Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (January 29, 1927)


Dublin Core


Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (January 29, 1927)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (January 29, 1927)


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


An original letter of correspondence between brothers and business partners Joshua Coffin Chase and Sydney Octavius Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include the handling of Isleworth pineapple oranges at Isleworth Grove, C. E. Browne's inefficiency in cleaning mid-season oranges, the Selling Department's practice of furnishing the Isleworth brand only and leaving the Coat of Arms brand as second-grade, the current operating program for tangerines, the absence of Mr. Pratt, and the Fruitman's Club's success in holding back shipments.

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 29, 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, January 29, 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.




232 KB


1-page typewritten letter






Isleworth Grove, Windermere, Florida
Wilmington, Delaware

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.
"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.
"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.


Jan 29 1927

Mr. S. O. Chase,
Dupont Hotel,
Wilmington, Delaware.

Dear Syd:
Received your New York telegram, but believe you will be back in the State soon enough to give your personal attention to the handling of the Isleworth pineapples. You will see by the enclosed copies of letters to Randall that Browne has been longer cleaning up the mid-season oranges than expected, consequently he is not only behind schedule in getting busy on the tangerines but also is dead on his feet. He does not want to do anything except what he thinks he wants to do, and is liable not to follow instructions and then give some plausible reason for his failure. He was in here a few minutes ago and was instructed to step on picking the balance of the tangerines. Unless there are picked, packed and shipped, they will not be worth moving .The fruit is ripe, and the keeping quantities have been undermined by the cold weather and dry weather. The entire day the pickers have only brought into the house 75 boxes, and at this rate the crop will never be cleaned up.

The Selling Department have placed some cars of Isleworth on the basis of $3.50 with a discount of 25ยข on the Coat of Arms. The Selling Department is instructed not to sell any more cars at Isleworth agreeing to furnish Isleworth Brand only and leaving all the Coat of Arms on hand. This has been done in several instances and the quicker the practice is stopped the better. If we are forced in the auction, it is a great deal better to go there with both brands than with one. The Selling Department have gotten it into their heads that Coat of Arms was second grade, which it is not.

The operating program at Isleworth at the present time is tangerines, and will be until Browne can furnish additional pickers to use in gathering grapefruit or oranges if wanted.

Pratt is away, but exposed back tonight. Of course everything that was done during his absence has been wrong and should be changed immediately. It is beginning to look as if we would have to go to the bat with Pratt, as his views on handling the frost situation are absolutely diametrically opposed to everybody else's, as you will see from the enclosed copies of telegrams and letters.

It is my opinion that the Fruitman's Club have accomplished a mighty good work in holding back shipments, and we do not think that now is the right time to make any change. Let's play our hand out, and keep away from Federal and State control in the handling of our fruit. Of course there will be frost-damaged fruit move into the markers, be condemned and dumped. In my opinion this will enhance the value of Florida oranges, grapefruit and tangerines from groves that escaped unhurt.

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 (January 29, 1927),” RICHES, accessed March 1, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2721.