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Braton S. Chase


Submitted by Lisa Hoffius & Bill Moore


 BRATON S. CHASE.    A half century ago, Milo J. CHASE started in a small way the manufacture of pianos in Ohio.  He had a small shop, had very little capital, but he was master of his art, and had courage, ability and determination of the thorough business builder.  He was not only a manufacturer, but a capable salesman, took infinite pains and pride in his work, and his early success in Vermont was subsequently expanded in the establishment and organization of large piano manufacturing business in Michigan, and the industry as it now exists in Muskegon is one of the largest of the kind in the country and a matter of great pride to all Muskegon people.  Milo J. CHASE was born in Vermont in 1831 and died at his home in Muskegon in 1894 (??).  He married Olive STACEY, who was also a native of Vermont, and whose death occurred in 1859.  In 1884 the family came to Michigan, settling in Grand Rapids, where Milo J. CHASE established a plant for the manufacture of pianos.  His start in the industry in Vermont was in 1863 and with more than twenty years of experience, he made his business in Grand Rapids a prosperous concern and in 1890 moved it to Muskegon.  There a stock company was organized, and under the name of the CHASE-HACKLEY Piano Company, a large plant was erected and a flourishing industry established.  Its capital stock is two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, and its branch houses are in Chicago and in Richmond, Virginia.  The annual output is thirty-five hundred pianos, and the manufacturer’s name is a guarantee of the quality.  Milo J. CHASE and wife had six children, three of whom are living.  Arthur is living retired in Colorado; the second is Braton S. CHASE; and Olive, is the wife of Chas. B. BRANNER, who represents the house in Richmond, Virginia.  The father and wife were active members of the Presbyterian Church, and he was a thirty-second degree Mason and a Democrat in politics.  Joseph CHASE, the father of Milo J. CHASE, was born in Vermont, of an old New England family.  His occupation in the Green Mountain State was lumbering, and from that industry he made enough to retire and spent his last years in comfort.

   Braton S. CHASE was born in Pennsylvania, June 5, 1857, a son of Milo J. CHASE, and received his collegiate training in the Augusta College at Kentucky, where he graduated in 1880.  His early training experiences were in his father’s piano factory, and Mr. CHASE knows both the business and manufacturing details.  He is now vice president and general manager of the CHASE-HACKLEY Piano company, gives all of his time to the manufacturing and general business administration of the concern, and is one of the enterprising business men of Muskegon.

    Mr. CHASE was married to Irene EVANS, who died in 1895; Indiana was her native state.  Mr. CHASE for his second wife married Mrs. NICHOLS, whose father was John WETZEL, a native of Ohio.  Mr. CHASE is Independent in politics.





Source:  History of Michigan by Charles Moore, 1915     pages 1436 - 1437



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