The July 7, 1881 issue of the New York Times, page 5, column 1, gives the following obituary for David M. Chauncey:
"David M. Chauncey, for many years a well-known resident of Brooklyn, died yesterday in the home of his brother, Daniel Chauncey, 140 Joralemon Street, in his sixty-fourth year, after a lingering illness.Mr. Chauncey went to California at the time of the gold excitement of 1849, and was a member of the first legislature elected in that state after it had been admitted to the Union.In 1857 he returned to Brooklyn with an ample fortune, most of which he amassed in the building business.During the war he was elected a member of Assembly from Brooklyn and served one term in the State Legislature.At the time of his death, Mr. Chauncey was a Director of the Mechanics Bank, of which his brother is President, but for a number of years he has not taken any active part in politics."
There was a legal dispute over David's will.The NY Times carried reports of the legal proceedings on July 10, 11, and 13, 1883.The most interesting report is the one from July 11 [page 8, column 2]:
"CONTESTING D.M. CHAUNCEY'S WILL
Testimony in the contested will case of the late David M. Chauncey, of Brooklyn, was resumed yesterday before Justice Brown, in the Supreme Court, Brooklyn.William Van Zandt, who was hired in 1876 by Daniel Chauncey to take care of David, testified that Mr. Chauncey had conceived so violent a dislike to him that he had to hire a man to take his place.Mr. Chauncey had a mania for stealing little articles.When in London in 1876, he made a bet of $40,000 with Mr. David Howard that Tilden was elected President, and felt very bad because Mr. Howard did not pay the amount of the bet.After a medical examination, Mr. Chauncey was taken to a private asylum at Chisholm and was kept there until June 1877.When he returned to Brooklyn he grew worse and had to be sent to an asylum.The witness was of the opinion that Mr. Chauncey was irrational, but on cross-examination he said he thought Mr. Chauncey was irrational because he was drinking.On board the City of Chester, on his way to England, Mr. Chauncey stole a pair of boots and an umbrella, and on returning home he stole a lady's umbrella and a napkin-ring.In Liverpool he danced and yelled in the railroad car and talked loudly.Mr. Weir, Superindent of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, testified that Mr. Chauncey used to call on him so often in 1876 as to become a bore.His conversation was rambling and boastful.He brought back from the Centennial Exhibition valueless trinkets.The witness thought he was insane.DetectiveZundt who coneyed Mr. Chauncey to a private asylum at Flatbush, considered that his conduct was irrational.Police Officer Charles Chambers always ran away from Mr. Chauncey when he talked politics.He thought he was a little 'off.'"
The will was certified [a ruling against the children of Daivd's brother Michael], as reported in the Sept. 11, 1883 issue of the NY times [page 8, column 1].
Another item: David is mentioned in terms of "David M. Chauncey, County Treasurer Dept." in San Francisco, Oct. 21, 1850 [quoted from the Larkin Papers (1848-1851), Vol. 8, page 353].
David had two brothers: Daniel M. Chauncey (1822-1883) and Michael Chauncey (1823-1897).They were sons of parents born in Ireland.
Hope this information is useful or interesting,