Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (January 22, 1929)


Dublin Core


Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (January 22, 1929)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (January 22, 1929)


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


An original letter of correspondence between brothers and business partners Joshua Coffin Chase and Sydney Octavius Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include the idleness of the packinghouse at Isleworth Grove due to lack of fruit, the poor texture of the fruit this season due to unfavorable weather, the new Director of the Florida National Bank Edward Ball, and utilizing Bruce Leighton for making contacts.

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, January 22, 1929: 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, January 22, 1929.

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.




329 KB


2-page typewritten letter






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


January 22, 1929.

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

Dear Syd:

ISLEWORTH. The packing house was idle as there was not enough fruit on hand to work upon. Crowell estimates that fully one thousand or more boxes of tangerines still to be picked, which would make him until Thursday at the present rate. We really should have a force picking oranges on the lemon grove, so there would be something in the house to work upon and reduce the overhead. When the writer drove down to the Island he found automobiles stacked around the various places and when he drove down to the old house occupied by the negro family, two white men appeared who were evidently doing some running, but at that time loafing. Crowell was on a road near Overstreet, tacking up a "No Trespassing" sign.

We will have to get right in behind the force out there and push operations, there is no reason why Crowell should not be able to pick up an additional force for oranges if his regular pickers are all tied up with tangerines. There is no elasticity about the picking operations and there appears to be too many obstacles in the way of getting out the number of cars.

The texture of the fruit is not up to previous seasons, the peel is rough, coarse and thick. This applies to practically all parts of the grove. This warm weather is having an unfavorable effect and if this hot spell is followed by rain and wind, it will blow down a lot of fruit. The writer has just gone over the situation with Randall and feels that we should move at the rate of two cars a day, loading straight cars of each brand. We have shipped so far about 14 cars of grapefruit, or nearly half of the estimated crop. Believe it would be advisable to move grapefruit on orders unless there is a very decided uplift in price. So much of the crop is running to small sizes that it would be advisable to move off the grapefruit just as fast as we can find a place for it.

Will endeavor to close up matters in New York at the earliest possible date, but it will be necessary for me to spend one day in Philadelphia and return from there. Will wire you.

S.O.C. #2.

If the vegetable department wants me to handle any matters for them, you can research me there or in New York.

Cannot recall the name os DuPont's brother-in-law, but I am under the impression that he is now a Director of the Florida National Bank, he happens to be a brother of the present Mrs. DuPont, , they have a habit of changing their wives every so often and the wife of this one is from California. Cannot recall the name of the Jacksonville DuPone but I am under the impression that he is a crank of the first water. He has some throat trouble and has installed some kind of a silver tube. I do not believe that he would do you very much good.

During the war a man by the name of Bruce Leighton commanded the U.S.Navy Aviators at Killinghome, England, where Ben was located, within the last few months he has resigned from the U. S. Navy and accepted a very high position with the [?]right Airplane Interests. He happens to be brother-in-law of DeWitt Miller, who operates a hotel here in Orlando. Understand that he expects to be in this territory shortly. He might be a medium of reaching some of the people you want to get in touch with. In my opinion, if Fort Caswell could be utilized it would be for sea-planes and not for land machines. Will try to pick up some information while I am away.

Very truly yours,


Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

2-page typewritten letter


Chase, Joshua Coffin, “Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (January 22, 1929),” RICHES, accessed February 29, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2719.