DIOGENES D. CHASE, M.D. From the earliest dawn of history, and perhaps from even an earlier date, the science, and more especially the art, of medicine have been held in the highest estimation by mankind.
In this as in other cases the art is probably older than the science; and it is believed that this, as well as most other arts of civilized life, had its origin in Egypt, and was there first cultivated with any measure of success. As an evidence of the esteem in which the healing art was held even in ancient times, it may perhaps be mentioned that Esculapius, the first great Grecian physician,
who in his practice, according to his biographers, so far surpassed in skill and success his teacher, Chiron, as to be able to restore the dead to life, and who, by this startling innovation, threatened to prevent the desired increase in the population of the realms of Pluto, was, upon complaint of this ruler, destroyed by Jupiter with a flash of lightning, and was afterward, by the gratitude of
mankind for his great services to them; raised to the rank of a god and worshipped at Epidauris in a grove and temple consecrated to him. Since that time the healing art has been so much improved by being elevated to a more rational plane, and has been so much enlarged by the addition of the science of sanitation, or the elimination of the conditions which produce disease, that it is at this day held in higher estimation, in point of fact, than it was in the days of Esculapius.
One of the most eminent of those in Madison County who have devoted their intelligence and their energies to the alleviation of suffering and the curing of the sick is Diogenes D. Chase, M.D., a resident of Morrisville, who was born in Georgetown, that county, October 27, 1843. While he is yet in the prime of life, he has met with deserved success, and has won a fine reputation as a
physician and surgeon. His father, Orrin Chase, was born in 1802 in Connecticut, and came of Puritanical stock, his family being the same as that of the late Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase. After his marriage in Winfield, N.Y., he bought land, and was engaged in farming for a number of years. Later he removed to the town of Eaton, and
lived there until his death, at seventy-two years of age. His people were naturally long-lived. The maiden name of his wife was Deidamia Button. She was born in 1802 in Winfield, Herkimer County, N.Y., the eldest child of John and Polly Button. She came of a family possessing many noble qualities of mind and heart with much physical strength. Their kind and generous disposition and their vigorous traits of character, were especially manifested in Mrs. Chase, who bore herself bravely, cheerfully, and successfully through the severe trials and hardships of her early years. Losing her father under very trying circumstances, when she was in her girlhood, she bent her energies to acquiring an education that should fit her for usefulness in life. She was interested in phrenology, which she found of great help to
a knowledge of human nature. In the study of medicine she became quite proficient, and was known as the pioneer woman physician Madison County,--a shining example to her sex. Loved and revered by all who knew her.
She died in Eaton, full of years and of virtues, at the age of sixty-eight. Her memory is
cherished to this day.
Nine children were born to Orrin and Polly (Button) Chase,--Avery W., Mary Annette, Alzina, Luna, Sarah, Sullivan G., Julius, Diogenes D., and Vernette M. All of the daughters and two of the sons are now living. Avery served in the late war, being a member of a New York State battery. He died from injuries received while in action before Petersburg, Va., being paralyzed by severe concussion. Sullivan came to his death at twenty-two years of age by being precipitated into a mill pond by falling timber, the result of a heavy freshet.
Diogenes D. Chase was educated first in the common schools. Later he attended Cortland and Homer Academies, then taught school one year. At the early age of eighteen he enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Fifty-seventh New York Volunteer Infantry, and with that regiment participated in numerous battles, the more important ones being
those of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. In the latter his regiment was placed in the extreme front to resist the onward movement of the advancing rebels; and in the fearful fighting of that battle it lost more men in killed, wounded, and prisoners, in proportion to its numbers, than any other regiment on the field. It was the third in the actual number
of its killed and wounded. Dr. Chase was one of the most severely wounded of his regiment, a ball passing through his body and coming out on the front side. From this wound his sufferings were long and severe. He was left upon the field for dead, and was thus reported in home papers, lying where he fell from 2 P.M. on the first day of the battle to 4 P.M. of the second day, when he was removed by the rebel soldiers. In a place exposed to the Union shells and bullets,
he was compelled to remain for a considerable time, when he crawled behind a wood pile. He was four days in all without food and without attention being given to his wound. After the retreat of the army of Lee from the field he was removed to the corps hospital, and there suffered from paralysis of the lower limbs for three months. During this time
he could not even turn himself in bed. At length, becoming able to get around on crutches, he was transferred to the Second Battalion Veteran Reserve Corps, and assigned to duty in the hospital at York, Pa. Here, appointed Ward Master, he made himself generally useful in dressing the wounds of his comrades and in caring for the sick. Remaining in the service until the close of the war, he was then honorably discharged, returned to Morrisville, and there continued
the study of medicine with Dr. Mead, having prior to this studied medicine two years while in the army hospital. In the winter of 1866-67 he attended medical lectures at the University of Michigan, and in 1868 entered Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York City, graduating from that institution with the class of 1869. Forming a partnership with Dr. Mead, he has ever since then been engaged in the active practice of his profession, having, after two years and a half, withdrawn from the partnership. Immediately after his graduation he was appointed Examining Surgeon, and has since held this position through both Republican and Democratic administrations, as a single surgeon 1889, and since then as a member of board.
In 1870 Dr. Chase married Harriet A. Babcock, a native of the town of Brookfield, a daughter of Alfred and Lucy (Brownell) Babcock. They have three children living,--namely, Linn, Jerome, and Mabel,--all at home. Linn was graduated from the Union School in Morrisville, took a preparatory course at Olivet, Mich., and was graduated
with honors from the Medical Department of the University of New York in 1893, in the twenty-first year of his age. His class was the first sent forth from that institution under the new law providing for a board of examiners. A young man of exceptionally good abilities, he has evidently a bright future before him. He now practises with his father.
Dr. D. D. Chase is a member of Morrisville Lodge, No. 658, A. F. & A. M., and also of Tillinghast Post, No. __, Grand Army of the Republic. From the foregoing brief outline of the career of Dr. Chase it is apparent that from his services in the army of the Union he is much more than ordinarily deserving of praise and gratitude. It is not to be wondered at that he and his wife stand high in the estimation of all good people, by whom they are known.
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