Biography of Elgee C. Chase

The varied experience that Mr. Chase has had in different portions of the United States has satisfied him that the fertile and favored spot of the reservation country is a place worthy to be courted and as a country of resources for the farmer and stockman it is unexcelled. His farm lies four miles southeast from Nez Perce and was selected by him about two hours after the country had been thrown open to settlement. It is mostly all good land, is well improved and has yielded to his skillful husbandry rich returns of crops in the years he has been here. He handles diversified farming and keeps enough stock to consume all the productions of the farm.

Elgee C. Chase was born in Columbia County, Wisconsin, on October 5, 1862, being the son of John G. and Eleanor (Walton) Chase, natives of Vermont and Canada, respectively. When Elgee was a child, the family removed to Dodge County. Minnesota, and there he grew to manhood on a farm.

In 1884 he went to Potter County. South Dakota, entered a preemption claim, farmed there and traveled over the country until 1890, when he went to Butte, Montana, and engaged in mining. In 1892 he returned to his boyhood home, and in 1893 visited the World’s Fair at Chicago. In 1894 Mr. Chase came to Colfax, and soon we see him lumbering on the Clearwater. Then he wrought in Rossland, British Columbia, and at the opening of the reservation, came hither, as stated before. His farm is one of the excellent ones of the section, is well supplied with spring water and is a beautiful and valuable estate.

On December 2, 1897, Mr. Chase married Miss Mary, daughter of Fred E. and Mary (Bolin) Honroth. Mr. Honroth was a native of Germany and came to the United States when a child. At Louisville, Kentucky, he enlisted as first sergeant in Company G, Twenty-eighth Infantry, in April, 1861. He served in General Grant’s army and was in numerous severe battles. In the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, he was severely wounded in his shoulder and was discharged on account of disability. His wife was a native of Indiana and in 1891 they came to Pomeroy, Washington, and later to Pierce, where he died in 1894, having never recovered fully from the strain of the war. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Chase, Warner E., deceased, Mary E. In the spring of 1900, Mr. Chase had a severe attack of Nome fever and it was ascertained that the only cure was a trip to that region. He went, got one hundred and twenty miles into the interior, suffered about all a man can suffer without perishing, and stuck to it for one and a half years, and then the fever was entirely cured and he returned to his family and farm, a wiser and well cured man. Since then, Nez Perces County has appeared even better than it did before.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

1 thought on “Biography of Elgee C. Chase”

  1. Elgee C. Chase was my Grandfather. this family History covers only the time that the Chases lived in the Nez Pierce area, (aka The Camas Prarie) . After two sons died due to harsh Winter conditions, there, Mrs. Chase insisted that they move to warmer winters. They purchased land and a farm on the Clearwater Valley floor near where that river forks about 4 miles down stream from the town of Orofino. It was the same area as Lewis and Clark (1805) made “dug out log” canoes (with the help of the local Indians!) for the rest of their trip to the Pacific Ocean, where they spent the Winter. The Chases farmed there on the Clearwater, living in a log house, until it burned down. At that time they built the Chase House, and raised 5 children (Nell, Orvill, Madeline, Violet and John) .. Chase lost his wife about then, surviving until his death in 1947. The family farm passed on to his Children, and Grandchildren. the Chase House still sets there on the Clearwater River Bank.

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