Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (June 18, 1920)

Dublin Core


Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (June 18, 1920)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (June 18, 1920)


Windermere (Fla.)
Chase, Sydney Octavius, 1860-1941
Chase, Joshua Coffin, 1858-1948
Citrus fruit industry--Florida
Chase and Company (Sanford, Fla.)
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 a new tract of land in the northeastern section of Isleworth Grove, Joshua's suggestion to grove King oranges of the S. M. Stephens strain, and the Isleworth strain of pineapple oranges.

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, June 18, 1920: 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, June 18, 1920.

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.




204 KB


1-page typewritten letter on Chase & Company letterhead






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.



June 18 1920

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

Dear Syd:

ISLEWORTH NEW ACREAGE: Note yours of the 18th on this subject. The location of the tract is not quite clear in my mind but am under the impression it is somewhere in the northeastern section. The assortment you suggest is satisfactory to me but would like if possible to have the King Oranges of the S.M.Stephens strain. These King Orange trees at Greylocks were more like the ordinary orange trees than any King Orange trees that I know of in the State. It is barely possible that the normal shape of these trees is due in the fact that the shoots were pruned from time to time and not permitted to get too high in the air.

We believe it would be good policy to iop[?] the King Orange shoots when the trees are young and endeavor to have them sprout out as close to the ground as possible.

You might try to find out from Stephens whether he made any such effort or whether the trees were just naturally cut back by cold and assumed the present shape without artificial encouragement.

The pineapple variety at Isleworth has never taken the high color characteristic of this variety elsewhere in the State. We are wondering whether or not the strain at Isleworth is absolutely pure, although we know that you secured same from Merritts Island. It is hard to beat the Valencias, and we do not know of any location in the State where this variety can be more safely carried over than at Isleworth. If you have any excess trees at Isleworth, suggest that you take the matter up with B.W. Haynes of the Wilson & Toomer Company, as they have been buying a great many trees for the lands they are planting near Davenport.

Yours very truly,




Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1-page typewritten letter on Chase & Company letterhead




Chase, Joshua Coffin. “Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (June 18, 1920).” RICHES of Central Florida accessed September 29, 2022, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2724.



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