Daniel Coy Chase
AMAN of long and valuable experience in shipping and harbor activities and who has filled many important positions in railway service, in business life, and in the public affairs r" his state and city, is Captain Daniel Coy Chase, :f South Amboy, New Jersey.
He was born at Broadalbin, New York, May 1850, the son of Holder T. and Phebe (Coy) Chase. He is descendant, in the fourth generation, from Joseph Chase, a native of England, ^ho emigrated to America and settled in Fall River, Massachusetts, where his son, Stephen Chase, grandfather of Daniel C. Chase, was born in 1785. Stephen Chase served in the American Army as a Colonel in the War of 1812. He became a resident of Broadalbin, New York, where it is son, Holder T. Chase, was born in 1812. Daniel C. Chase attended the public schools of > native town until he was thirteen years old, then worked on a farm for a time, and after that went to New York City and took a course in Paine’s Business College.
After coming to New York he entered upon his lifelong connection with transportation in the humble capacity of night watchman for the steamboats of the Delaware and Raritan Canal, October 16, 1864, that canal being a part of the Pennsylvania Railroad System. He steadily advanced, step by step, in that service, until in 1879 it; was promoted to be superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company's steam towing, in 1906 he was also made the superintendent of lighterage for that company. When the United States Railroad Administration took under all the railroad floating equipment, and turned its control and management, resulting in the abolishment of the position of superintendent of lighterage and steam towing, Mr. Chase was advanced by the Pennsylvania Railroad to a and more lucrative position—that of con- J eking superintendent.
The position of superintendent of lighterage and steam towing for the Pennsylvania Railroad called for a wide range of knowledge of water t-exportation, and it was to Mr. Chase's advan- ::gs that he had always been a seeker after " ledge of varied kinds, but especially those branches which could be of service to him in con-nection with transportation and maritime affairs. He thus acquired a thorough knowledge of boating in all of its branches and details, secured a considerable acquaintance with the provisions of admiralty law, a practical knowledge of engineering and operating telegraphy, and many other things which he deemed of value in connection with the unique duties which came to him in connection with the supervision, management, and improvement of the lighterage and towing service of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Mr. Chase was the originator and patentee of the practical rocking grate, and also of the color system of smokestacks on steamboats to designate the line to which they belong, a simple device, the use of which has been a great boon to shipping and harbor interests. He was also the originator of the duplex system of collecting towage, which has greatly simplified that class of work.
His initiative and his alertness of mind have been of great value in the solution of many problems and the straightening out of many emergencies in the lighterage and towboat service.
His relation to the problems of harbor work and navigation has not been confined to his railroad connection, but has also been of value in various other ways. Captain Chase was appointed by Governor Robert S. Green, in April, 1889, a member of the Board of Commissioners of Pilotage of New Jersey, and in 1894 he was elected president of that board, which position he continued to fill until his retirement in April, 1906. Of the value of his service in that important board, it will be sufficient to quote from the testimonial sent to Captain Chase by order of the board after his retirement:
"Throughout this period of seventeen years Captain Chase manifested a very active interest in the welfare of the Board of Pilot Commissioners as well as that of the Pilots' Association. In his examination of the candidates for apprenticeship and also of the pilots for advancement and renewal of license, he was careful to do full justice to the applicant and yet to comply with the requirements of their qualification.
"As a presiding officer he was rapid and accurate in the dispatch of business, and his courtesy to the members and all who came before the board won not only their respect and regard, but with the board a feeling entertained only among friends, which feeling of friendship we hope ever to enjoy."
Captain Chase, while giving the fullest attention to the duties of railroad service, has nevertheless found time to enter into various other business enterprises. He is now connected with seven banking institutions, as well as real estate and vessel interests. He is and for years has been president of the South Amboy Lumber and Building Supply Company and vice-president of the First National Bank of South Amboy, New Jersey. He was the originator and an incorporator of the Raritan River Railroad, becoming its first president, and for years was a member of the Board of Directors.
Captain Chase has filled many offices of trust. He was chosen Freeholder for one term in 1884, and was Senator from Middlesex County, elected in 1885 for three years to the Legislature of New Jersey. As Senator he drafted and secured the passage of a bill organizing the Borough of South Amboy in 1887, overcoming much opposition. In appreciation of his effective work in securing the organization of the borough he was elected for five successive terms to the office of Mayor of South Amboy.
In 1894 he received the nomination of his party for Congress from the Third Congressional District, but declined it. He has, however, in many campaigns, local, state, and national, done effective work as a public political speaker.
Captain Chase is a member of the Railroad Club, the Traffic Club, and the Maritime Exchange of New York, and of the National Board of Steam Navigation, and has long been a member of the executive and legislative committees of that board.
He has been for years chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee of the Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade, which has accomplished great improvements in inland waterways. Senator Chase was the originator of and drafted the first anchorage and navigable highways bill, piloted its passage through Congress, and followed each law and rule connected with that subject up to the present high state of efficiency of that important feature of navigation. He was for years president of the Board of Trade of South Amboy, and also president of the Board of Health of that city.
Captain Chase was the organizer of the Perth Amboy Dry Dock Company, an extensive shipbuilding and repair plant, was its first president, and held that office for several years. Later he organized the Raritan Dry Dock Company of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, was its first president, serving several years, and later becoming treas-urer. He held the office of president of both companies simultaneously, besides being identified with other large interests.
Captain Chase was the originator of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, where he purchased two farms, laid out streets, planted thousands of shade trees, and erected seventy houses on this property in the second and third year after he procured the land. He also gave land for a public hall and for churches, and resulting from his work a beautiful municipality of three thousand inhabitants has been created.
Captain Chase was for several years president of the Maritime Reporter Publishing Company, which published the Maritime Reporter and did an extensive printing business in New York.
He married, May 13, 1907, Miss Harriet G. Crouse, daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Crouse of Fonda, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Chase have a beautiful home at South Amboy, and a daughter, Miss Edna Chase.
Captain Chase is Past Master of his Masonic Lodge, member of the Royal Arch Chapter and Knights Templar Commandery and of Salem Temple, Mystic Shrine. He is a member of the American Mechanics, Independent Order of Red Men, Pennsylvania Railroad Benevolent Association, Railroad Telegraph Operators' Association, Masonic Mutual Aid Association, Young Men's- Christian Association, and several automobile as-sociations; a trustee of the Baptist Church and of a lodge of the Order of Foresters which bears his name.