Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (October 30, 1930)



Dublin Core


Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (October 30, 1930)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (October 30, 1930)


Windermere (Fla.)
Chase, Sydney Octavius, 1860-1941
Chase, Joshua Coffin, 1858-1948
Chase and Company (Sanford, Fla.)
Citrus fruit industry--Florida
Orange industry--Florida
Grapefruit 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 Joshua's multiple visits to Isleworth Grove, the lack of maturity noted while inspecting crops, the estimated expenses of spraying, Joshua's introduction to the successor of Doctor O'Kane, the quality of tangerines, and the failed testing of grapefruit.

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, October 30, 1930: 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, October 30, 1930.

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.




206 KB


1-page typewritten letter






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.


October 30, 1930.

Mr. S. O. Chase,


The writer visited Isleworth five times since his return to the office. With the exception of two tracts all of the grapefruit has been picked over for 64s and larger. Lack of maturity has prevented any operations on the Mogul Block, which is carrying about half a crop.

We have cleaned up all of the Parson Browns, Norris Earlies, 16 to 1, and other early varieties, and also find that practically all of the oranges qualify, and can be moved. Hutchinson and Crowell have instructions to push orange picking operations and keep the fruit going.

Crowell states that with the exception of a little spraying the time of the force is taken up in picking up fruit. This expense is running about $50.00 a day, and exceeds the cost of picking. In the writer's opinion the dropping will be intensified with time, due to the injury to the bearing wood by Arsenical spray. By working in the grapefruit drops with the cannery stock we are able to make a little salvage to off-set the expense. We are writing Lee A. Strong today to see if there cannot be some modification of the clean-up regulations.

The writer also made the acquaintance of Hoidale, who is the successor of Doctor O'Kane. He is younger, but appeared to be a very fair young chap.

TANGERINES: The writer had Magnuson make a test, but the fruit failed to qualify. Magnuson will make two or more tests per week from now on, in the hope that some of the fruit will pass and permit a car to move prior to November 15.

MARSH SEEDLESS GRAPEFRUIT: The writer also requested a test of this fruit, which did not pass.

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 (October 30, 1930).” RICHES of Central Florida accessed December 8, 2023, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2743.



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