History of "Remember When" building

Chase Memorial Hospital History
(Compiled by New Berlin Town Historian, Barbara B. Avery)

    According to Floyd Wilbur, (vol.III, "Early Glimpses of New Berlin and Related Areas Nearby"), the building was constructed by Sylvester Walker, a hatter by trade. He came to New Berlin about 1817. He bought the lot at #34 North Main Street and built a hat shop. (He may have purchased this lot from John Williams, who at one time, owned this land.) He carried on the hatter business for several years, finally sold out and moved west. (According to the Federal Census recordes, Sylvester Walker is living in New Berlin in 1820 but is gone by 1830.)

    Attorney Henry Bennett lived here, as did Ira T. Butterfield. By 1920 (from the Federal Census), Ira's son, George H. Butterfield and his wife, Maude own the building. Maude Butterfield sold the building which then became the hospital.

    Miss Minnie Chase bequeathed to New Berlin funds for a hospital to be bought or built and chose the committee which made the purchase of the Butterfield home in 1935. This committee supervised the work to adapt the home and meet the requirements of a fifteen bed hospital. 

    In April, 1936, the building opened as the "Minnie M. Chase Memorial Hospital".

    Mrs. Kenton Robinson of South New Berlin was the first patient. Her newborn daughter, Ruth Robinson became the second patient on April 6, 1936. Mrs. Berger Benson was the first medical patient, entering the hospital on April 7, 1936.

    Since that time, 3718 babies were born here, with the last one in October, 1964 and more than 12,000 patients cared for in this hospital.

Ira T. and George H. Butterfield

    Ira T. Butterfield, 1825-1913, built and used as his general store and bakery the building at #16 South Main Street (now Service Pharmacy). He had bakery and grocery carts covering the rural areas of our nearby townships. His son, George, worked with him in the bakery until he changed to the insurance business.

    He purchased and lived in the building at #34 North Main Street. His son, George and his wife, Maude also lived here in the 1920's. Maude eventually sold the building and it became the "Minnie M. Chase Memorial Hospital".

    Ira was married to Cordelia M. Butterfield, B.1825 d.1886. George H. Butterfield was born in 1862 and died in 1929. His wife Maude E. was born in 1873 and died in 1947. All are buried in St. Andrew's Cemetery.

Henry Bennett

    Henry Bennett was born in New Lisbon on September 20, 1808. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1832. His full life's career was spent here in New Berlin. His residence was the present brick Chase Memorial Hospital. He gained considerable prominence and serves as a member of Congress for ten successive years (1849-1859). He missed a sixth term by one vote. He served on the Committee on Public Land and worked for the development of western lands.

    His wife, Polly M. Gibson, 1824-1910, was a member of the old Mew Berlin Academy faculty for several years.

    He was a law partner with his brother-in-law, G. W. Sumner, a native of Guilford and who lived next door to him (Arthur Smith house which has been demolished and is now the parking lot for the Remember When Cafe', 2005). They had their office in the old LeRoy Camp block, (the Big M Market today). Attorney Sumner served as a justice for two terms, and as our assemblyman in 1864-65. He was drowned in Crooked Lake on August 10, 1865.

    Henry Bennett also formed a partnership with Hon. H. M. Aylesworth. Attorney Aylesworth later moved to Leonardsville and Hon. Henry H. Harrington (Grandfather to Ellen Lloyd) became a partner.

    Henry died in 1868 and is buried in St. Andrew's Cemetery along with his wife, his sister and her husband, Laura Bennett Sumner, 1819-1865.

    Attorney Henry Bennett had for a client the Dr. Dan Foote, Jr., (whose father, Dr. Dan Foote, Sr., was the first doctor here). Dr. Foote, Jr. was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife in a house here in New Berlin, He kicked, pounded and mutilated her, and forced her to take a poisonous blue dye which colored her mouth. Att. Bennett arranged a series of adjournments until the key witnesses had died. He then secured a lighter sentence. ("Early Glimpses of New Berlin and Related Areas Nearby", Vol.III, pgs. 100, 356-7).

Minnie Mary Chase

    Minnie Mary Chase, was born on May 15, 1868, the daughter of Eri and Melissa Burdick Chase, in Edmeston, New York.

    She was bookkeeper for Eugene Sage of New Berlin, later worked in the First National Bank before being hired by the Phenix Cheese Company in New York City, where she held an important clerical position.

    She retired in 1917. She was a member of St. Andrew's Church, the Altar Guild and the Woman's Auxiliary. On Monday, June 6, 1932, she died at the home of Mrs. Harriet Brown Thayer in New Berlin. She is buried in the Gazlay Cemetery in South Edmeston.

    Miss Chase bequeathed funds to New Berlin and picked a committee, through which in 1935, the George H. and Maude E. Butterfield building at #34 North Main Street was purchased and equipped as a much needed hospital. The building was named in honor of Miss Chase as the "Minnie M. Chase Memorial Hospital".