Biography of Edward Chase
Kalamazoo County, MI Biographies



Kalamazoo County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Edward Chase was born in the town of Western, Oneida Co., N. Y., March 20, 1803. He was the son of Clark Chase and Phebe Mason, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts. When Edward was a year old the elder Chase removed to the town of Rutland, Jefferson Co., N. Y., where he followed his trade, that of a tanner, curHer, and shoemaker. In the spring of 1812, he moved to Ontario Co., N. Y., where he lived until his death, which occurred in 1821. His protracted illness left the family poor and in debt, and Edward’s labor was necessary for their maintenance. He remained until he was twenty-two years of age, when he embarked in business for himself as a farm hand at ten dollars per month. At the expiration of eight months he took his wages, eighty dollars, and purchased a small piece of land. He next went to work on the Erie Canal, where he was engaged two years. Jan. 27, 1828, he was married to Miss Hannah B. Brown, daughter of Ballon and Rhoba Brown. After his marriage he commenced improving his land and making additions to his farm; but finding, as he says, that his family increased more rapidly than his acres, he thought to possess himself of the advantages offered by the cheap lands and fertile soil of Michigan, and exchanged his farm for lands in Branch and Kalamazoo Counties. He roceived in exchange one hundred and twenty acres in Pavilion, Kalamazoo Co., and two hundred in Branch County. June 1, 1843, he started for Kalamazoo County with his family. He came through Ohio, and arrived Saturday, July 1st. He stopped over Sunday with a man by the name of Cook, and was considerably surprised, Sabbath morning, to find the people gathering at the house of his friend for the purpose of holding a Mormon meeting. Monday morning he moved his family into an unoccupied house in the neighborhood, and started for Jackson, which was at that time the terminus of the Central Railroad, for his goods. He worked in harvest, and obtained bread for his family for a year.

The pioneer life of Mr. and Mrs. Chase was replete with hardships and privations. For months the larger portion of the family were laid on beds of sickness, and, did our space permit, we could pen from their lips many an incident that, to the present generation, would sound like fiction. Mr. and Mrs. Chase have reared a family of twelve children, four of whom were born in this State: Charles, Leander, Albert, George, Gurley, William H., Julius A., Jane, Cynthia A., Elvira, Frances, and Elsie. Six of the sons, and two sons-in-law, served their country in the war of the Rebellion. Albert and William H. were killed, the former while contesting a ford on the Rapidan, on the 14th of September, 1863, and the latter on the 20th of the same month, in battle. Mr. Chase has been an industrious and successful man. Since coming to Michigan he has purchased several hundred acres of land. His home farm consists of two hundred and forty acres, under a good state of cultivation, and having oommodious buildings.

In his political affiliations Mr. Chase is a staunch Republican. Although not courting political preferment, he has been called to fill several positions of trust and responsibility. In 1846 he represented Pavilion in the board of supervisors, and was again elected to the same position. He has been magistrato of the town for four terms.

Altogether, Mr. Chase is one whose identification with any county is always productive of good.

History of Kalamazoo County, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of its Men and Pioneers.
Everts & Abbott., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia.