he commanded the 119th Infantry of the 30th (Old Hickory) Division, and rose to the rank of Major General. He received the Distinguished Service Medal. After the war, Metts joined the Walker Taylor Insurance Company, and in 1900 he established his own general insurance business. He served as a member of the Board of County Commissioners from 1910 to 1913. He was appointed the North Carolina Adjutant General in 1920 by Governor Thomas W. Bickett and he moved to Raleigh, NC to assume the position. During Metts' career in Raleigh, he reorganized the North Carolina National Guard and directed the Selective Service. He is buried in Oakdale Cemetery.
Metts, John VanB. (John VanBokkelen), 1876-1959; New Hanover County Board of Commissioners; World War, 1914-1918
Helen Metts Styes
Permission for use given to the New Hanover County Public Library by Helen Metts Styes in 2013