Chase-ing Wheaton — full circle

Salmon P. ChaseOne of Wheaton’s earliest trustees was Salmon P. Chase. During his career in public service Chase was a senator from the state of Ohio, had served as its governor, was Secretary of the Treasury (he appears on the $10,000 bill), and finally served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It is likely that Jonathan Blanchard and Chase first met when Blanchard pastored in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was involved in abolitionist activities and the Liberty Party. Interestingly enough, Salmon P. Chase was the great-great-uncle of J. Richard Chase, Wheaton’s sixth president and the great-great-great-uncle of current faculty-member Ken Chase.

J. Richard ChaseRunning alongside the east side of Blanchard Hall to the south is Chase Street. I think some weight can be placed behind the idea of Chase St. being named for Salmon P. Chase. In the 1874 Map of Wheaton (reprinted by the Dupage Co. Historical Soc. in 1975) several streets are shown in and around Chase St. The area, known as College Addition, was platted with North/South streets as Sumner (likely for Radical Republican Charles Sumner), Chase, Lincoln, Grant and President (likely for President Blanchard as this street went to his house). The East/West streets platted were Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois.

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