The Fight Over the Druce Millions

Chapter 1

If Theobold Metzger von Weibnom showed an early love of wandering and a passion for adventure, he came by it naturally as his father, Mathias Metzger, was rover all his life. But the soon gathered more moss as well as polish in his rolling stone career, and before he died he had amassed more wealth than his father had ever dreamed of in his rosiest hours.

His father had, however, in his travels, acquired a larger family of children by far than the son did, as the latter ended his days a bachelor and as poor in children as his father was in worldly goods. And the fact that he had no direct heirs will partly explain later on , the diversion of his property which opened the way for a contest which has gone on to this day and will in all likelihood go on forever.

Birth of General Metzger

In the father's trail of many children, little Theobold, who first saw the light December 21, 1626, at Kettenheim, near Alzel, in Rhein-Hessia, was left at Weibnom or Weibenheim, his mother's birthplace to be reared under the rod of a preacher who had been a friend of the mother's family.

True to his inherited nomadic instinct, however, he grew restless under the misinterial leash and soon broke away altogether in search of novelty and adventure.

Reaching Vienna, and searching for military glory in those most militant days, he enrolled himself under Duke Charles of Lothringen and went with the duke back to the Netherlands. He was not long in winning his soldier spurs and soon attracted attention by his ability and bravery. He especially distinguished himself in the battle of Fleurus and was made general of cavalry of the United Netherlands and commander of Breda in the province of North Brabant, a fortified town dating back to the middle of the 14th century, and whose stormy career is a part of Holland history.

Amassed The Fortune

General Metzger's travels ended at Breda and here he was content to spend the last 20 years of his life, indeed be no mean one even in these modern days of the Astors and the Rockefellers as it was estimated to amount, before he died, to some 20 million gulden, not far from 8,000,000.

The death of General Metzger, which occurred February 23, 1891 at the age of 65, was sudden and peculiar. Like all the lords and nobles of the land, he had gone to Graven Hage to swear allegiance to William III of Great Britain and Regent of the Netherlands. Soon after reaching the house of the Duke of Chamburg, he was stricken with paralysis and, despite the most heroic efforts of the royal physician himself, he died the same day. Late, by the king's order, the body was placed in a a vault in the church on High Street in Breda with extraordinary honors.

Chapter 2

Many covetous eyes were turned toward the big estate left by the rich bachelor commander of Breda, but among them none more covetous than those of the Prince of Orange, who had but two years before been crowned King William III of Great Britain. William not only had favorites to reward and war debts to repay but he still had Louis XIV of France to fight. To acquire General Metzger's 20 million gulden to finance these efforts were very tempting.

But there was a will in the way, a document made out by Metzger just three weeks before his death. There were also heirs, and many of them to be reckoned with, for though Metzger died childless he wasn't without needy relations, and indeed was more than ordinarily blessed with brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces. He had also taken pains to name as executor and administrator his friend Franz Antonius Schulenburg, and had left directions to that functionary to give proper notice of his death to his relatives.

Clever Help

In this juncture the king found valuable assistance in the person of his legal counselor, Willhelm von Schuylenburg. On the day following Metzger's death, February 24, 1691, the king officially took possession (in trust) of the estate and turned it over to the care of his counselor with instructions to hold it until it could be ascertained whether there was a will, whether heirs had been named and an executor appointed, etc. At the same time, the estate was duly "sealed".

But the king's counselor was wonderfully unsuccessful in finding the executor named in the will, and equally unsuccessful in discovering the legal heirs. On March 18, a little over three weeks after Metzger's death, the seals of the estate were opened by the counselor in the presence of a commissioner and an elaborate inventory taken. In the official report of the proceeding, however, no mention is found of the contents of the will, of the disposition of the estate, of the royal order of February 24, 1691, or the presence of the executor named in the will.

To complete this remarkable proceeding , Schuylenburg technically complied with the law and the royal instructions, but in fact nullified the effect thereof, by inserting an obscure advertisement in a Breda paper giving notice of the death of "General Weibnom" and requisition his heirs to appear with their claims.

Used Another Name

"General Weibnom" was a happy device for the counselor and his king. None of the rightful heirs recognized is as the name of their brother and uncle, General Metzger, and none, therefore, at this time, appeared to claim the property.

Then the time was ripe for seizure of the estate by the king. No grass was permitted to grow under the royal feet of this 17th century specimen of frenzied finance. On May 8, 1692, he gave order by which he took possession of the vast property for "want of heirs" at the same time rewarding his faithful counselor with a present (out of state) of 25,000 guilden.

Chapter 3

Like many another, monarch, William III had a favorite courtier on whom he leaned for support when other props failed him and upon whom he lavished material favors as well as royal smiles. His name had been plain Wilhelm von Bentinck in the Netherlands where he had started on his upward career as a page of honor to the Prince of Orange, but a transformation took place upon his arrival in England. The death of Thomas Weston in Flanders monastery had extinguished the title of Earl of Portland and shortly before the coronation of William as kin of Great Britain in 1689, he had elevated his favorite and conferred that title upon him.

A King's Favorite

Wilhelm von Betinck became the king's chief advisor and was made ambassador to Paris, but through the gifts and estates lavished upon him by his doting sovereign, he became immensely rich. Among these estates was that left by Theobold Metzger von Weibnom, which William had succeeded in getting possession of. How much of this particular estate the Earl of Portland actually got into his hands is a matter of dispute, some claiming that the state of Holland has to this day kept a large part of it thus further illustrating the proverb that "of an estate in Holland, nothing can be realized." However that may be, King William turned it over to his favorite, and, if he did not get all of it, and if the Portlands of the present day should ever run short of funds, they can try their hands at that most hopeless of undertakings, drawing blood out of a Dutch turnip.

Got Metzger Estate

But the Metzger estates were enriched by a disputed royal title to tand as least a portion of the Metzger claimants. With 135,820 acres of land in Ireland and granted by William tothe Portland earl and with a large number of English manors, including that of East Greenwich, secured in the same way, added to what he secured from the Metzger estate in Holland, it can readily be believed that when he died he was generally reputed to be the wealthiest subject in all Europe.

Thus, unwittingly of course, was the foundation laid for a century or Portland family history which out-rivals in some of its features that of any one family known to history and makes many feats of dramatic imagination pale into tallow light. With other accessions of immense estates, originally acquired in much the same way, the property assumed immense proportions and invited attacks by claimants and claimants bogus.

Chapter IV

When the "Sun of Austerlitz" arose on the morning of December 2, 1805,bright augury of a victory that was to establish Napoleon's ascendancy in Europe, it kindled the imagination in another mind than that of the Corsican conquror and fired another soldier's heart with the determination to win or die. When General Jean Rapp, in a bold and brilliant cavalry charge routed the proud Imperial Guardsmen of the Austrians and sent them flying back before him in terror and dismay, the omen was fulfilled, the victory of the French was assured, and the dashing calvary officer was later rewarded with the command of the great "Fith Division" of Napoleon's army.

Won At Marengo

This was but one of a series of exploits in the long brilliant military career of this distinguished soldier. That career of this distinguished soldier. That carrer had begun in far off Egypt where Rapp, as aide-de-camp to Desaix, had covered himself in glory in the shadows of the pyramids. Then came the crucial battle of Marengo, which meant so much the ascendancy of the star of Bonaparte. In that battle, Desaix lost his life and Rapp became aide-de-camp to Napoleon. From that day to the end of the latter's meteoric carrer, Rapp was ever at his side in victory and defeat.

For his service in the battle of Aspern, he was made a "count of the Empire", in 1809. New honors came to him 1811 when he received the cross of grand officer in the Legion of Honor. He marched to moscow with Napoleon, and marched back with him on hte direful retreat, cheerfully facing every bicissitude of that fatal campaign, after having with equal fidelity, urged his leader to forego it and pointing out to him the dangers that lurked in it.

Dafender of Danzig

But his achevements did not end there. As "Defender of Danzig" at great odds against a powerful Russian army he added new laurels to his fame, not only for bravery and military resourcefulness, but for his humanity. When he finally yielded, it was not to superior arms but to gaunt and merciless Famine. During the seige, he had also shown such consideration to the residents of the town that in their gratitude they presented him with a magnificent sword set with diamonds. That the Russian victors violated the articles of capitulation and sent to Defender of Danzig and his garrison prisoners to Russia was only another incident of welfare to him.

Rapp returned to France in July, 1814. In March of the following year he was sent by Louis XVIII to oppose Napoleon's return but, when the practical defection by the entire army made the resistance impossible, he himself went over to this old commander's side and was appointed by him as commander-in-chief of the Army of the Rhine and "Peer of France." He was reinstated in the French army by Louis XVIII in 1818.

This ends Rapp's strictly military career which, like his life, was almost contemporaneous with that of the noted Corsican, Rapp having been born three years after Napoleon and dying just six months after the latter had breathed his last in his far away island prison at St. Helena.

Weber Ancestor

But there are certain other incidents in this heroes life that bring him very close to the story that is here being told and that leads to the center of the retrospective stage in the homes of a Columbus, Ohio Weber family: Louisa Weber (Shaub); with two children; Henry A. Weber with two children; Herman Weber with three children; Amelia, Charles, Lena and Frederick Weber with no children; and George Weber with three childen.

To get right to the heart of this history, General Jean Rapp is here introduced as none other than the brother of the great-grandmother of the above-named Webers and at the same time a great nephew of another notable personage already introduced in this story, the adventurous bachelor of the Neterlands, General Theobaold Metzger bon Webnom. Rapp, who was born April 27, 1772, at Komar (Alsace) never entirely forgot his relationship to Mezger during the many strenuos years of his military service in the French army and, in the latter years of his life, he was determined to get a slice of the estate if there was any possible way of accomplishing that. For a period he is reported as being himself commander of Breda, as his uncle had been, and while there he secured all of the information he could with diligence dig up regarding the suppressed will and all the circumstances surrounding Metzger's death and the manipulation of his estate by the wily counselor of King William III.

Almost Succeeded

So well did he do his work that he is reported as having finally succeeded in compelling the temporary surrender of the will by a Breda magistrate. This done, according to the story, the will was taken to Strasbourg and a fight begun in the courts to secure at least a portion of the property as it was at that time almost in his hands. The case he had nearly pushed to a successful goal fell through and a long interval in the fight for the Metzger estate ensued.

But this does not end the interesting incidents of Rapp's life nor the incidents that have relationship to the people of today on this side of the Atlantic.

Readers of French history will readily recall the checkered career of Napoleon's brother Jerome. They will recall that he married Miss Elizabeth Patterson of Baltimore giving much offense thereby to his brother, the emperor, whose political ambition rode rough shod over conjugal affections and marital ties. They will also recall that the present (1907) secretery of the Navy in the cabinet of President (Theodore) Roosevelt is a descendant of this union nullifed by France by its remorseless ruler.

Arrested a Kin

General Rapp had a peculiar experience with Jerome Bonaparte. It occurred while the latter was having the time of his life as King of Westpahalia. The sound of revelry scarce ever died out in that court while Jerome wielded the royal baton. There was riotous living at the expense of the well taxed subjects. The hard earned sous of the peasants were squandered in princely manner. The favorites of the king wallowed in luxurious profigacy. The ship for the estate was heading fast for the rocks. Suddenly there came a rude awakening. A royal feast was at its height one night. The king was flush with wine and flattery. There was no thought of time or duty or the morrow. Abandoned merriment had reached its reckless zenith.

The tramp of armed men was heard. Wonder gave way to dismay as General Rapp and his staff entered the ballroom sans ceremony and placed the drunken Jerome under arrest.

"By whose orders?" Jerome defiantly asked. "The Emporer's," was Rapp's laconic but all sufficient reply.

Chapter V

This story centers on the lineage of Caroline Tascher, born 1813, died 1851 and Frederick Weber, born 1806, and died 1885. Of interest to readers will be the lineage of Frederick's son, George Weber, who was married to his second cousin, Amelia Hebig. As it happens, George and Amelia shared a common great-grandfather,the aforementioned sister to General Jean Rapp and, therefore, had the same great-great-great-great grandfather, Mathias Metzger, the father of Theobold Metzger von Weibnom.

General Rapp's Adopted Family

The summer of 1800 was spent very harmoniously by Napoleon and Josephine at Malmaison, which had been newly decorated and furnished with great taste. The presence of daughter Hortense, her companions, of Bonaparte's pretty sisters, and of his handsome aides-de-camp,among them General Jean Rapp, made the house very lively. Josephine and Napoleon merrily joined in the lawn games and dances.

Later that year, contrary to his usual custom, First Consul Bonaparte announced that he and his family would attend a grand perfomance of Hayden's "Creation." But, exhausted by the mental exertions of the day, he sank into an easy chair after dinner and fell into a deep sleep, from which he was aroused when the moment came to set out. He stumbled sleepily off to his carriage, leaving Josephine, Hortense, and his sister to follow with General Rapp.

Josephine, in honor of the occassion, wore for the first time a magnificent cashmere shawl just sent to her from Constantinople. She was about to follow her husband when Rapp suddenly remarked: "Let me make a suggestion, madame; you have not put on your shawl as beomingly as usual."

Josephine, smiling indulgently, bade her escort kindly arrange the folds to suit his fancy and patiently allowed him to redrape it, until Madame Murat, Bonaparte's sister, exclaimed that her brother had driven off and they would be late. In this way it happened that Bonaparte was slightly ahead of his party. As he drove through one of the narrow streets leading to the opera house,there was a sudden fearful explosion of infernal machine placed there on purpose to kill him; but as it went off a second too late,his cariage remained unharmed. Many nearby people, however, were killed and others sorely wounded. But the carriage containing Josephine, Genreal Rapp, Hortense, and Madame Murat, which should have been directly behind the First Consul's, was fortunately too far away to suffer serious damage, although a splinter from the shattered windows slightly cut Hortense's cheek.

Mistaking the explosion for a salvo of artillery, Bonaparte bade his coachman drive on. Although apparently unmoved, he was anxious about his wife and dispatched an aide-de-camp to see if she were safe. This man reached the scene of the accident in time to assure a fainting Josephine of her husband's safety. They hurried on to the opera house where Rapp appeared first at the consular box. Bonaparte, seeing him, breathlessly whispered; "Josephine," but at the same moment,his eyes rested upon his wife, who, although was pale and trembling, was unharmed.

Chapter IV

The Druce Double In Center Stage In A London Police Court

Let us take up the English thread of our story where it was dropped at the beginning of the 18th century, when William III's Dutch favorite, William Bentinck, the Earl of Portland, upon whom he had lavished the disputed royal title to the millions left by General Theobold Metzger in Holland, passed from the stage in 1709 and left the boards clear for generations of Portlands and who were focused (1907) in a London law suit based on one of the most astonishing revelations of a "double life" that English or any other history records.

The 1907 Druce case was seemingly the outcome of the previous two hundred years of Portland family history whose first possessions represented royal plunder, and the second accession of whose wealth in the 18th century came to it, through a Cavendish marriage, from property wrested by King Henry VIII from the Church of Rome, notably the beautiful and famous Welbeck Abbey. The 1907 active claimant to these estates, George Hollamby Druce, the Australian sailor, claimed that his grandfather, Thomas C. Druce was in fact the Fifth Duke of Portland and the latter, anxious to get rid of his truoblesome "double" held solemn obsequies over a coffin with a fake corpse consisting of 200 pounds of lead.

The Tascher/Weber heirs to the Metzger estate, unable to push their claim due to a lack of funds, watched with interest the contest in the Marylebone police court in the British metropolis.

Very Eccentric

"The eccentric Fifth Duke' lived to be 79 and is described as being rarely seen and never heard. He was 54 when he succeeded to the title in 1854, and as years went by he became more shy and more of a recluse. He was an odd looking man who wore old fashioned "peg tops," tied around the ankles, his silk "tile" was nearly two feet in altitude. He was wont to appear in the depth of winter with no fewer than six coats - three merino frocks and three overcoats. He never touched "butcher" meat but had a fresh chicken killed for him every morning.

His mania for privacy is said to have been characteristic of many members of his family after reaching middle age. The 1907 Druce of Portland who was resting uneasy under the Druce heir lawsuit is said, in reports from London, to have been manifesting some symptoms of this same peculiarity.

Much has been written about the old Fifth Duke and his roamings at Welbeck Abbey. In the corridors he had niches built in the walls and had orders issued to every servant to hide himself in one of these retreats upon hearing the approach of his master's footsteps. Miles of walls and tunnels were constructed under the abbey. Among these rooms are a gorgeous picture gallery, a ballroom and a magnificent riding school. The latter room is 385 feet long, 61 feet high and has a glass and iron roof upheld by 50 lavishly decorated pillars. The walls of these subterranean rooms are enormously thick and impervious to dampness.

All these eccentricities were being aired in the 1907 Druce case as the mother of the sailor claimant swore that her father, Thomas C. Druce, showed precisly the same odd traits as proprietor of the bazaar or upholsterer's shop on Baker street in London. She claimed that Thomas C. constructed underground tunnels beneath his Baker street shop and also went off on long mysterious trips returning without any explanation of where he had gone or what he had been doing.

Strong Evidence

This woman, Mrs. Anna Maria Druce, succeeded in getting a witness, Robert Caldwell of Staten Island, N.Y. to swear that, in conjunction with the Duke, he arranged the mock funeral of T.C. Druce in 1864 and that he personally put the lead in the coffin and looked after the funeral arrangements. Henry Marks, a London fishmonger testified that he served Druce with fish daily for several years and that after 1864 Druce never appeared at his place to order fish but that fish orders continued from that date regularly from the duke's castle.

Another witness, a photographer, swore that he took a photograph of Druce wearing the false beard which the Druce claimants say the duke always wore when masquerading as Druce.

Chapter VII

Introducing the Tascher Family

The time has now come for the entree of the name Tascher. As it is a salient feature it is fitting to present its credentials.

Tascher is a family name traceable in some form back to the 12th century but becoming conspicuous and contributory to this story in the latter part of the 17th century. Up to that time its history is largely French. After the religious upheaval which then shook France to its foundations, the Protestant end of the family was scattered to the four winds.

The branch, which, fleeing for its life, found refuge in Germany, and later another haven in America, is the one which has to do mainly with the family history now being told. The Weber family, featured in Chapter IV, are direct descendants of this branch.

Fled For Thier Lives

The religious war in France was at its height when part of its fury was directed against the Tascher family living in the old Tascher castle, which had allied itself with the Protestant forces. This old castle was located near the more famous on of Blois, on the Loire river, 35 miles from Orleans, which dated from the 13th century and where Louis XII was born and the Duke of Guise was murdered. The archives of the Department of Loir et Cher in which the Tascher castle was located, contains many records and relics of the Taschers but they all end with Huguenot banishment. One fateful night during thath bloody time, the castle was set on fire and a father and son barely escaped with their lives, fleeing to Germany. The father was Jean Pierre Tascher and the son Jean Powell Tascher. Jean Pierre Tascher was the great-grandfather of another Jean Tascher born during the latter half of the 18th century who married Carolina Fredericka von Feder. The later was the daughter of a sister of General Jean Rapp, and thus became a heiress to the Metzger estate. Jean and Carolina Tascher were respectively the grandfather and grandmother of George Weber and his brothers and sisters. The mother of George Weber was also name Caroline who married Frederick Weber.

Settled In Germany

When Jean Pierre Tascher fled with his son to Germany from his burning castle in France he took up his abode at Kaiserslautern, in the Bavarian Palatinate. This was a stronghold of Protestantism and made the refugees most welcome. Kaiserslautern is a town of ancient origin, Frederick Barbaross having built a palace there in the 12th century. In the early 1900's it was a thriving town of fifty thousand. It is an interesting fact in connection with this place that General Rapp was stationed there at one time and was honored by Napoleon as a guest on one occasion. One of the saddest incidents of the history of the French Tascher family is that of the death of two Tascher boys who were with Napoleon and Rapp on the awful retreat from Moscow and were the vicitims of its horrible exposure, deprivations and sufferings.

Maurice de Tascher, 27 year old legionary captain of the Twelfth regiment of cavalry, and Eugene de Tascher, 20, lieutenant of the Fourth regiment of light artillery were the brave young fellows sacrificed to Napoleon's merciless ambition. Their hardships and sufferings are depicted in a "funeral oration' by an older brother, Baron Ferdinand de Tascher who dedicated the speech to his heartbroken mother.

Birth of Josephine

Our story now leaps to distant Martinique, sun - kissed and volcano blasted isle of the Lesser Antilles. There one balmy day in 1763 was born a baby girl destined to be the brightest jewel in the Tascher diadem and also fated to a life as tumultuous as Mount Pelee's convulsions that later turned her birthplace into a pit of ashes.

Marie Rose Tascher (de la Pagerie), was her name, to be known later throughout the world and forever as the Empress Josephine, whom the mighty Napoleon loved, crowned and discarded. Her grandfather was a man of note in the island, Joseph Gaspard Tascher (de las Pagerie), commander of the Port of St. Peirre. He was born in France, went to the West Indies, 1726, in the French military service, and married a French woman, Francoise Boureau de la Chevaleienin in 1734. Her father, also named Joseph Gaspard, was born on Martinique in 1735, married Mlle Rose Claire des Bergers de Sannois, 1761, and was a sugar planter until his death in 1790.

The future empress of France was known in Martinique as "La Belle Creole" and early manifested a brilliant mind as well as a passionate nature and a most gracious disposiotn. Taken to France at 15 she soon became the wife of Vicompte de Beauharnais. By him she had two children destined to high honors, Eugene, her son, becoming Viceroy of Italy, and Hortense, her daughter, becoming Queen of Halland and mother of Emperor Napoleon III. Pedro II, emperor of Brazil, was also a descendant of Queen hortense.

Josephine left her husband sometime before the bloody quillotine fo the Reign of Terror ended his life and nearly terminated her own.

Two years later she married Napoleon Bonaparte and from that day dates a career of brilliance hardly paralleled among the women of the earth. Her salons at Malmaison, at Luxembourg and at the Tuilleries were for years the attractive centers of all that was intellectually brilliant, socially high and politically important in France. With mental acumen and rare political ambiton for a royal heir made him, in separating from her, was undoubtedly her lover and admirer to the last.

But Josephine was Tascher and did not forge the Taschers, some of whom she found near her in the France they had never left, but namy of whom she found scattered in Germany and elsewhere. Time and again she sent for some the exiles to return to their old home. When Napoleon was a guest of General Rapp at Kaiserslautern, at Josephine's request, he urged the Taschers there to return. They declined, largely woing to religious conditions. Josphine always referred to Jena Tascher, grandfather of George Weber, as her "cousin"and to send word to himthat both she and the emperor were anxious to have all the scattered members of the family come back to France. Josephine died at Malmaison, May 29, 1814 so that she did not live to see Napoleon's downfall at Waterloo.


The Tascher Family In America

One summer day in 1828, a German bark was beating up against a stong wind that blew across the Atlantic from the rocky coast of New England. The first glimpse of the "land of the free," the haven of so many refugees, and the realm beckoning so many storm-tossed wanderers to liberty and new fortunes, had that day dawned for the first time, a dim and welcome sight upon the eyes of the vessel's passengers, straining to catch the first precious view of the promised land.

This ship carried to America the mother and grandmother of George Weber, Carolina Fredricka von Feder (wife of Jean Tascher) and her daughter Caroline Tascher. Not as their ancestors had fled to Germany in terror and peril of their lives from their burning castle in France, did these women come to these hospitable shores, but they followed other members of their family who had preceded them by but two years to prepare a home for them amid new surroundings and in the atmosphere of new hopes and aspirations. Those who had come to prepare the way for them were Valentine and Henry Tascher, the brothers of George Weber's mother, sturdy men of pioneer mold.

Ohio Pioneers

Ohio, the young giant state of then boundless and romantic west, allured these seekers after new homes and they didd not stop until they reached the little town of Canton. It pleased them and they abided there and two years later their mother and sister joined them.

The latter was tehn a lass of twenty years but bright and fair to look upon. Young Frederick Weber, of Canton, fell in love with her, married her just four years after she came across the ocean, brought her to Columbus the same year (1833) and settled down with his young bride on a small farm which he bought just northeast of the city. As of 1907, this farm was still in the possession of the family and in years past was famous for its hospitality as testified by many German residents of Columbus who were entertained there. For nearly a century it was known as the Weber farm.

On this farm in 1838, George Weber's sister, Louisa Weber was born. She, like her brother, who was born in 1843, passed her childhood and there she first learned of the remarkable story of the Tascher family.

When Louisa was in the thirties and forties of her life a concerted effort (in which, however, she took no active part at that time) was made to unite the American heirs of the Metzger estate in pushing their claims for that property. In 1876 a formal petition was presented by Herman Marckworth, as attorney for petititoners, to the Hon. Hamilton Fish, then secretery of state, asking for protection at the hands of the United States in case a suit was institituted against the government of Holland and other alleged illegal holders of the property claimed by them.

An elaborate statement was prepared, containing in detail the devious and intricate history of the estate from the time General Metzger began accumulating it back in the middle of the 17th century, the whold being prefaced with an account of Metzger's ancestors, birth and adventurous career. But it did not take long for the the Metzger heirs to realize most keenly that a claimant without the wherewithal to push his claim, bears a most painful similitude to a sailboat with all canvass stretched when a dead calm maroons it in a glassy sea.

The becalmed heirs continued to whistle for a breeze as late as the early 1900's with no hopeful wind in the offfing. Louisa Weber Schaub, becoming personally interersted in the matter in the 1890's, paid a visit to Attorney Marckworth in Cincinnati, and laid her Tascher credentials before him.

"Your claim is one of the strongest I have seen yet, Mrs. Schaub," he said, "but it will take money to even secure you a hearing." "I have no money to spend on it," replied Mrs. Schaub, and she returned to Columbus.

Invited To France

Mrs. Schaub had been but 16 years old and her younger brother, George Weber, 11, when in 1854 Napoleon III, following the example of Josephine, through Napoleon I, sent out a recall to the scattered memebers of the once noted French Tascher family.

"I was only a girl then," Mrs. Schaub related in 1907 to reporter Charles M. Lewis fo the Columbus Sunday Dispatch, "and our family lived out of the city on little farm. No wonder that no word of that recall ever reached us. If it had it might have made a vast difference int he fortunes of our family."

Thus ends for now the story of the Metzger fortune, the history fo the French Taschers from a burning castle, families throughout America.

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