Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Charles D. Chase & Chase Building

CHARLES D. CHASE (1881-1939)

At the time of his death on October 28, 1939 the local newspaper described Charles D. Chase as a “prominent mortician, businessman, and leading citizen of Logansport”. He suffered a stroke at his farm home, north of town, and was transported to the hospital, but passed away. He was 58.

To hundreds of young men he was respected and endeared for the years of hard work and effort he gave to the growth and development of the Boy Scout movement in Logansport and the creation of the Logansport Boy Choir, which later became known as the Chase Boys’ Choir.

He was the son of distinguished pioneers. Judge Dudley Chase was his father, and like his father, Charles etched his name deeply into the community history by his deeds and accomplishments. He was born at the Chase homestead, 829 North Street, on September 27, 1881, to Dudley and Grace M. (Corey) Chase. He married Goldie Davis on November 16, 1919.

Dudley Chase, father of Charles D. Chase

He was attracted to the work of the fire department and worked with the department under Rex Livingston.

Charles had a great love of horses. His first business venture was in the livery stable and feed business at a location on North Street in about the 500 block, on the north side of that street. The Star Laundry would operate from that location later.

Charles entered an Indianapolis embalming school, graduating from there in 1906. He worked at the Kroeger and Strain Funeral Home, which was located at 615 E. Broadway in those days. In 1910 he founded the Chase funeral home. His first undertaking business was located on Pearl Street. By 1923 business had grown and he purchased the Sutton Building at 527 E. Broadway. The first floor was for his business. The upper floor offered apartments. Merrill D. Miller became an associate. Miller was only 17 years old when he began work there. By 1931 Miller had become financially involved and on January 1, 1935 the company name was officially changed to Chase and Miller Funeral Home.

Chase building - Chase-Miller Funeral Home and Apartments

It was in 1915 that Charles became a scout master for the first Boy Scout troop in Logansport. By the end of 1919 there were over 400 registered and active Boy Scouts in the city of Logansport.

In 1916 he organized the first all boy choir. Charter members included Robert Porter, Julius Mattes, Joe Gremelspacher, Richard Lynas, Alfred Gust, Clyde Byers, Glen Vance, Fred Herrell, Fred Lewellyn, Don Powlen, Tom Maiben, Norman Six, Lynus Olson and W. H. Duncan. The choir became known nationally. They toured the Midwest and appeared in the largest theaters in some of the largest cities of the area.
Chase Boys Choir

He was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Knights of Pythias, he was a Shriner, a member of Elks and I. O. O. F., and more.  His interest in Civil War veterans was manifested all through his life and he personally knew all members of the G.A.R. during the last forty years.

He bought the Thomas Spry farm northeast of the city where he built up one of the outstanding dairy herds in this part of the state. His stables housed horses and ponies, selected personally.

He was active in his church, in fraternal circles, and civic and industrial life until the final days of his own life.

He added a chapel to the east side of his business. The upper floors were apartments, which remained rented until close to demolition time in 1970, when the building was purchased by Logansport Newspapers.

The above photos: Chase added a chapel to the east side of his funeral home. 

In January of 1970 the Chase Building was torn down.