Biography of William W. Chase
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM WAYNE CHASE. Thirty five years ago William Wayne Chase was one among thousands of clerical workers in the City of Cleveland. With only the same opportunities that many others had, he has fitted himself for leadership and achievement in business and industry, and for a number of years has been an executive in several of Cleveland's largest business organizations.

He represents two old families of the Western Reserve. His father, the late Charles E. Chase, was born in a log house in Bainbridge Township, Geauga County, in 1837. His parents had come from Vermont and settled in Northern Ohio as early as 1810. Charles E. Chase was a blacksmith by trade, also owned and operated a farm, and was a highly respected citizen. For many years he held the office of justice of the peace in Bainbridge Township. He married Annette S. Ellis, who was born in the same township, where her parents had settled on coming from Connecticut.

William Wayne Chase was born in Bainbridge Township, November 19, 1872. As a boy on the farm he attended district schools until 1885, and then for several years continued his education in the public schools of Cleveland. In 1888, as a boy of sixteen, he went to work for the Lake Shore Railway Company in the Cleveland offices. He gave up railroading in May, 1892, to become bookkeeper for the White Sewing Machine Company, one of Cleveland's oldest industries. So far he was engaged in routine work, but was making it a medium of useful training and experience, and at the same time was utilizing all his available time, usually at night, to prepare himself for something better. He studied law, and in 1895 passed a successful examination and was admitted to the Ohio bar. For a young man of his enthusiasm and energy and special qualifications the White Sewing Machine Company had rapid promotions in store. From bookkeeper he was made superintendent of a department, then became office attorney, and in 1905 was made vice president of the company, and in 1917 promoted to the presidency. Mr. Chase was active head of this important industry until July 1, 1921, when he resigned, though he continues a member of the board of directors. He also resigned at the same date the office of vice president of the Theodore Kuntz Company, one of the largest cabinet and veneer manufacturing concerns in the country specializing in the woodwork for sewing machine companies.

July 1, 1921, the Cleveland Real Estate Investment Company was organized by Mr. Chase, and he became its president and treasurer. He is also a director of the United Banking & Savings Company and the Hardwood Products Company of Cleveland. He belongs to the Union and Country clubs, and is affiliated with the Masonic Order and the Congregational Church.

September 12, 1892, he married Edna E. Thomas, of Cleveland. She died May 31, 1905, and is survived by a daughter and two sons. Katheryn married Howard Keene, president of the Hardwood Products Company of Cleveland, and they have three children named: Chase, Janet and Nancy Ann. The son, Russell U., graduated from Cornell University with the Bachelor of Arts degree in February, 1923, and is now attending Western Reserve Law School. Charles W., the other son, graduated Bachelor of Arts from Yale University with the class of 1923.

March 5, 1907, Mr. Chase married Reba Neff, daughter of Orian L. Neff, the veteran attorney of Cleveland, whose career is sketched elsewhere in this publication. By this marriage Mr. Chase has two daughters, Ruth Rebecca and June Anette, both students in the Hathaway-Brown School for Girls at Cleveland.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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