Chase Collection

Selected Items in the Chase Collection (more...)

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Boat Dock Near Sanford
Boat dock near Sanford, Florida. By the mid-1880s, Sanford had become a major distribution center due to the city's strategic location along Lake Monroe and the St. Johns River. Even before Florida obtained statehood, steamboats frequented the St.…

Water Hyacinths Near Sanford
Water hyacinths on the St. Johns River near Sanford, Florida in the early 1900s. By the mid-1880s, Sanford, Florida had become a major distribution center due to the city's strategic location along Lake Monroe and the St. Johns River. Even before…

Cypress 2800 Years Old
The giant bald cypress tree known as The Senator during the first quarter of the 20th century. As early as the late 1800s, this centuries-old tree was considered a tourist destination, but it wasn't until 1927 that a park was established around the…

Letter from Sydney Chase to  Joshua Chase (September 2, 1927)
An original letter of correspondence between brothers and business partners Sydney Octavius Chase and Joshua Coffin Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include information about Chase & Company operations, the company's status on growing celery,…

Letter from Sydney Octavius Chase to Joshua Coffin Chase (March 2, 1927)
An original letter of correspondence between brothers and business partners Sydney Octavius Chase and Joshua Coffin Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include accounts of a wreck involving a train pulling refrigerator cars carrying Seald-Sweet…

Letter from Sydney Chase to Joshua Chase (January 11, 1927)
An original letter of correspondence between brothers and business partners Sydney Octavius Chase and Joshua Coffin Chase. The letter contains information about the Federated Fruit & Vegetable Association of America and how growers from the West…

Letter from Randall Chase to Sydney Chase, Joshua Chase, Sydney Chase, Jr., and William A. Leffler (November 9, 1935)
An original letter of correspondence between Randall Chase and a group of business partners from Chase & Company. A portion of the letter discusses the issue surrounding Florida citrus growers and coloring adding. The color-added process involved…

Letter from Randall Chase to Sydney Chase (May 12, 1925)
An original letter of correspondence written by Randall Chase to his father and Chase & Company business partner Sydney Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include the marketing of the Sunniland brand, selling celery, and company…

Chase & Company Packing House in Frostproof
The Chase & Company Packing House in Frostproof, Florida, in 1922. Chase & Company was established in 1884 by brothers Sydney Octavius Chase and Joshua Coffin Chase. The company sold insurance and later invested in storage facilities and fertilizer…

Exchange Estimate 1926-27 Crop as of November 1st - All Varieties
An original document estimating crop exchanges for the 1926-1927 season. Chase & Company was established in 1884 by brothers Sydney Octavius Chase and Joshua Coffin Chase. The company sold insurance and later invested in storage facilities and…

Chase & Company Mule Train
A Chase & Company mule train being moved by a Duda transport from Glades Farm to Hooper Farm in Zellwood, Florida, on May 6, 1963. Chase & Company was established in 1884 by brothers Sydney Octavius Chase and Joshua Coffin Chase. The company…

Letter from C. H. Miller  to Randall Chase (May 8, 1963)
An original letter of correspondence between Maintenance Department Manager C. H. Miller and Randall Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include enclosed photographs taken of the delivery of a mule train by Duda from Glades Farm to Hooper Farm in…

Letter from Guy Mauie to Sydney Octavius Chase (September 30, 1889)
An original letter of correspondence between Guy Mauie of The Chinese Evangelist, a Chinese-language Christian periodical founded in New York in the 1880s, and Sydney Octavius Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include L. Kwong's visit to Florida…

Letter from Manager of the Evangelist to Sydney Ocatvius Chase (September 21, 1889)
An original letter of correspondence between the manager of The Chinese Evangelist, a Chinese-language Christian periodical founded in New York in the 1880s, and Sydney Octavius Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include a young man who was…

Letter from Y. P. Louis to Sydney Octavius Chase (December 14, 1900)
An original letter of correspondence between former employee Y. P. Louis and Sydney Octavius Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include Louis' gratitude to Chase and his current employment for Lord Li in Wuhu, China. Chase & Company was…

Letter from Sydney Chase to Messrs. Landis, Fish & Hull (March 3, 1915)
An original letter of correspondence between Sydney Octavius Chase and the attorneys of Landis, Fish & Hull. Topics discussed in the letter include the County Commissioners' decision to complete brick roads.

Chase & Company was established in…

"Dec. 6, 1878 to Mar. 14, 1940" Manuscript
An original manuscript written by Sydney Octavius Chase to be read at the Waverly Silver Jubilee on March 14, 1940. The manuscript chronicles Chase's career with topics including his first work on Belair Grove in December 1878, the cold spell of…

"My First Trip to Tampa" Manuscript
An original manuscript written by Sydney Octavius Chase about his first trip to Tampa, Florida, in 1879. The manuscript chronicles Chase's trip with topics including traveling to Florida's west coast to determine if it were a better location than…

"The Entrance of the Faith in the Eastern Part of the Peninsula and Some Early Presbyterian Plantings in the Region of Saint Johns Presbytery" Manuscript
An original manuscript titled "The Entrance of the Faith in the Eastern Part of the Peninsula and Some Early Presbyterian Plantings in the Region of Saint Johns Presbytery," written by J. N. Whitner. The first Presbyterians in Florida migrated from…

Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (November 3, 1924)
An original letter of correspondence between brothers and business partners Joshua Coffin Chase and Sydney Octavius Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include a lawsuit filed against the Windermere Company regarding its possession of land…

Dublin Core

Title

Chase Collection

Alternative Title

Chase Collection

Subject

Chase and Company (Sanford, Fla.)
Chase, Sydney Octavius, 1860-1941
Chase, Joshua Coffin, 1858-1948
Citrus fruit industry--Florida
Golf--Florida
Celery industry
Sanford (Fla.)
Windermere (Fla.)
Jacksonville (Fla.)
Orlando (Fla.)

Description

Select images, correspondence, and other records from the Chase Collection (MS 14) at Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. According to the biographical sketch in the collection's finding aid:

"The story of the Chases in Florida began in 1878 when Sydney Octavius Chase (1860-1941), having read about orange groves in Scribner's Magazine, came to Florida from Philadelphia. His brother, Joshua Coffin Chase (1858-1948), joined him in 1884 and together they formed Chase and Company that year. The Chase brothers came to Florida at the right time for Florida citrus and at the right time for them as investment entrepreneurs. Strong family ties in the North provided them with financial backing for their ventures. Joshua left Florida in 1895 to work in the California citrus industry. He returned to Florida in 1904 and rejoined his brother. Another brother, Randall, remained in Philadelphia and augmented his brothers' finances when convenient. Sydney and Joshua were also important civic leaders who took part in community development, most notably in the City of Sanford. Both were elected to the Sanford city commission. They also supported the development of Rollins College, worked with the Florida Historical Society, and were the benefactors of numerous charities.

Chase and Company began as an insurance company and branched out to storage facilities and fertilizer sales. The latter was the beginning of the company's lucrative agricultural supply division which remained in operation throughout the existence of the company. Although citrus was the primary interest, the company also invested in other agricultural pursuits including celery in central Florida, tung oil production in Jefferson County, and winter vegetables and sugar cane in the Lake Okeechobee muck lands. The company was also involved in the peach business in Georgia and North Carolina. The company was incorporated in 1914, with the Chase brothers owning 75 percent of the stock, and reincorporated in 1948. A second generation of Chases began its involvement in the family operations when Sydney O. Chase, Jr. ( b. 1890) became a citrus buyer in 1922. He was later joined by his brother Randall who served as president of Chase and Company from 1948-1965. Outside the Chase Family, Alfred Foster, W. R. Harney, and William "Billy" Leffler figured prominently as company executives and investors. The company dissolved in 1979 when its principal assets were sold to Sunniland for $5.5 million.

The Chases' interest in citrus began when Sydney came to Florida and became associated with General Henry S. Sanford. The Chases would eventually own General Sanford's experimental farm, Belair, and the Chase family home in Sanford was located there. Over the years, the Chases invested in a number of citrus groves and owned others outright. In 1912, they organized the Chase Investment Company as a holding company for their farms. Initially, the company operated the Isleworth, Nocatee, Belair, and Kelly citrus groves as well as celery farms in Sanford. The company was renamed Chase Groves, Inc. in 1951. From time to time, Chase Investment was involved in real estate in Florida and North Carolina. The latter included Fort Caswell, a former military property that was held for a time and then sold. Unquestionably, the jewel in the Chase crown was the Isleworth grove at Windermere. Isleworth's four hundred lake-tempered acres carried the Chases through many difficult times. It proved to be the principal asset at the company's demise when it was sold to golf legend Arnold Palmer in 1984. Chase Groves dissolved that same year, 100 years after the founding of Chase and Company."

Contributor

Has Part

Celery Collection, Chase Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.
Citrus Collection, Chase Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.
Belair Grove Collection, Citrus Collection, Chase Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.
Florida Citrus Exchange Collection, Citrus Collection, Chase Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.
Isleworth Grove Collection, Citrus Collection, Chase Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.
Sanford Collection, Chase Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.
Holy Cross Episcopal Church Collection, Sanford Collection, Chase Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.
Sanford Country Club and Golf Course Collection, Sanford Collection, Chase Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.

Language

eng

Type

Collection

Coverage

Sanford, Florida
Isleworth Grove, Windermere, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Orlando, Florida

Provenance

Entire Chase Collection is comprised of four separate accessions from various donors, including Cecilia Johnson, the granddaughter of Joshua Coffin Chase and the children of Randall Chase.

Rights Holder

The displayed collection is housed at Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Rights to this item belong to the said institution, and therefore inquiries about the item should be directed there. RICHES of Central Florida has obtained permission from Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida to display this item for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project

Digital Collections (UFDC), University of Florida

Curator

Marra, Katherine
Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

"Sydney Chase Sr. (1860-1941)." Florida Citrus Hall of Fame. Copyright 2012. http://floridacitrushalloffame.com/index.php/inductees/inductee-name/?ref_cID=89&bID=0&dd_asId=600.
Warner, S.C. "Development of Marketing Citrus Fruits in Florida." Florida State Horticultural Society vol. 36 (1923): 198-200.
Hopkins, James T. Fifty Years of Citrus, the Florida Citrus Exchange: 1909-1959. Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press: 1960.
"Franklin Chase, 'Towering Figure in Citrus Industry.'" The Orlando Sentinel, September 30, 1986. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1986-09-30/news/0260060057_1_chase-isleworth-golf-florida-citrus.

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