Daniel J. Chandler, one of Chattanooga's most prominent builders, had a showplace on Fourth Street, then he later lived in a brick mansion on the East Terrace of Cameron Hill.
He was born on a farm at Fairfield, Maine, on Sept. 30, 1841, and educated in the public schools there. He was studying at a vocational school to be a carpenter when he joined the Union Army when the Civil War broke out. He enlisted as a private in Company D, 17th Maine Infantry, under Capt. John C. Perry of Portland, Maine.
Chandler served bravely throughout the war and was promoted to lieutenant. He actively participated in 27 battles, including Gettysburg.
Chandler returned to Maine after the war, but he went to Atlanta in 1870 to work on the Kimball House. He was among the many Chattanoogans who arrived to work in the railroad enterprise of John C. Stanton in 1871. He worked on the Stanton House, a hotel at the site of the current Chattanooga Choo Choo.
He married Fannie J. Hoff at Chattanooga and they had two daughters and a son.
Chandler became a very successful building contractor, erecting many of the city's prominent commercial buildings, factories and homes. He worked on rebuilding the County Courthouse and built the Loveman's Department Store, the Van Deman Building, the Evans Block and the Richardson Block. The latter was destroyed by fire in 1897. He also erected the handsome Second Presbyterian Church to an artful design of R.H. Hunt. The Chandlers attended at Second Presbyterian.
The Chandlers resided in a brick showplace at 511 E. Fourth Street for many years, beginning in 1888. Afterward, it was the home of the Coca Cola magnate John T. Lupton, hosiery mill owner Garnett Andrews and then the manufacturer and Dynamo of Dixie booster Paul Kruesi. Kruesi donated the elaborate house to the University of Chattanooga, but it was so far from the campus that the university returned it to private hands. The house was used as a Jewish community center for a number of years. The Fourth Street house, that was designed by W.H. Floyd, was later taken down. It has remained an empty lot for decades - just down from the American Heart Association offices in another old house.
The Chandlers moved in 1897 to a sprawling brick home on the downhill side of the East Terrace at Gillespie (11th) Street. The address was 56, then later 156, and still later 956 East Terrace. It had a broad porch that extended around the back side of the house to afford a spectacular view.
In 1905, when he was just 63, Daniel J. Chandler was afflicted with a fatal disease, causing his death within three weeks. His family gathered around him in the East Terrace home in his final hours. These included his wife, the daughters Maud and Nellie, and his son, Daniel P. Chandler, who was superintendent for construction for Montague & Company. His sister, Mrs. Annie Richardson, had also moved to Chattanooga and lived in Highland Park.
The Chandler home on Cameron Hill had many occupants in later years. Mrs. C.A. Kelly was there with T.B. Crawford in another section of the home. By 1920, W.P. Collins and J.D. Fuller had quarters there. Mrs. A.C. Harris presided over the big house by 1930 and Mrs. H.R. Whisenant was in the basement.
At the start of World War II, Wilford and Bertha B. Weaver had the big house to themselves.
In its final days in the 1950s, the Chandler place was divided into three apartments. Then it was knocked down.