Frank M. Chase, 1844

 

stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org on Tue, 13 Feb 2001

 

Surname: CHASE, MCBRIDE, CRANE, WILLARD, SUTHERLAND, FLEMING

----Source: History of Clark County, Wisconsin (1918), by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge

FRANK M. CHASE, deceased, was for a number of years a leading citizen of Mayville Township, where he was engaged in farming and other enterprises, was also a veteran of the Civil War, in which he gained an honorable record foi valor. He was born in Clinton County, New York, Mar. 15, 1844, son of George and Mary (McBride) Chase. The father, who was a native of Vermont, born about 1816, was a miner by trade. He came west to Dodgeville, Wis., in 1853. About the close of the Civil War he bought a farm in Ridgeway, in the southern part of the state, in Sauk county, where he became prominent, being county chairman four terms, and being twice elected to the General Assembly on the Democratic ticket. He was also elected sheriff but did not qualify for that office.

He lived to the advanced age of 88 years and then, in 1904, met his death by accident, being killed on the railway at Ridgeway. His wife Mary, who was Born in Vermont in 1826, died in 1866 at the age of 40. They had five children, Daniel, Mary, Frank, George and James. Frank M. Chase's Civil War record began in 1861, when he enlisted in Company 1, 2d Wisconsin Infantry, which served in the Army of Virginia under Generals Rufus King and John A. Gibbons, and also under McClellan and Grant, and others.

On Dec. 15, 1862, after the battle of Fredericksburg, he was captured while on picket duty and sent to Libby prison, where he remained nine weeks when he was paroled and sent to the parole camp at Annapolis, Md. He was wounded in the first battle of Bull Run and at Gettysburg was shot in the right leg, but fully recovered of both wounds. At the Battle of Gainesville he was in a running fight all day, and the regiment, under Col. E. O'Connor, formed part of the rear guard on the way from Slaughter Mountain. About 3:30 they stacked arms, but soon afterwards found that some of the enemy had cut them off from the rest of the army. Mr. Chase at that time was a skirmisher. They were ordered to charge with fixed bayonets, and in the fight that followed Colonel O'Connor was filled. Mr. Chase, who ran to him, found him dead, and, seizing the signal flag ran forward to within eight rods of the enemy's line, where he planted them. In the battle, which lasted one hour and twenty minutes, 715 men were killed and wounded. Colonel Fairchild, who succeeded to the command, recommended Mr. Chase in his report, and the latter was awarded a medal for bravery by Congress. He was honorably discharged June 3, 1865, being mustered out at Camp Washington. Going to Oshkosh, Wis., entered the lumber camps and was engaged in logging and lumbering for some twenty-nine years altogether. In 1868 he entered into partnership with W. W. Crane, who later became his brother-in-law, and their association was continued for seventeen years.

After that Mr. Chase continued in the lumber business alone until 1912. In 1873 he took charge of this work of clearing the right of way for the Wisconsin Central Railway from Junction City to Phillips, also the laying of the ties along this right of way, a work that took four years and four months to finish. While thus employed he had temporarily given up his connection with the lumber business, but resumed it subsequently. At the time of his death, Feb. 22, 1918, he owned many acres of wild land in Clark and other counties, besides a number of farms in Waupaca County and other places. In July, 1909, Mr. Chase came to Dorchester, and somewhat later bought his farm place of sixty acres in section 22, Mayville Township. He was a director and a heavy stockholder in the Dorchester State Bank.

A prominent man in the county for many years he served as a member of the county board and was a member of the Wisconsin General Assembly for two years. Few men in Clark County were better informed on the history of the lumber business throughout this part of the state.

Mr. Chase was married Dec. 18, 1868, to Sarah Crane, who was born in New York State, Dec. 16, 1847, daughter of Henry L. and Salome (Willard) Crane. Her parents, natives of the same state, came to Wisconsin in 1854, Mr. Crane engaging in the lumber business. Mrs. Chase died in April, 1915. She had been the mother of five children: Martha, now deceased; Mary, wife of Bert Wells of Abbotsford; Frank W., of Abbotsford; Cora, who also resides there is the wife of Charles Fleming, and Harriett, wife of Eugene Sutherland and a resident of Idaho.

 

 


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