Ira Joy Chase
Governor of Indiana
November 23, 1891-January 9, 1893
Artist: Theodore Clement Steele, American, 1847-1926
oil on canvas, 40 1/4 x 30 (102.2 x 76.2)
Signed and dated l.r.: T. C. Steele/1892
IRA CHASE was born in New York and educated at Milan Seminary in Ohio and Medina Academy in New York. Chase taught school and tried the hardware business before entering the ministry. He served one year in the Union army before being discharged for ill health. Chase entered the ministry and came to Indiana in 1867 as pastor in the Christian Church of Mishawaka, and he later served also at La Porte, Wabash, and Danville. His war service led to his appointment as Indiana G.A.R. chaplain in 1886 and his election as department commander in 1887.
Chase was elected lieutenant governor in 1888 and became governor upon Alvin Hovey's death in 1891. Chase was defeated when he ran for governor in his own right in 1892.
A campaign sketch in 1888 described Chase as "candid to the point of simplicity" and suggested that he was criticized by professional politicians as "wanting art." He continued his work as a minister during his term as lieutenant governor and governor.
Source: Peat, Wilbur D. Portraits and Painters of the Governors of Indiana 1800-1978. Revised, edited and with new entries by Diane Gail Lazarus, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Biographies of the governors by Lana Ruegamer, Indiana Historical Society. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society and Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1978.
Source: Indiana Historical Bureau