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Clarence A. Chase


CLARENCE A. CHASE, manager and superintendent of the Chase Brothers Piano Company, and one of Muskegon's most influential and successful business men, is a native of Pennsylvania, having been born in Columbus, February 12, 1853. He is the son of Milo J. and Olive (Stacy) CHASE, natives of New England. The father, who was a man of genius and high executive ability, embarked in business as a manufacturer of pianos at Ripley, Ohio, many years ago, at a time when only the wealthy could afford the luxury of an instrument. Through the exercise of good judgment he attained success, and by keeping in the lead with improved methods he was  enabled to furnish superior pianos at competition prices, so that his name became a familiar word in almost every household in the  land.  In his fatherís home in Ripley, Ohio, the subject of this notice grew to a sturdy manhood, well fitted by natural endowments and judicious training for a position of prominence in the business world. At the age of fifteen years his school days were ended and his active business career commenced. He entered his father's piano factory, where he gained a practical knowledge of the details of the business. At the time of the removal of the manufactory to Richmond, Ind., in 1877, he went thither, and in 1884 located in Grand Rapids, in order to secure a more available site for the location of the principal manufactory, the concern was removed to Muskegon, Mich., in 1889, and the wisdom of this change has been demonstrated by the history of the ensuing years. The present company was organized in October, 1889, with a capital stock of $225,000.The factory, completed in July 1890, is 60x250 feet in dimensions, four stories in height, and thoroughly equipped with modern machinery, which is operated by a two hundred horse power Corliss engine.Three Nichols dry-kilns, with a capacity for seasoning ten thousand feet of lumber every thirty-six hours, and all other necessary adjuncts for rapid and perfect work are found.The company has convenient docks and warehouses adjoining the plant, for shipments by water, and railroad tracks alongside the factory, giving every facility for receiving lumber and prompt consignment of finished pianos.Upright and grand pianos are made in all the popular shades of mahogany, walnut, oak and rosewood, finished in a superb manner, as every attention is given to produce a perfect instrument.The Chase factory was among the first establishments to meet the demand for upright pianos, and the proprietors have displayed much skill in surmounting musical difficulties and purifying tone qualities.The Chase brothers have been connected with the business from boyhood, and are experts in their specialties, many of the devices here being the inventions of members of the company. Clarence A., our subject, superintends the mechanical operations, Braton S. and Leon E. are traveling salesmen for the company. The immense salesrooms of this company in Chicago are superintended by the seniorMr. CHASE, who is President of the corporation; C. T. HILLS is Vice-Presi-dent, Thomas HUME Treasurer, and L. E. CHASE secretary.††† On the pay-rolls are the names of more than two hundred artisans skilled in their special lines. The Chase brothers have platted one hundred and eight acres in the vicinity of the factory, which is being rapidly taken by employees and others for residence sites. The wareroom at No. 87 West Western Avenue has a choice selection of pianos, and seven hundred or more completed instruments are kept in stock at the factory and different warerooms.One of the most beautiful and elegant residences of Muskegon are that which is owned and occupied by our subject. It is pleasantly located on Lake Street, amid attractive surroundings. The lady who presides over this spacious home was formerly Miss Olive ARMSTRONG, and prior to her marriage, in 1874, resided in Ripley, Ohio, where her father, William ARMSTRONG, was a prominent merchant. Mr. And Mrs. CHASE are the parents of two children, Lenora A. and Irene E. Both are accomplished young ladies, and are popular in the social circles of the city.


Portrait and Biographical Record


Submitted by Penny Pollock, Marian Sargeant and Bill Moore


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