Lewis Chase
Lewis Anthony Chase

September 6, 1845January 11, 1929 (83 years old)
Hometown: Philipsburg, PA
September 6, 1845January 11, 1929
(83 years old) | Philipsburg, PA

Life Story

Lewis Anthony Chase


Lewis Anthony Chase was born into slavery on Sept. 6, 1845 at a plantation in Clear Spring, Washington County, Maryland.  His parents were slaves.  When Lewis was quite young, his father was sold to another slave master never to be seen again by his son.  Lewis was left to be raised alone by his mother, Chloe, a faithful servant on the plantation.   

Lewis left the plantation after the outbreak of the Civil War to serve for the Union Army.  He enrolled March 3, 1864 for enlistment in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as a member of the 43rd Pennsylvania Colored Troops Volunteer Regiment Company A.  He served loyally until the close of the war.

After the end of the Civil War, Lewis returned to Clear Spring to reunite with his mother.  He was united in marriage soon after his return to Miss Caroline Barnes on September 21, 1866 at the Methodist Church in Clear Springs, Maryland.  Lewis, his wife and mother journeyed to Mount Union, Pennsylvania for employment at a tannery.  Later, he relocated to Johnstown, from there he moved to Philipsburg in 1877.  Lewis worked at the local tannery until 1894.  Being heavily involved with his church, the Derrick Chapel of the A.M.E. Church of Philipsburg, he began selling Bibles and Christian literature throughout Centre, Clearfield, Blair and Cambria counties.  Lewis became quite prosperous after he began selling books.  On his tours, he was welcomed into the best homes in Central Pennsylvania where he sang hymns and played the organ for large gatherings of people to enjoy.  It is said he possessed a rich, melodic voice.  A born musician, he gave music lessons in Philipsburg and was given the title of “Professor”.  Many in the area didn’t know him by his first name – only as “Professor Chase”.

On October 4, 1913 Caroline Chase, Lewis’ beloved wife, passed away.  Lewis erected a tall tombstone to honor his wife.  In 1916 Lewis then remarried to Virginia Peyton. 

Lewis left his struggles behind after the Civil War to find love, friendship, faith and prosperity in Philipsburg.  He called Philipsburg his home.  On January 11, 1929 Lewis Anthony Chase passed away in the Philipsburg State General Hospital at the age of 83 years old. Just 4 days later, his second wife Virginia passed away.  Lewis is buried at the Philipsburg Cemetery next to his mother Chloe and wife Caroline.

It was written in his obituary in the Philipsburg Journal that Lewis was regarded as an upright, worthy man – one who would not knowingly do wrong or harm to another – and one whose first thought had been to extend a helping hand.  He had been honest and honorable….loyal and true.