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From: "Jeffrey Chace" <>
Subject: [CHASE-L] Historical Sketch Chase Ranch NM
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 15:50:51 +0200

Historical Sketch
Manley M. Chase was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, October 8, 1842, the son of
William Coleman Chase and Mary Gilson. He left home at the age of 15 and
lived in the Middle West until 1860, when he moved to Colorado. There he
engaged in mining for a while, then went into the meat and freighting
business, operating a slaughter house in Denver and supplying beef to the
U. S. Army. On October 21, 1860, he married Theresa M. Wade. To this couple
were born six children: Lottie, Mason George, Laura, Ida, Mary L., and
Stanley M.

The Chases came to New Mexico in 1866, where M. M. Chase purchased a one-
third interest in John B. Dawson's ranch (part of the Maxwell Land Grant)
on the Vermejo River and went into partnership with Dawson to raise both
sheep and cattle. In 1871, Chase purchased another part of the original
Maxwell grant. He paid 50 cents an acre for 2, 000 acres along Poñil Creek,
an area which included the old Kit Carson homestead. The two-story adobe
house which he built about three miles northeast of Cimarron is still the
ranch headquarters and the family home.

Through partnerships with other ranchers to purchase large amounts of land
and the organization and supervision of several livestock companies, Chase
established himself as a prominent figure in New Mexico's livestock
industry of that time. When the Maxwell Cattle Company was incorporated in
1881, Chase was chosen to manage it for a period of five years. In 1886,
the Las Vegas Daily Optic reported that M. M. Chase "manages more cattle
than any man in New Mexico, " and in 1891 he was regarded as an authority
on the subject of stock raising.

M. M. Chase was one of the first to import Hereford bulls for breeding with
the Texas longhorn stock. Similarly, he contributed to the upgrading of
native sheep by the importation of Merino bucks from Vermont and Ohio. The
Chase, Eno and Company sheep ranch near Hansford, Texas, was incorporated
in 1892 by M. M. Chase in partnership with two cousins in Vermont and
William S. Eno of Pine Plains, New York. Mason Chase managed the Texas
ranch, and when his father decided to move the sheep back to New Mexico in
1895, Mason supervised the drive. The new camp was at Veda in Union County.
Mason managed this ranch until it was sold in 1901.

The Chase Ranch also enjoyed the reputation of having one of the finest
orchards in the Southwest. Begun in 1872 with 250 small fruit trees brought
by ox team from Ohio, the orchard later was increased to 85 acres. Crops of
fruit, primarily apples, averaged 500, 000 pounds yearly. The fruit was of
high quality, and in 1910, M. M. Chase wrote that his orchard had
experienced only one failure in 35 years. In addition to the orchard,
several hundred acres of land were placed under irrigation for oats,
alfalfa and barley.

After Theresa (Mrs. M. M.) Chase died in 1900, Nettie (Mrs. Mason) Chase
assumed the household responsibilities. She put much time and energy into
her poultry business developed around 1911. M. M. Chase died in 1915. Three
years later, the S. M. Chase Cattle Company was incorporated by his sons,
Stanley M. and Mason G. Chase, and his son-in-law, Charles Springer.

Scope and Content
The records and papers of the Chase Ranch span the years 1838 to 1960, with
the bulk of the material falling before 1910. They constitute a major
contribution to the history of cattle raising in New Mexico before 1900,
being especially strong for the period 1883-1887. The records of sheep
raising, particularly for the period 1892-1901, and fruit growing,
especially 1896-1905 and 1917-1918, are also significant representations of
these businesses. Records for the years 1920-1939 are sketchy and
incomplete. The latest dates in the collection, 1948-1951, and 1960, are
each represented by only one or two items or entries.

The collection consists of 68 bound volumes and six folders, which have
been organized in four series: financial documents, correspondence, diaries
and memo books, and miscellany. The records document, for the time periods
indicated, the Chase family's diverse agricultural activities, which
include the raising of sheep (1875-1901), cattle (1870-1907, 1909-1910,
1916-1939), horses (1911, 1924), hogs (1896-1897, 1924), and poultry (1911-
1915, 1923-1925); fruit growing (1896-1910, 1916-1939); butter sales (1911-
1914, 1923-1925); and milk sales (1929-1931, 1936).

The financial records for the period 1870-1883 are incomplete and
demonstrate the lack of an overall bookkeeping system. In June 1883, C.A.
Westcott implemented a sophisticated accounting procedure which enabled him
to keep complete and accurate records for the Chase Ranch itself, as well
as for the seven cattle companies of which M. M. Chase was manager and
acting treasurer. These cattle companies were the Cimarron, Luera, Monte
Ruvuelto, Gila, Maxwell, Red River and L. and G. Based on the documents
available, the quality of the system, in terms of cross-referencing
capability, begins to disintegrate after 1887. The volumes also contain the
records of the following operations: Chase and Dawson (1873-1879), Chase,
Dawson and Maulding (1883-1886), Chase, Maulding and Dane (1886-1889),
Chase, Eno and Company (1892-1901), the Dutchess Cattle Company (1893-
1896), S. M. Chase Cattle Company (1917-1925, 1929-1939), and the Rupert
and Traveller Horse Company (1924).

The two earliest volumes of correspondence deal primarily with the cattle
business. Subsequent books also contain many letters concerning the sheep
operation and some correspondence regarding fruit sales. In addition to
family members, correspondents include: Jesse A. Adamson, foreman, sheep
camp; Thomas Benton Brooks, New York financier; D. A. Clothier, merchant;
Dr. J. M. Cunningham, Las Vegas stockholder in the Red River Cattle
Company; Zenas A. Curtis, foreman for the Chase, Eno Ranch; Charles H.
Dane, partner of Chase; M. E. Dane, partner of Chase; John B. Dawson,
pioneer rancher and partner of Chase; S. M. Folsom, stockholder in the Red
River Cattle Company; Ira B. Gale, Chase employee; Silas Hough, cattle
driver; R. H. Howard, Chase, Eno employee; Charles Ilfeld, Las Vegas
merchant; Floyd Jarrett, stockholder in the Gila Cattle Company; Andrieus
A. Jones, attorney and public official; Dr. C. B. Kohlhousen, Raton medical
doctor and son-in-law of Chase; James C. Leary, Secretary, New Mexico Stock
Growers Association; Marion Littrell, rancher and sheriff of Colfax County;
W. H. H. Llewellyn, Las Cruces agent for the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe
Railroad; Edward McBride, Colfax County Commissioner and Chase foreman;
Geoffrey McCrohan, foreman for the Cimarron Cattle Company; Benjamin
McLean, Kansas City, Missouri, stockholder in the Gila Cattle Company;
Frank Manzanares, New Mexico's delegate to Congress, 1884-1885; J. T.
Martin, Chase employee; Taylor F. Maulding, rancher, partner of Chase and
superintendent of the Cimarron Cattle Company; Melvin W. Mills, District
Attorney, northern New Mexico; the William R. Morley Family; A. S. Neff,
farmer, rancher, and Raton merchant; George J. Pace, Raton merchant and
county treasurer; Henry M. Porter, Treasurer, Maxwell Land Grant Company,
and partner of Chase; L. Bradford Prince, Governor of New Mexico Territory,
1889-1893; D. B. Robinson, Vice- President, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
Railroad; M. M. Salazar, Colfax County Clerk; Frank R. Sherwin, President,
Maxwell Land Grant Company; Dr. W. L. South, rancher, deputy sheriff of
Colfax County, and stockholder in the Cimarron Cattle Company; Charles
Springer, rancher, attorney, and Chase's son-in-law; Frank Springer,
rancher, attorney, and Vice-President of Maxwell Land Grant Company; J. R.
Stollar, Kansas City cattle buyer; William Van Bruggen, Maxwell merchant
and banker; Harry Whigham, Secretary, Maxwell Land Grant Company; and J. W.
Zollars, Las Vegas banker.

The small books in the Diaries and Memo Books series do not contain the
more important diaries in the Chase collection. These were written on
sections of pages in volumes located in the Financial Documents series.
Entries by Ada Chase, Laura Chase, and Nettie (Mrs. Mason G.) Chase comment
on family and ranch life in 1886-1888, 1900-1905, and 1918-1919.

Miscellaneous items include a scrapbook, mostly of newspaper clippings 1881-
1899; a record book containing copies of legal documents, primarily 1886-
1902; the Certificate of Incorporation, bylaws and minutes of the S. M.
Chase Cattle Company, 1917-1918; bills and statements from the Springer,
New Mexico, mercantile operation of Porter and Clouthier, 1884-1885; and
correspondence regarding the orchard business, 1917-1918.

Collection Summary
Chase Ranch Records, 1838-1960
Collection Number
Ms 108
Chase Ranch (Colfax County, N. M.)
9 linear feet
New Mexico State University. Rio Grande Historical Collections
Located on the Poñil River near Cimarron. Begun by Manley M. Chase, this
ranch is one of the oldest ranching operations on the Maxwell Land Grant.
Contains financial records, business correspondence, diaries and daybooks,
and other materials related to the ranch's cattle, sheep, horse, orchard,
vegetable, poultry, and dairy production and documentation on several other
ranches in which Chase had an investment or managerial interest.
Significant correspondents include John B. Dawson, Charles Ilfeld, Andrieus
A. Jones, Frank Manzanares, Melvin W. Mills, L. Bradford Prince, Frank R.
Sherwin, and Charles and Frank Springer.

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