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County History

Reminiscences of Morris S. Chase (1902)

From the Belmont Dispatch, December, 1902.
Transcribed by Karen Meisenheimer.


HON. M. S. CHASE
Interesting Reminiscences of the Veteran Supervisor

Hon. M S Chase, the veteran supervisor of Independence, will be eighty years of age next Monday, December 8th. He is as hale, hearty and active in both mind and body as most men at sixty. He is the oldest of Allegany’s active supervisors. We doubt if any town of the county was ever before represented on the Board by an octogenarian.

Mr. Chase is a politician of the old school, having been actively associated with politics more than half a century. When in a reminiscent mood his anecdotes of men of a past generation their characteristics and connection with public events is intensely interesting.

Mr. Chase was first elected supervisor in 1851. There was no republican party in those days. A. N. Cole, the father of the organization at (???) time had no conception of his present vigorous offspring. There were whigs and democrats, the democratic party being divided into factions. “Hunkers” and “Barnburners”. There were but twenty-six towns in the county at that time. The Board of Supervisors consisted of fourteen whigs, eight [barnburners?] and four [hunkers?]. It met at […illegible…] Ralph Adams of Genesee, as chairman and Azeal B. [Hull?] – of Angelica, clerk. The Board finished its business at one session, continuing its sitting two weeks.

According to Mr. Chase, the “printer men”, as the editorial fraternity is denominated by “[I—?]” Bellamy, were as much in evidence then as now. There was the inevitable struggle for the pubic printing, followed by the necessary elation, disappointments and acrimony. Charles Horton and Horace E. Purdy were the democratic editors for the county. Horton represented the barnburners faction and Purdy the bunkers. P.S. Norris promulgated the whig doctrines. Horton with his eight supervisors thought he was more [???] win but “there is many a ship,” etc. Ten of the whigs voted Lee Morris ensuring his election, the other four voted for Purdy making the vote a tie as between him and Horton for the Democratic patronage. That gentleman saw his finish. He raved and stormed but to no purpose. The next ballot Purdy received twenty-two votes and the fight was over. According to Mr. Chase, Horton accepted his defeat with no better grace than did an alleged democratic publisher of Allegany of a more recent date. In this “good old days” there were oyster suppers, some politics and social life on the Board differed little from that of the present day.

Mr. Chase was elected member of assembly in [1863?], the times that tried men’s morals. He refused a renomination on account of pressing [????] matters. He was examined for admission to the bar to practice law by the old-time lawyer and advocate A.P. Lansing and admitted to practice [??] of Judge Martin Grover.

In 1855 Mr. Chase was a delegate to the republican state convention held at Syracuse. The late A.N. Cole of Wellsville was also a delegate. There were [???] times in politics in those days.

[Transcriber's note: Can’t read past this point.]


More about Morris Chase--
"Hon. Morris S. Chase, son of Rev. John B. Chase, a Baptist minister, was born in Yates county, in 1822 and came to Independence in 1837 with his father. In 1842, when he married Mianda, daughter of Ezra and Sally (Nash) Winship, his capital was $50. He then studied law with Hon. A. G. Chatfield of Addison and was admitted to the bar but soon engaged in merchandising, which he has successfully continued to the present, and is now in company with his son, Amos L., in an extensive mercantile, loan and collection business. He has been four times supervisor, once member of assembly, several years loan commissioner, and has had much practice in surrogate's courts. He largely aided in establishing the graded union school in Whitesville, has been president of the board of education for r5 years, and is a director and auditor of the O. O. & E. railroad, and was largely instrumental in building the road. Mrs. Chase died March 5, 1887. Their surviving children are: Lydia A. (Mrs. W. W. Crandall), Isabel M. (Mrs. B. B. Slade), Theron M., Amos L."
Excerpted from History of Allegany County, New York; John S. Minard, Esq. Historian; Mrs. Georgia Drew Andrews, Editor; W. A. Fergusson & Co., Alfred, N. Y. 1896

 



 

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