Chase, Ira Carlton (1868–1933)

By: Chester R. Burns

Type: Biography

Published: December 1, 1994

Updated: October 14, 2020

Ira Carlton Chase, physician, was born in Oberlin, Ohio, on August 16, 1868, the son of Edwin R. and Malvina (Dayton) Chase. He was educated in the public schools of Flint, Michigan, and received a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College (1891), where he was associate editor of the Oberlin Review in 1890–91. In 1891 Chase was employed by the YMCA, which he served as physical director at Tyler, Texas, and then at Denison as general secretary. He taught physics and chemistry at Fort Worth University in 1893. The following year he became professor of chemistry and toxicology, assisted in the organization of the medical department of Fort Worth University, and was the first secretary of the faculty. In 1899 he received a medical degree from Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York City. He then established a private practice in Fort Worth and continued teaching as professor of anatomy at Fort Worth Medical College. He was elected secretary of the Texas State Medical Association (see TEXAS MEDICAL ASSOCIATION) in 1904 and became the first editor in chief of the Texas State Journal of Medicine when it was established in 1905. Chase continued in these roles until 1910, when he went to Europe for two years for postgraduate training. Afterwards he served as dean of Fort Worth Medical College until that school merged with the medical department of Baylor University in Dallas in 1918. During World War I Chase served as chairman of the Council on National Defense, Medical Section, for Texas. He edited the Texas Medical State Journal through the war. Also during this time he served as contract surgeon for the Canadian government, in charge of the injured from three air fields near Fort Worth.

Chase exercised several official roles in professional societies. In 1920 he became the fifty-third president of the Texas State Medical Association. He served several terms as a Texas delegate to American Medical Association meetings (1910, 1918, and 1919), and he was a member of the Judicial Council of the AMA (1919–25). He became a fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1915. He was active in establishing licensure and public policies for Texas, and he was acknowledged as an outstanding community leader in Fort Worth. The Exchange Club selected him as the city's Most Outstanding Citizen in 1932. This honor specifically referred to Chase's advocacy of the city council form of government for Fort Worth. Chase died of cancer at his home in Fort Worth on June 20, 1933. He was survived by two sons.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 21, 1933. Texas State Journal of Medicine, August 1933.

  • Health and Medicine
  • Education
  • Educators
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • School Founders
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Fort Worth
  • North Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Chester R. Burns, “Chase, Ira Carlton,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994
October 14, 2020

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