Thursday, July 1, 2010

G.M. Chase, Son of First Settler, Dies

From The Oakland Tribune, 21 May 1919, p. 3

G.M. Chase, Son of First Settler, Dies

George M. Chase, son of the first white man to settle in the part of Alameda county where the city of Oakland now stands, suffered a heart attack Monday evening and died. He was sitting on the porch of the home where he has lived since 18?4 and which has the distinction of being the oldest residence in Oakland, when death came. The funeral will take place tomorrow morning from a local undertaking chapel. The death of Chase marks the passing of the oldest pioneer this side of the bay.

When the 159th infantry came home from France last month Chase was one of the five of the original Old Guard, the parent organization formed during the Civil War days, to escort the young veterans through the streets of the city in the guard of honor.

Chase's father, Moses Chase, came to California in 1849, going to the northern mines. Shortly he abandoned the hunt for gold to locate in a forest of oaks at Gibbon's Point, now the foot of the Oakland mole. He explored the whole bay region and discovered the creek which separates Oakland and Alameda today. He leased the site, which afterward became Clinton, now a portion of East Oakland. Hunting ducks for the market with an income of $1000 a month was his means of livelihood.

George Chase inherited the old home at 401 East Eighth street, which in 1854 was brought to Oakland by way of the Horn.

On the death of his mother he came to California in '5? from Newburyport, Mass., where he was born in 1841, and reared by his aunt. The trip was made in the ship Fly Away around Cape Horn. He completed his education in the Oakland college.

Chase's first business venture was as toll collector at the old Twelfth street bridge. Later he joined his father hauling freight across the bay. He served as copyist under P. R. Borein, county recorder, and later received an appointment as deputy county treasurer under James A. Webster and Socrates Huff. November, 1892, saw him elected county treasurer.

Chase was the first man to be initiated into Orion Lodge No. 189, I. O. O. F. He had passed all the chairs and been a representative to the grand lodge. He acted as recorder in the Ancient Order of United Workmen for 28 years, succeeding to the office of financier. He had been actively identified with Oakland Camp No. 94, Woodmen of the World. Mr. and Mrs. Chase were the last of the charter members in Brooklyn Rebekah Lodge No. 12.

Mrs. Mary Emily Williams, the well known singer, is a daughter of Chase, and lives at the old home. The other children are George Moses Chase, and Albert B. Chase of San Francisco.

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