Over 30 Years of Service
to our Los Angeles County Community 1945-1972
Photo of Burton W.
Member Long Beach City Council
Elected Mayor of Long Beach
for 3 Terms 1947-1953
Appointed Supervisor, 4th
District, County of Los Angeles by Earl Warren, Governor of California
Served on Los Angeles County
Board of Supervisor for Fourth District from 1953 until his death in
W. Chace was born on July 6, 1900 in Stanton, Nebraska where he grew
up. He went through the Stanton school system. Following graduation from
the University of Nebraska, he began his business career in the municipal
bonding field in Omaha. He drove all the way to
Long Beach, CA in 1923 with a college
friend and like it so much that he moved later in that year to
Long Beach, California. His father
joined him later in California and together they established the Chace Lumber
Company in Long Beach along with other business ventures. After many years
and several expansions, Burton Chace became the sole owner of the Chace Lumber
Throughout this time, he became
heavily involved in civic affairs in the Long Beach area and in the Republican
Party. His public career began in 1933 when Burton W. Chace was elected to
the Long Beach Board of Education, where he served for eight years until
1941. In 1938 he was elected President of the Board of Education. In 1945
he was elected to the Long Beach City Council, and in 1947 was elected to
his first of three terms as mayor of Long Beach -- the longest tenure of
any mayor since Long Beach was founded as a City in 1908.
W. Chace was appointed to the Board of Supervisors on March 20, 1953,
by Governor Earl Warren following the death of Raymond V. Darby. He was elected
to the office in 1954, and re-elected in 1956, 1960, 1964 and 1968.
As County Supervisor, Mr. Chace
served on the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission and was its president during
construction and dedication of the Los Angeles Sports Arena. He also played
a role in making the Coliseum the original home of the Los Angeles Dodgers
when the team moved from Brooklyn. Later Dodger Stadium was built and the
The dream of Burton W. Chace
and his most major accomplishment was the creation of the Marina del Rey
small craft harbor. The Marina project converted waste marshland just north
of Playa del Rey, which was costing the taxpayers $87,000 annually in mosquito
abatement and returning little in tax revenue, into a sound investment for
the County. His long-standing faith in its potential and his work spearheading
its development earned him recognition as "Father of the Marina."
Photo of Burton W. Chace Plaque
at Entrance to Burton W. Chace Park
During his years with the County,
Chace's philosophy on spending was "pay-as-you-go"whenever possible. His
experience in the bond business helped him in determining the best financing
arrangements on capital projects. Chace believed in the decentralization
of public services. He continually pushed for the building of governmental
offices and courthouses containing county branch offices at key locations
throughout the sprawling Fourth District, which covered the coastal cities
from the Orange County line at Long Beach to the Ventura County line. Examples
of these projects included the Long Beach-County Courthouse and Civic Center,
Torrance-County Courthouse and Civic Center, Malibu Civic Center, Santa Monica
Court Building and the Compton County Civic Center.
In 1969 Chace spearheaded
the effort to separate the operation of the county's beaches from the Department
of Parks and Recreation and create a new Department of Beaches and Harbors.
The results of this action proved a boon to the Southland in the form of
8.5 miles of "new" beaches. This resulted in increasing Los Angeles
County beach areas by 20 per cent, complete with lifeguard service, beach
maintenance, additional restroom facilities, beautification through the removal
of all telephone and power poles and overhead lines, and beach patrols.
His credits include membership
in the Kiwanis Club, Long Beach Builders Exchange, Long Beach Chamber of
Commerce, and many other business and civic organizations. He was a lay leader
of the California Heights Methodist Church and president of the Armed Services
Photo of Burton W. Chace with
CA Governor Ronald Reagan
Chace and his wife, Pauline,
had two daughters, Constance Chace Townsend who married Vinton Ray Townsend,
Jr. who live in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA and had 4 children - Stephen Chace
Townsend, Robert Townsend, William Burton Townsend, and Richard Townsend,
and Paula Irwin who had 2 children, Skip Irwin and Robin Irwin and who lives
in Long Beach, CA.
On Aug. 22, 1972, Burton W.
Chace died in a tragic car accident which travelling to a County Board of
Supervisors Meeting. He was 72 at the time of his death.
Photo of The Chace Family at
the Burton W. Chace Park Dedication
Photo of The Award to Burton
W. Chace from the Los Angeles Memorial