Emerson Metoxen

In one of my earliest blogs, I mentioned learning something at the very first book talk I ever gave. That began a trend as it is not unusual for an attendee to inform me about something I didn’t know. At a recent talk at a nearby retirement home, a resident asked me about Emerson Metoxen. About all I knew about him was his name because he attended Carlisle Indian School in its latter days after athletics were deemphasized. So, I was of little help to the woman who asked if I knew anything about the man she called “Uncle Chief.” I thought little further about the conversation as I am behind schedule on several projects until I received a letter in the mail.

That letter contained two old newspaper articles about Emerson Metoxen, one of which was written after he was inducted into the Lebanon Valley College Hall of Fame and the other after he died in 1989. Also included was what appears to be a flyer that tells about Metoxen’s activities at Valley Forge summer camps after his retirement as an educator. All three pieces contain biographical information about him. His achievements after leaving Carlisle were many and his life story deserves documenting.

But where to document his well-lived life is the question. He had the misfortune of being too young to star on the great Carlisle teams as he was just getting playing time as a substitute when WWI brought football at Carlisle to an end. So, he doesn’t fit well into Wisconsin’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals. However, he was an Oneida and several Oneidas’ life stories are included in that book. Perhaps a smaller (and less expensive to buy) book focused on Oneida football players would provide an appropriate place to tell his story. I’d like to hear (read) your thoughts on that idea.

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