Albert Chase

From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin


ALBERT CHASE, a well-known farmer of Hensonville, was born in Lexington, January 4, 1819, son of Benjamin and Lydia (Skiff) Chase. The family is of English descent. Thomas and Aquila Chase, brothers emigrated from England, and were living at Hampton, N. H., as early as 1640. A few years later Aquila removed to Newbury, Mass. "A large majority of the Chase of the United States," some one has said, "are his descendants." Thomas Chase married Elizabeth Philbrick, and had five sons. The fourth son Isaac, removed to Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. He was twice married, and had a number of children.

Benjamin Chase, the father above mentioned, was a son of Zephaniah Chase, and both were natives of Martha’ Vineyard. Zephaniah Chase, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, came to Lexington as a pioneer. He cleared a large tract of land, and spent the rest of this life there, dying at the age of eighty.

Benjamin Chase resided on the home farm for some years. Later he purchased a farm near by, where he spent the rest of his life. His death also occurred at eighty years. When a young man he was an officer of the militia. His wife, Lydia, who, like himself, was a native of Martha’s Vineyard, became the mother of ten children, nine of whom grew to maturity, and two are now living, namely: Albert, of Hensonville; and Ira, who resides in Jewett. The others were: Benjamin, who lived in Lexington, and died aged ninety-three; Elizabeth, who resided on the old homestead, and died at eighty years of age; Lydia, who married Orin Burgess, of Hunter, and died at the age of sixty; William, who died in Ohio, at eighty; Lucinda, who married Mathias Chittenden, and resided in Callicoon, Sullivan County, where her death occurred when she was sixty years old; Mary, who became the wife of Samuel Cook, of Sidney, Delaware County, and died at the age of sixty; and Sarah, who became Mrs. Peleg Chamberlain, resided in Michigan, and died at the same age. The mother died in 1827, at the age of fifty.

Albert Chase in his early childhood attended the common schools of Lexington. He resided at home until the death of his mother, when, a lad of eight years, he went to live with an uncle in Jewett, about two miles below Hunter village. At the age of twenty he returned to Lexington and learned the carpenter’s trade, which he followed for about twenty-five years, becoming one of the largest contractors in this section of the county. He erected many private residences, business blocks, mills, bridges, and other structures, employing a number of men. He came to Hensonville in 1845, when the village was in its infancy, and did an extensive business here, erecting many of the present buildings. Purchasing a saw-mill in 1863, he carried on a large lumber business for some years. He removed to his present farm, consisting of three hundred acres, in 1858, erected his dwelling-house and other buildings, and, relinquishing his contracting business a few years later, gave his principal attention to farming. Since 1880 his son, De Mont, has had charge of the cultivation of the home acres. Mr. Chase and his son have purchased two additional farms, one being devoted to dairy purposes, and they keep twenty-seven cows, mostly Jerseys.

In 1844, Mr. Chase was united in marriage with Miss Laura O. Woodworth, of Windham, daughter of Abner and Betsey (Judson) Woodworth. Her father, who was a native of Cherry Valley, and followed farming during his active period, spent his last days in East Jewett, dying at the age of eighty-two years. Her mother, who was born in Windham, died at the age of forty-eight. Mr. and Mrs. Woodworth reared a family of six children. Of these the three living are: Laura, who resides in Hunter; and Lucinda, who is the wife of Dr. Mead. Mr. and Mrs. Chase have five children—Sophronia, Lydia, Abner, Emery, and De Mont L. Chase. Sophronia died of diphtheria at the age of seventeen. Lydia, who is no longer living, married Cyrus Bloodgood, clerk of Catskill County. Abner died at the age of two years. Emery, formerly a member of the law firm of Hallock, Jennings & Chase, later Jennings & Chase, was elected Judge of the Supreme Court in 1896. He married Mary Churchill, daughter of proprietor of St. Charles Hotel, New York, and has two children—Jessie C. and Albert W. Chase. De Mont L. Chase is now associated with his father in carrying on the farm. He has served as Supervisor and Tax Collector. He married Josephine Osborn, daughter of Elbert Osborn, of Brooklyn, and has two children—Leona L. and Elbert O. Chase.

Mr. Chase is a Republican in politics. He has been Overseer of the Poor, and has acted as Justice of the Peace for four years. He is connected with the Order of Good Templars, also with the Sons of Temperance, and has filled some of the important chairs in these societies. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he has been trustee, steward, and class leader for many years. He has also been district steward, was a member of the building committee which erected the new church, and served as trustee of the parsonage. He was formerly superintendent of the Sunday-school, and Mrs. Chase was a teacher.


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