Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (March 14, 1929)



Dublin Core


Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (March 14, 1929)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (March 14, 1929)


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


An original letter of correspondence between brothers and business partners Joshua Coffin Chase and Sydney Octavius Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include balance estimates of crops at Isleworth Grove, the negative impact of a gale and sand on recently-planted trees, and the implementation of Sydney's irrigation instructions.

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, March 14, 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, March 14, 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.




170 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.


March 14, 1929.

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

Dear Syd:

ISLEWORTH. Upon my visit there this morning, Magunson and Hutchinson estimated the balance of the crop still to go as follows:

Mid-season oranges 11 cars
grapefruit 10 cars
Valencias 50 cars

There was a regular gale blowing and the sharp sand was cutting the tender growth on the trees, both young and old. It was especially severe on the new growth of trees recently planted.

Your instructions about irrigation are being carried out and the tractors were active. Crowell, Smith and Hutchinson are instructed to step on the picking and shipping of the balance of the mid-season oranges. The fruit is dead ripe and is not only going off in appearance but is also falling off. The Pineapples on the block near the packing house which are usually of splendid quality, are very inferior. Hutchinson is instructed to load in bulk all of the Coat of Arms grade. He is also instructed to include in the bulk car, any low and off grade grapefruit. It will pay us better to make up mixed cars of bulk oranges and grapefruit than to pack the Coat of Arms grade at the prices now ruling.

The inspector at the house expressed the opinion that there was much less fruit in the State than estimated by the Clearing House. He could not understand how it was possible for there to be 30,000 cars still to be shipped. He did not know where it was.

Very truly yours,


Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1-page typewritten letter


Chase, Joshua Coffin. “Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (March 14, 1929).” RICHES of Central Florida accessed December 1, 2023, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2725.



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