Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (February 28, 1927)


Dublin Core


Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (February 28, 1927)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (February 28, 1927)


Windermere (Fla.)
Chase, Sydney Octavius, 1860-1941
Chase, Joshua Coffin, 1858-1948
Citrus fruit industry--Florida
Chase and Company (Sanford, Fla.)
Fruit--Grading--United States
Orange industry--Florida


An original letter of correspondence between brothers and business partners Joshua Coffin Chase and Sydney Octavius Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include the manifest of a wrecked car and the inefficiency of the company's current system of grading fruit at Isleworth Grove.

Chase & Company was established by brothers Sydney Octavius Chase and Joshua Coffin Chase in 1884. The company sold insurance and later invested in storage facilities and fertilizer sales. Chase & Company was known mainly for its agricultural interests and maintained a series of citrus groves throughout Central Florida. The company was based out of Sanford and became one of the city's largest employers into the early twentieth century. By 1886, the Chase brothers purchased several citrus groves to expand their business, including Isleworth Grove in Windermere, Florida. Isleworth Grove covered a total of 1,300 acres along the Butler Chain of Lakes. Between 1894 and 1895, Central Florida was hit by several freezes and most of the citrus crop was destroyed. Chase & Company did not grow citrus crops again until 1904 when Joshua came back from an extended stay in California. Between 1894 and 1900, different types of pesticide equipment was created, including equipment driven by steam, machines, and horses.Randall Chase joined in the family business soon after his brother, Sydney Chase, Jr., did in 1922. Randall became the president of Chase & Company from 1948-1965. The Isleworth property stayed in the Chase family until 1984 when Franklin Chase, the son of Sydney Chase, sold the property to famed golfer Arnold Palmer.


Chase, Joshua Coffin


Original letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase, February 28, 1927: box 49, folder 20.84, Chase Collection (MS 14), Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Date Created


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase, February 28, 1927.

Is Part Of

Chase Collection (MS 14), box 49, folder 20.84, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Isleworth Collection, Citrus Collection, Chase Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.

Is Referenced By

Folder referenced in Chase Collection finding guide, http://web.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/pkyonge/chase.htm.




195 KB


1-page typewritten letter






Isleworth Grove, Windermere, Florida
Chase & Company Office, Sanford, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Economics Teacher
Geography Teacher


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 item 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


Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

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.
"Joshua Coffin Chase (1858-1948)." Florida Citrus Hall of Fame. Copyright 2012. http://floridacitrushalloffame.com/index.php/inductees/inductee-name/?ref_cID=89&bID=0&dd_asId=960.
"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.


Feb 28 1927

Mr. S. O. Chase,
Sanford, Florida.

Dear Syd:

ISLEWORTH GRADING: Enclosed find the manifest of car #60857, transferred into 64047, from Isleworth Feb. 22nd, containing Isleworth and Coat of Arms Brands, buds and pineapple oranges. This was the car that was wrecked and transferred. The writer was more or less familiar with the quality of fruit in this car as he was out at the grove when some of the fruit was in the packing house and in process of packing. He had some talk with Hitchinson about making a change in the present system of grading to avoid putting under Coat of Arms Brand any oranges that were suitable to go forward under the Isleworth Brand.

Under the present system of grading, the Isleworth Brand consists of bright fruit, and any smooth, good texture fruit with a little off color is put under Coat of Arms Brand. Consequently a great many first-class oranges go under Coat of Arms Brand and not under the Isleworth Brand.

This sale proves conclusively that it is a mistake to grade the fruit this way. The writer feels sure that if we graded the fruit under Isleworth Brights, Isleworth Goldens and Coat of Arms, we would realize more money than we a re now realizing. The Coat of Arms Brand is regarded as a Brand covering a second grade and sold at a very heavy discount.

The writer believes that if we took out of this grade all of the Isleworth grade fruit and put it up under an Isleworth Golden, the Coat of Arms would then sell for as much money as we now realize, and we would get more money for the Isleworth Golden. Naturally Lum[?] and the trade are only too glad to have us continue the policy of putting up first grade oranges so that they can secure same at a second grade price.

The writer will make no changes in the orders that you have given Hutchinson, but he cannot help but regard same as a mistake.

Yours very truly,


Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1-page typewritten letter


Chase, Joshua Coffin, “Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (February 28, 1927),” RICHES, accessed May 28, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2716.