Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (January 31, 1927)


Dublin Core


Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Sydney Octavius Chase (January 31, 1927)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (January 31, 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
Grapefruit industry
Pineapple 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 the great deterioration of fruit in the previous week, hot weather at Isleworth Grove, the wilting of trees on higher parts of the grove, the good condition of valencias, and the waste 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, January 31, 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, January 31, 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.




194 KB


1-page typewritten letter on Chase & Company letterhead






Chase & Company Office, Orlando, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
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.



Mr. S. O. Chase,
Atlanta, Gerogia.

Jan 31 1927

Dear Syd:

ISLEWORTH: the writer has just returned from there. They are now picking tangerines across the canal and expect to finish Wednesday. During the last week the fruit has deteriorated greatly, due to hot weather, and is showing the effects of the cold. They only had twelve pickers at work in spite of the fact that the writer has been after Browne for the last two weeks to increase his picking force. Instead of getting larger it has really shrunk.

During the past few days the weather has been very hot and the trees on the higher parts of the grove are beginning to show signs of wilting. There is one block of trees near where the young alligator pears are planted that should be irrigated, and the writer so advised Browne. Unfortunately, making up the plat is a good excuse for Browne attending to this job and not getting on the outside. Browne is instructed to get together some additional pickers, using some in clearing up the tangerines and others in picking fruit from some of the trees that are dropping heavily. We also want this increased force to use in picking the pineapples, which will soon begin to drop heavily.

I am very much in hopes that when you reach Atlanta you will find conditions there in such shape that you can get back here some time this week.

glad to report that the Valencias are holding on in good shape but there is a big waste in the grapefruit. Fred Lord, of Lord & Spencer, is now at Titusville going over McNiff's holdings and is due to reach here Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. He wanted a price on the pineapple oranges now en route to New York but we decided not to make any changes in our marketing plans. We may make him a price on the last car from the White and Kiser Groves. The White GRove picked over 1200 field boxes.

Stanley is instructed to pick all other varieties except the Valencias from all the trees in that block, and then make his arrangements to pick the seedling oranges from the Goodall Grove. In this way we can keep some fruit moving from that territory during the next month or six weeks. When Lord is here on Wednesday I will take him out to Isleworth and see if I can interest him in the balance of the grapefruit. If we can make a guarantee joint account deal[?], we may do so.

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 (January 31, 1927),” RICHES, accessed April 16, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2750.