Senator Daniel Cady Chase View All Years
DANIEL CADY CHASE
Senator D. C. Chase, a member of the present General Assembly, having died Friday morning, March 2, President of the Senate John Hammill and Senators Gilchrist, Price, Buser and Bowman appointed by him as a special committee, attended the funeral, which was held at Webster City on Sunday, March 4th.
At the close of the session of the Senate on Tuesday, March 6, a short memorial exercise was held for Senator Chase.
On motion of Senator Gilchrist the following eulogy of Senator Chase, delivered at the funeral by Rev. George Wood, was ordered printed in the Senate Journal:
My dear Friends:
We are assembled today to show our sense of appreciation, our high regard, for the life and personality of Daniel Cady Chase. Cady, as he was generally known, was born in this city, June 18, 1859, his parents coming here one year previous. His father, Daniel D. Chase, was a prominent lawyer and district judge.
Cady was a graduate of the Webster City schools and also of the State university, where he made a brilliant record. For a time he was interested in journalism, but later was admitted to the bar and became one of its most able members.
From 1892 to his death, he was at intervals associated with the state legislature; first as representative and then as senator, holding the seat as senator for the Thirty-seventh district at the time of his death.
His consecration to duty was as impelling during his previous terms as it was in this, his last, when from a sick bed he would take his faltering way to the Senate chamber, there to engage in debate, and to vote, carrying out the desires of his constituency, but returning each time a much weakened man.
One might say that his sense of duty was as vital to him as life itself.
Cady Chase passed away at 7:30 o’clock a. m., Friday morning, March 2nd, almost in the arms of Mrs. Chase, who has without rest given herself to him during his long and wearing sickness. He leaves to lament his departure, his wife and one son, Cady—Daniel Cady Chase, Jr., who is practising law in Cedar Rapids.
Mr. Chase was always at the service of his fellows, and no legal work nor indeed work of any kind was ever refused because his client had no means wherewith to pay for the services he sought. Cady Chase performed many deeds of helpfulness, few of which were ever made public, and none of which were heralded by a fanfare of trumpets.
He championed the cause of the “under dog,” and with considerable relish fought his case to a finish. He had a mind as keen as a March wind; a sympathy as generous as summer sunshine; and convictions steadfast as a granite cliff, and constant as the stars. He was a statesman, a lawyer, a man, of no mean order; the friend of nature’s wild life—for bird, flower, stream and tree had its songful message for his ever ready soul, and it may be that that which passed for aloofness was but preoccupation.
In his early years he gave his powerful voice to the various churches, singing in the choirs, but later he seldom attended public worship; not that the failure to attend church detracted from his personality, for he found sustaining and enriching interests elsewhere.
And now for a few brief moments, I would like to show through the jewelled portals of his poems, and by the aid of his own singing words, some glimpses of his not commonly revealed selfhood. He was a patriot not of the wordy mouth, but of the potent deed. He loved his country, and was perhaps one of the heaviest subscribers of his county to the national Liberty Bonds and this instinct of patriotism flames forth in his lines to “Crocker’s Iowa Brigade:”
Here his mystic mood visualizes the hour with its setting of consecrated nobility and martial movement.
He was more—he was a “worshipper”:
“Lift up thine eyes. Art thou delving deep?
Scanning the ground long hours? Grovelling o’er a heap
Thou callest gold?
It is unvalued, save as a thing of beauty
Which shines and glitters in the sun;
But naught, when matched with the glorious rise
Of the golden dawn itself. Lift up thine eyes;
Earth is but an atom on the face of the universe,
Thy state—thy power—how small
Compared with that which moves the stars, guiding them all.
Look, brother, look! Lift up thine eyes,
Strip off thy tinsel crown.”
Surely my friends, we are here face to face with that vast cosmic sense, which gives to life and to men a true balance, a true proportion. Cady Chase was a worshipper of that august power which guides the stars and yet interests itself in men.
A patriot—a worshipper—he was a “Samaritan” soul! Note the sacred sequence, the simple grace, the high regard, which unveils itself in the lines—
“When courage lags, and cannot take
One step ahead; nay, impotent,
Falls down; then Sympathy—Heaven-sent,
And Love, will take the burden up,
Press to the parched lips the cooling cup,
Brush off the dust of failure; then
Assist the stranger on again.”
And I venture to say, that in this state there are scores of people whose testimony of their experiences with him, would establish that; for from the treasury of his own regnant manhood, he brought forth the cooling cup and extended the lifting hand.
But he had a “secret place”—a place of mental, physical and indeed spiritual restoration.
“There was a rippling stream, a slow moving boat,
Moving past fragrant woods, where violets blow,
Redolent air, and curtains of green,
Where he rested—unseen—unseen.”
And I believe from these hidden sanctuaries, he came forth re-born unto power, to disentangle the skeins of human wretchedness and sin. May I go further and say he was a man of sterling courage, and of abiding steadfastness. In the lines called “Courage,” he stands tall as the snowcapped hills, and as immovable:
“Be ever true.
When fortune darkly glowers,
And frowns forbiddingly,
And all the allied powers
Of evil ruthlessly
Rush in between;
Nay, more! The will to draw more closely still
Oh let there then be truthfulness.
The bond between us two,
What storm may come—what woe betide;
So, each be true,
You true to me,
And I to you.”
It is an appeal for comradeship in the home, but it is also an appeal for constancy in all of life’s relationships. How vividly this man senses life’s direst necessities and with what hallowed consecration he would meet them! And finally, this stalwart son of man, this man whose mind and heart formed one of the noblest assets of this favored state, reveals to us the most sacred of all his inner shrines of being when he pens the lines:
“You call me proud; could you but guess aright,
How all my willing pride would gladly die
Before a man who grandly in his might,
Could rise above me, like a star on high.”
Here is a full-orbed, clear visioned sincerity; here is frank, honest, majestic belief in himself; but so poised, so finely balanced, that he could bend the knee, when he had found a might “which grandly rose above him—like a star on high.”
Today we mourn his passing from these scenes of earth and turn in our love to those who abide with us “yet a little while,” but our faith is firm that Cady Chase, having found that greater life, and having seen face to face the kingly Christ, is walking the avenues of immortality, is changing from glory unto glory by beholding, and perhaps slowly but none the less surely, assuming the same image.
Our prayer surely is this—May the God, whose natural creations he loved so well, and whose voices he heard so clearly, in forest and stream, in laughing child and in singing bird, multiply his graces upon him and lead him into the way everlasting.—Amen.