Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (May 10, 1924)


Dublin Core


Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (May 10, 1924)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (May 10, 1924)


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


An original letter of correspondence between brothers and business partners Joshua Coffin Chase and Sydney Octavius Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include cutting the labor force and wages at Isleworth Grove, low citrus prices, and the overall state of finances of Chase & Company.

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 10, 1924: 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 10, 1924.

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.




173 KB


1-page typewritten letter






Isleworth Grove, Windermere, Florida
Chase & Company Office, Sanford, Florida
Crescent City Groves, Crescent City, Florida
Nocatee, Florida
Chase & Company Office, Jacksonville, 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

"The History of Seald-Sweet." Seald Sweet International. http://www.sealdsweet.com/welcome/our-history.php.
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 10 1924
(Dictated May 9th)

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

Dear Syd:

This will acknowledge receipt of yours of May 8th. Note that you expected to spend to spend the grater part of Thursday at Isleworth going over matters with Browne. We very much hope that Browne can not only cut his working force but make economies in wages. As you keep all the books, you are in position to make comparison on what the expenses are now compared with what the expenses were under Lancaster. Of course Browne goes more into details and in all probability his expenses are 50 or 100% greater than they were under Lancaster.

No one can foretell what citrus prices will be the coming season but we do know that the crop is going to be large, and unless the Florida Citrus Exchange works miracles, we haven't any reason to believe that the prices will be a bit better next year than they have been this year. Consequently, if we are going to break even at Isleworth or any other properties, the fruit will have to be produced on a rock bottom basis.

Just as soon as the returns are all in from Crescent, Wiley Avenue, Neamathla[?] and Isleworth, also Nocatee[?], will mail you statements showing how the accounts stand on the Jacksonville books. We will be interested to learn whether any of the groves pay anything in excess of expenses.

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 (May 10, 1924),” RICHES, accessed July 21, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2732.