Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (May 4, 1927)


Dublin Core


Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (May 4, 1927)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (May 4, 1927)


Windermere (Fla.)
Chase, Sydney Octavius, 1860-1941
Chase, Joshua Coffin, 1858-1948
Chase and Company (Sanford, Fla.)
Citrus fruit industry--Florida
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 Joshua's visit to Isleworth Grove, his decision to produce the regular Isleworth Grade, the lack of damage to trees from dry weather, and the Roadway Department's estimates for constructing a new road.

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, May 4, 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, May 4, 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.




360 KB


2-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

Contributing Project Special and Area Studies Collections, University of Florida
Digital Collections (UFDC), University of Florida


Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

Source Repository University of Florida, Special and Area Studies Collections

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.


May 4th 1927

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

Dear Syd:

Tried to reach you this morning from the house but found that you were not expected back until some time this afternoon. Hope you had a comfortable trip and all hands returned in good trim.

I visited Isleworth this morning and found the fruit coming to the house was of good texture but mostly Bronze or Golden, with a small percentage of Bright. I talked the matter over with Hutchinson and finally decided to make the regular Isleworth Grade, which is being packed under Chase Brand, and the same grade in golden or bronze, also packed under Chase Brand. This will make the cars going out Chase grade and Chase grade golden. The balance will be Coat of Arms. There may be six or eight hundred boxes of this grade of fruit.

I did not visit where the picking operations were going on as I was there last week. The fruit is still over-running the original estimates.

I instructed the picking force to pick the Valencias on the island as long as they have their field boxes and ladders down there in that part of the grove. This will make the final picking of Valencias from the block east of the packing house.

I did not see Browne, but drove over the property, branching off from the bungalow for over the hill and back along Lake Laura. None of the trees showed any indications of suffering from dry weather. Neither did any of the trees on the groves along the road show any wilt. Noah appeared to think that Browne and his force were doing a very good job in giving the ground a good wetting.

Noah tells me that the Roadway Department find that the last line east of the grove that crosses Lake Butler Tibbett and the south end of the island, and then into Overstreet's, will cost $10,000.00 more to build than the road through the grove. He also stated that the Windermere people were putting on all the pressure they could to have the new road go through the center of the grove and not along the lakefront as originally agreed. This information comes to him through confidential sources, and he wants an opportunity to talk matters over with sources, and he wants an opportunity to talk matters over with you just as soon as you return. You know this Windermere outfit

Mr. S. O. Chase -2-

do not stop at anything when they want something. He also made the statement that the Windermere route is the route favored by Browne.

Noah also wanted to see you concerning the cost of clearing two tracts of land, as he thought it would be advisable for you to have the cleared land remeasured and then determine something about costs. Will explain this to you when we meet.

Yours very truly,


Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

2-page typewritten letter


Chase, Joshua Coffin, “Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (May 4, 1927),” RICHES, accessed April 23, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2731.