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The United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume online

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where he enjoyed the advantages of a good com-
mon-school education, and two years at the Schenec-
tady Academy. Afterward he assisted his father in
his store, but being ambitious and anxious to be in-
dependent, he secured a situation in a larger store
with a friend of his father, and there continued
clerking and partially learned a trade.

Wishing, however, for a wider field in which to
gratify his ambition than that offered in a dull town
in central New York, he resolved to try his fortunes

in the west, and to that end came to Iowa in 1855,
being scarcely twenty years of age, and began his act-
ive business career. In 1856 he received an appoint-
ment as deputy postmaster at Burlington, Iowa, and
also engaged in the book and periodical business.
The enterprise proved a marked success, and in it he
laid the foundation of the competence he enjoys to-
day. In 1859 he resigned his position and engaged
in the boot and shoe business, establishing the firm
of Tizzard and Barhydt, which continued till i860.
At that time he took the business in his own hands,
and by perseverance and great business energy has
pushed it forward until the firm of T. W. Barhydt and
Co. have done the largest business in its line of any
house in the state. In 1870, in connection with
friends, he organized the Merchants' National Bank
of Burlington,, of which he was elected president, a
position which he still holds. The bank has a capital
and surplus of over two" hundred thousand dollars,
and has been one of the most successful banks ever
organized in the west. Mr. Barhydt was also an incor-
porator of the Burlington Mutual Loan Association
and Mutual Benefit Loan and Building Society, and
director in both, as also director of the Burlington,
Cedar Rapids and Minnesota railway. He is con-
nected with a number of financial, commercial and
local enterprises.

In politics, he was originally a democrat, and still
continues an adherent of that party, though he is
not so much of a politician as to support unworthy



candidates merely for party's sake. He has never
taken an active part in politics, and though repeat-
edly urged to accept nominations for city and legis-
lative offices, his many other duties have forced him
to decline.

He was reared under Presbyterian influences, and
although he adheres to the principles of that denom-
ination, he is liberal in his views respecting the creed
and faith of others.

He owns some of the best business property in
Burlington, the result of his foresight in business ;
and his elegant home commands a delightful view
up and down the Mississippi river.

Mr. Barhydt stands prominent among the emineni
self-made men of Iowa. He possesses the love and
respect of his fellow-citizens, and is well and favor-
ably known throughout the country. As a foresee-
ing financier, he stands among the first bankers oi
the west.

He married, when quite young. Miss Eleanor C.
Christiancy, of Schenectady, New York, and much
of his success is due to the good counsels he re-
ceived from his wife. With untiring industry and
energy, aided by good habits and health, has made
him one of the most prominent of the business men
of Iowa and the west.



DANIEL DARROW CHASE was born in Gan-
ajoharie, New York, on the 4th of July, 1830.
His father, Oliver C. Chase, was a farmer. His
mother's maiden name was Ruth Darrow. Until
he attained the age of seventeen the subject of this
notice remained at the old homestead, attending the
district school in the winter season and laboring
like other lads in rural communities on the farm
during the spring, summer and autumn. The four
ensuing years he passed at the Ames Academy and
the Cazenovia Seminary, where he acquired a good
academic education, and taught in the meantime to
procure the necessary funds to pursue his studies.
After he ceased attending the seminary he became
the principal of the public school at Cazenovia, at
the same time commencing the study of the law
with H. G. Paddock, Esq., of that town. He was
afterward called to the charge of the New Wood-
stock Academy, successfully discharging the ardu-
ous duties of a teacher while pursuing his legal
studies. He completed his course of legal instruc-
tion with his great-uncle, the distinguished Daniel
Cady, who was one of the most eminent lawyers and
statesmen of his day, and was admitted to the bar
of the State of New York at the general term of the
supreme court, in Saratoga county, on the ist of
January, 1856. He entered at once upon the prac-
tice of his profession as the partner of Hon. William
Wait, the well-known author of " Wait's New York
Digest" — Mr. Chase opening an office in Broad-
albin, Fulton county, and Mr. Wait remaining at

In August, 1858, Mr. Chase removed to Iowa,
settling at Webster City, the shire town of the new
county of Hamilton, where he has since continuous-
ly resided. Like tens of thousands of other young
men who have their own way to make in the world,
he came with no capital save that which was stored
up in his brain, and an earnest determination to
deserve success. Upon his arrival in the then little
frontier town which he had selected for his home,
and which then contained scarcely four hundred
people, and the county not over sixteen hundred,
he found the small legal practice in the hands of
two older lawyers, who had settled there* some time
previously. It was many months before he secured
his first retainer, — a discouraging fact to a man of
limited means, when the times were hard and grow-
ing worse with every ensuing week. But he patient-
ly bided his time, and finally the temperance people
were forced to employ him in the prosecution of
sundry violations of the liquor law, both of his com-
petitors, fortunately for him, being engaged on the
other side. The fight was a prolonged and bitter
one, and it served to bring prominently to the notice
of the people the fine legal ability and great force
of character of the hitherto reserved and rather reti;
cent and neglected young lawyer. This rough and
tumble contest completely " westernized " him, and
from this time forward he was the favored attorney
in all the region around. In the following winter
he visited quite a number of the northern counties
of the old eleventh judicial district, becoming ac-
quainted with the people in that sparsely setded

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section, and securing quite an appreciable addition
to his slender legal practice at home. The spring
of 1864 found him with as much and as profitable
employment as active young lawyers are able to
secure in a new country. And he was now ac-
corded the leading position in his profession in that
portion of northwestern Iowa. Noted for his purity
of character, dealing fairly with his clients, and never
encouraging litigation, except in cases where its ne-
cessity and justice rendered it imperative, — thus
making him always the safest of counselors, — he
rapidly won his way to a high place in the popular
estimation. This measure of respect and confi-
dence has only increased as the years have passed

In the autumn of 1859 his name was prominently
mentioned in connection with the position of county
judge, a position in those days of great local power,
for that officer had control of all disbursements of
county funds, audited all accounts and bills against
the county, and was within the scope of his duties,
very nearly ■' monarch of all he surveyed." When
the convention met, every delegate favored his nomi-
nation, and the county had a heavy republican ma-
jority ; but he declined the proffered honor and re-
mained a private citizen. But in the ensuing year,
at the republican judicial convention, he was unani-
mously tendered the nomination for member of the
board of education, to which he was, in October fol-
lowing, chosen by a very large majority. Before his
term of service expired a supposed vacancy occurred
in the office of district attorney for the eleventh ju-
dicial district, and while he lay in bed sick with
fever his friends brought him out for the office, and
he was chosen by more than the party majority. To
remove all doubt the legislature at the next session
passed an act declari-ng the vacancy to have existed
and confirming his election. In 1862 he had no
opposition in the republican convention, and very
little at the polls, and was reelected for the full term
of four years. In the year 1865, a vacancy having
occurred in the office of judge of the district court,
he was appointed to fill the place by Governor Will-
iam M. Stone. He was twice nominated by accla-
mation and twice elected to this distinguished posi-
tion, and at the close of nine years' continuous
service on the bench he declined a third nomination
and retired to private life. His district comprised
some eight counties, in each of which his last court
was distinguished by manifestations of the profound-
est respect for the retiring judge. The bar held

meetings and passed resolutions in the highest de-
gree complimentary of the ability and impartiality
with which he had discharged the delicate and re-
sponsible duties which had devolved upon him for
so many years. In the course of such a long career
upon the bench, where the judge can, if he chooses,
to a large degree, make an autocrat of himself ^ —
vvhen counsel, in their eagerness for success, occa-
sionally overstep the bounds of prudence and must
be kept in their own proper place, asperities often
arise which men carry with them through life. But
in this instance nothing of the kind appeared. The
gentlemen of the bar in each county seemed to vie
with each other in their expressions of deep and
heartfelt respect. In his own county, among his old
rivals at the bar and among whom he was to return
as a rival practitioner, only the kindest feeling pre-
vailed, as was evidenced by the adoption of the
following resolution, penned by Colonel Charles A.
Clark, a lawyer of the opposite party, who has risen
to a distinguished position in central and north-
western Iowa :

Resolved, That by his ability, efficiency and integrity in
the discharge of every official duty, Judge Chase has won,
and is worthy of, not only the commendation and plaudits
of the bar, but of the entire people who have received the
benefits of his labor.

The bar of the entire district, on the last day of
his court, united in presenting him with a magnifi-
cent gold watch and chain, to purchase which' they
contributed the sum of five hundred dollars. A
proud testimonial anywhere and under any circum-

As we are writing these lines, we are in receipt of
a letter from an eminent lawyer, long a practitioner
in the eleventh judicial district, who bears the fol-
lowing testimony to the distinguished merits of the
subject of our sketch :

Judge Chase, as a jurist, is possessed of many strong
qualifications. Patient, yet vigorous in the investigation of
causes; clear, forcible and terse in his enunciation of legal
principles, he was a model judge. The judicial cast of his
mmd IS marked. A thorough knowledge of human nature
large perceptive faculties, with judgment and reasoning
powers to match, combined with generous culture and
patient research, indicate a type of man fitted to adorn the
bench of a court of last resort.

Aside from these" more substantial political honors
conferred upon Judge Chase, he was made a dele-
gate-at-large to the republican national convention
in 1864, when President Lincoln was nominated for
his second term, and was chairman of the Iowa
delegation in that body.



A whig in his early days, he has acted with the
republican party for the past twenty years.

Judge Chase is not a member of any church or-
ganization, but is a regular attendant upon public
worship and a liberal supporter of religious effort.
Better than anything the public at large know of
him, however, is the fact that his hand and purse
are ever open to help the needy and distressed. In
all the acquaintance of the writer hereof, there is no
man who gives more freely in proportion to his
means to objects of deserving charity, and this with-
out ostentation or display.

Judge Chase married his wife, whose maiden
name was Hattie E. Bell, at New Woodstock, Madi-

son county. New York, on the loth of August, 1858.
They have only one child, a son of much promise,
now a student in the Iowa State University. From
the time he located in Webster City Judge Chase
has taken a Ijvely interest in the public schools, and
in every institution and enterprise tending to elevate
and improve the people, and enhance the wealth
and character of his adopted home.

In conclusion, we may say that Judge Chase is a
man whose marked ability, rich and varied culture,
candor and impartiality on the bench, unquestioned
purity of character, praiseworthy aims and great
public usefulness, have assigned him a distinguished
place among the first men of Iowa.



IN collecting the life histories of Iowa's influential,
honored and leading men, we should be remiss
in our duty should we omit that of him whose name
heads this sketch. Fully realizing the difficulty of
avoiding on the one hand the not doing justice to
our subject, and on the other the presenting of a
one-sided sketch, we present his biography impar-
tially and with a true regard for the truth, — charac-
teristics which alone add grace and dignity to the
work of the historian.

Philip Viele was born at the Valley (now Valley
Falls), in the town of Pittstown, Rensselaer county.
New York, on the loth of September, 1799. His
paternal great-grandfather, Arnaud Cornelius Viele,
was a Frenchman by descent and a Hollander by
birth-, who immigrated to America in the latter part
of the seventeenth century and settled in Schenectady,
New York, on the Mohawk river. He is honorably
mentioned in the colonial history of New York for
important services rendered the government in the
negotiations with the Indian nations. The parents
of our subject were Abraham L. Viele and Hannah
nee Douglass, a daughter of Major Samuel Douglass,
of Pittstown, New York. They had nine children:
Philip; Lodewic, died in 1840; Patience, widow
of Daniel T. Newcomb, of Davenport, Iowa ; Eve
Eliza, died in 1848 ; Delia Maria, wife of Hon. David
Rover, of Burlington, Iowa; William Douglass, died
in 1866; Samuel Douglass, died in 1867; Harriet,
widow of the late Dr. George W. Fitch, of Musca-
tine, Iowa; Charles Viele, of Evansville, Indiana.

Philip passed his early life on his father's farm,
and at the age of fifteen was sent to an academy in
Salem, Washington county. New York, where he
remained three years. In 1817 he entered Union
College, at Schenectady, and for several years pur-
sued his studies with zeal under the celebrated Dr.
Nott. Hon. William H. Seward was then a student
at Union College, and between him and Mr. Viele
there grew up a friendship which continued for
many years afterward.

In October, 1821, Mr. Viele commenced studying
for the legal profession in the office of John L. Viele,
Esq., at Waterford, Saratoga county. New York, and
completed his studies in the office of John Paine,
Esq., of Troy, New York, and in 1824 was admitted
to the bar by the supreme court. Possessed of a
ready wit, quick at repartee, having strong mental
perceptions and a ready flow of language, polished
by literary attainments and deliberate reflection, and
fearless in the advocacy of what he believed to be
right, he must necessarily have attained to a high
position as a jurist and advocate had he confined
himself to the practice of his profession. Here,
however, he permitted himself to be allured by
the excitement of politics, and leaving his Black-
stone and Coke, turned his attention toward po-
litical matters, — addressing the populace from the

During the Presidential campaign of 1824 four
candidates appeared, soliciting the suffrages of the
people. William H. Crawford was the democratic



nominee, while John Q. Adams, General Jackson
and Henry Clay each presented himself as an inde-
pendent candidate for the Presidency. The historic
name of Adams, the military reputation of Jackson,
and the oratorical abilities and statesmanship of
Clay, all combined to create an excited political
feeling throughout the country. All these had been
distinguished leaders, and each had personal friends
and admirers in all sections, who supported their
respective favorite with all imaginable zeal. Catch-
ing the enthusiasm of the hour, Mr. Viele took the
stump in support of " Old Hickory," and from his
youth, and fluent speech, soon became widely known
as the " Boy Orator." A former citizen of Keokuk,
Iowa, who knew him at the time, says of him : " No
other speaker, old or young, in eastern New York,
could draw together such large crowds and rouse
them to the same pitch of excitement as Judge
Viele." Such were his services to his party, and so
highly was he esteemed, that DeWitt Clinton, then
governor of New York, tendered him the office of
surrogate of Rensselaer county, New York, a posi-
tion which he accepted in 1827 and held until 1831,
when he was re-appointed by Governor Throop and
held it until 1835. The office was one to be de-
sired, since it paid a salary of two thousand dollars
a year, which, at that time, was worth three times
that amount to-day. His duties during the eight
years while he held this office were so exacting that
he found no time for legal study, except so far as
the same related to probate matters, and saw the
mistake which he made in abandoning his profes-
sion only when he had retired from business, and
looked back over his life career. While a resident
of New York Mr. Viele became surety for a relative
for a large amount of money, and, the relative fail-
ing, in business, he was called upon to meet the
obligation ; and feeling the moral force of the claim,
yielded up his property, even to his homestead, to
liquidate the demands which his generosity had in-
curred, and with his wife started westward to begin
anew the struggle of life. After a tedious journey
of more than a month by stages and steamboats
(there were then no railroads west of New York),
they, on the 2d of June, 1837, pitched their tent
on the present site of the thriving city of Fort
Madison, then in the territory of Wisconsin. The
then little village comprised about twenty cabins
set among the bushes and trees, but it being
the county seat of Lee county, Mr. Viele hung
out his " shingle " and once more resumed his

profession. Madison soon became an important
business town, and during the next eight years
he continued at the bar with a growing prac-
tice. But his love for the excitement of the po-
litical arena had not left him, but revived again
with all the vigor with which it had lured him from
his profession in his early manhood. Before leaving
New York he had become estranged from the demo-
cratic party, by reason of the corruptions which be-
came manifest in its workings. There was in the
state a clique known as the "Albany Regency," of
which Van Buren and Marcy were the leaders, and
whose principles Mr. Viele greatly disliked. He
belonged to the Clinton wing of the democracy,
between which and the " Regency " there was an
old feud. Upon the death of Clinton this clique
gained possession not only of New York but also of
the democratic party throughout the United States.
Mr. Viele regarded the " Regency " in much the
same light as honest men during recent years have
looked upon the " Tammany " and Washington gov-
ernment rings, and united his political fortunes with
Henry Clay and the whig party. As a matter of
fact, the controversy between the honest portion of
the whig and democratic parties in those days was
more of personal preferences than of principles, at
least as between the whigs and the northern democ-
racy. Did whigs favor internal improvements by
■the general government, so did the northern demo-
crats ; were whigs in favor of a protective tariff, the
democracy were willing to have a revenue tariff
which -should discriminate so as to give incidental
protection ; did whigs repudiate nullification and
secession. General Jackson swore " by the Eternal "
that the Union should be maintained at all hazards,
and the democracy throughout the nation, aside
from that of South Carolina, rallied to the support
of the old hero ; did whigs insist that safety required
that the Presidency be limited to one terra in the
same person, the democracy at once proclaimed
" rotation in office," but claimed that the exigencies
of the times were such that the rule should not
apply to President Jackson, but did apply to his
successors Van Buren, Polk and Buchanan. The
Presidential campaign of r84o, in which General
Harrison and Martin Van Buren were candidates,
was quite as exciting as that of 1824 between Craw-
ford and others. Mr. Viele took the stump in sup-
port of Harrison, against his old associate Van
Buren. Several speeches which he made in Iowa
during that campaign elicited great applause, and



the whigs of that state, apparently by common con-
sent, named him as their candidate for congress,
and it is believed by leading men of both parties
that had he been allowed to become the whig candi-
date-he would have secured an election. But certain
persons in his party fearing his influence conspired
against him in the convention, and he having no
desire to enter into such a conflict, believing that a
strict party nomination, in a democratic territory as
Iowa then was, would be most hazardous, yielded to
the opposition. In 1846 he became identified with
a local political movement which again drew him
from his profession, and he never again resumed it.
A political ring under the guise of a democratic
name had got possession of the county offices, and
was levying taxes and disbursing the public monies
in a most lavish manner ; county orders had depreci-
ated to about fifty cents on the dollar. The whigs
being unsuccessful in every attempt to remedy the
evil complained of, Mr. Viele, with others, conceived
the idea of dropping the party name„and calling on
the honest men of all parties to unite under the
name of the " Union Retrenchment and Reform
Party of Lee Cpunty." The masses, irrespective of
party, gladly responded to the call, and at a meeting
for the nomination of county officers in 1846 the
friends of reform, against his will, insisted on putting
forward the name of Mr. Viele for the office of
judge of probate; and he, fearing that his refusal
might weaken the cause he had aided in starting,
finally gave his consent. The whole ticket was
elected by an overwhelming majority ; as a result
of the reform movement, the credit of the county
soon revived and county orders became par. Judge
Viele was elected judge of probate for three success-
ive terms, and gave universal satisfaction. In 1852
he permitted his friends to trammel him with a party
nomination as whig candidate for congress, from
the first congressional district of Iowa. Running
thus under a party guise, he lost the support of
many personal democratic friends, and, although he
received the full vote of his party, was defeated.
During the Kansas-Nebraska imbroglio he threw
his whole influence on the side of anti-slavery, and
was enthusiastically chosen president of the first re-
publican convention of Iowa, held at Iowa City in

In 1 85 9 'he was elected a member of the State
Board of Education for one term. The esteem in
which he is held by his immediate fellow-citizens
is well attested by the fact that, notwithstanding

Fort Madison has been strongly democratic, he has
on four different occasions been elected mayor of
the city.

In local enterprises he has been somewhat active.
Upon the organization of the Madison branch of
the State Bank of Iowa, in 1859, he was chosen its
president, and held that office five years.

Early in 1870 a meeting of the stockholders and
other citizens of Madison was called in the interest
of a railroad project, for which they had labored
hard but which seemed likely to fail. The speeches
of the leaders were desponding, and it was conceded
to be a "lost cause," when Judge. Viele, inspired by

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 14 of 125)