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Dwight W. Chase MD


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 7/31/2011 at 07:11:59

Among the physicians who located in Clayton county when it was sparsely settled is Dr. D.W. Chase, who came to Iowa in 1855, and who has made a commendable record both as a practitioner and as a citizen. He is a native of New York, and was born at Cohocton, Steuben county, on the 11th of November, 1819.

Dr. Chase's parents, Thomas C. and Melinda Butts Chase, were plain farming people, and Dwight spent his first eighteen years at home, aiding in tilling the soil. He early cultivated a relish for books and study, and although having but three or four months' attendance on school annually, he was fitted, by mental application at home, to teach a district school at eighteen. During the next four years he attended school at Lima eight months in the year, and taught during the winters. At twenty-two years of age he commenced studying medicine with Dr. W.W. Day, of Eagle, Wyoming county. Attending lectures at Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and Jefferson College, Philadelphia, he graduated from the latter in March, 1845. Practicing ten years at Sandusky, Cattaraugus county, Dr. Chase immigrated to Iowa, settling near Yankee Settlement, now Edgewood, Clayton county. There he had an extensive and remunerative practice, but the educational privileges in that farming district not being very good, in 1866 he removed to Elkader, the county seat. Here his travels have been no less extended in geographical area, and his business increased so much that he has been obliged to take into partnership K.F. Purdy, M.D., a graduated of Rush Medical College, Chicago.

Dr. Chase has made medicine his life study, and is just as much of a student now as he ever was. With the exception of the news of the day, his reading is almost exclusively professional, and few physicians in the county are better read in medicine. He has tried to confine himself to the medical practice, but in two or three instances has been persuaded to accept office for a short time. He was president of the board of supervisors in 1859 and 1860, and a member of the ninth general assembly, representing his county in the lower brach. He was in the regular session of 1862 and the extra session the same year, and was elected without opposition. He was very active on two important committees, charitable institutions and schools and state university. He was offered the chairmanship of either of these committees, the choice being left to himself, but he was a new, inexperienced member, and declined.

During the second year of the rebellion he was offered the position of surgeon of some Iowa regiment, Governor Kirkwood giving him his choice of the legislature, and deferred the matter until December, 1864, when he accepted that responsibility of the 21st Infantry. He served till June, 1865, when the regiment was mustered out.

Dr. Chase belongs to Honorius Commandery, No. 8, of the Masonic order. In politics, he is one of those republicans who never waver.

On the 17th of August, 1849, he married Miss Ellen J. Lyon, of Eagle, New York, and has two daughters. The elder, Kate, is the wife of Van E. Butler, of Delphos, Kansas; the other, Ellen Lyon, lives at home.

Dr. Chase is a valuable citizen. Though his professional duties are far from light, he finds sufficient time to look after local interests, and aid in promoting them. He is very kind to the poor and has traveled hundreds of miles to comfort the sick and relieve the distressed, without any expectation of reward except the satisfaction of restoring health, prolonging life, or mitigating pain.

~United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men; Iowa Volume, 221913; American Biographical Pub. Co.; 1878; pg 318-319


Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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