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The Stahly Cabinet Mystery Solved

Bill Warner
May 03, 2018
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[caption id="attachment_3140" align="alignleft" width="195"]Stahly cabinet The "Stahly Cabinet" on display at the Coppes Commons Hoosier Cabinet Museum[/caption] Boy-o-boy did I make a mistake! I was telling everyone that would let me talk that I thought this early Hoosier Cabinet was possibly made by Mose Stahly and given as a wedding present to his sister Barbra and his brother-in-law, Dan Metzler. Dan and Barbra got married on October 5, 1862, and were living on the land that was the Southwest corner of the square in what is now Nappanee. Dan, along with Henry Stahly and John Culp, were the three neighbors that "platted" the new town of Nappanee in 1874. Family legend has it that after the railroad came through Nappanee, Dan decided that the busy town of Nappanee was no place to raise a family. They sold their land and purchased 80 acres south of town and began to build a home. Sadly, Dan Metzler died during the construction of the house, leaving his wife, Barbra, and eight children to complete the home. Likely, family, friends and members of their church helped finish the construction of the home. My wife, Meg (Metzler) and I live on what little remains of the Dan and Barbra Metzler farm. Meg is the 5th generation direct Metzler descendant to live here, a place we consider a historic farm. Mose Stahly had a cabinet shop in the area before Nappanee became a town and could have easily made the kitchen cabinet in question. In 1883, Mose sold his cabinet company. Later it was sold again and became the Nappanee Furniture Company. This was the company that Albert & Charles Mutschler were managing before becoming partners with the Coppes brothers & Zook Co. to for the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Company from 1903 - 1912.  I really wanted that story to be real. To have a family connection to the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. would be fantastic! But all that changed when we got an email from a couple in Ohio with pictures of their kitchen cabinet. This new cabinet was a dead ringer for our kitchen cabinet that we were so proud of. And better yet, their cabinet still had a manufacturer's paper tag stapled to the back! Their cabinet was made by The John Thomas Cabinet Manufacturing Company of Galveston, Indiana. [caption id="attachment_3141" align="alignleft" width="216"]Galveston Centennial Book This is an ad for the John Thomas Co. in the Galveston Centennial booklet.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3142" align="alignleft" width="300"]Map of Galveston, IN Galveston is located just Northwest of Kokomo in Central Indiana[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3143" align="alignleft" width="190"]John Thomas Cabinet John Thomas cabinet from Ohio[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3144" align="alignleft" width="300"]John Thomas Cabinet Tag Tag on the back of the Ohio John Thomas cabinet[/caption]                                   This email with these cabinet pictures highlights how important it can be for people to communicate with us. Thanks for sending the pictures and setting me straight! If you have any further information about the John Thomas Cabinet Co. or related topics, don't hesitate to contact us here via the comments or by email at