Thank you for responding. Joseph Proctor Bowker left North Brookfield Massachusetts sometime in the 1830s. He worked in Michigan surveying land with the Indians for a little bit, and then went to Chicago Illinois which at the time was nothing more than a small villiage in a swamp. He then went south started looking at land in southern Illinois near the Ohio river.
I imagine the land and geography looked very promising which is why he decided to settle there at the time. He was still single and had not met his future wife yet. Catherine Wilson came from Granville County North Carolina to Massac County Illinois in July 1840, with her Father Thomas Wilson and younger sister Mary ann Wilson. In July 1840, the area was essentially a wilderness with a very small population. It was not until 1850 that Metropolis reached a population size of just over 400.
I think the early settlers were attracted to the land because it was along the Ohio River and not to far from where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi River. So in addition to there being lots of unoccupied land, there were the rivers which were important for transportation and trade back then.
The founder of Metropolis picked that name for the town because he believed it would one day be a huge city because the location seemed ideal. While this did not happen and Metropolis remained a small city or town, it did happen to other towns along the river like Memphis and St. Louis on the Mississippi River.