Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Franklin W. Chase (February 20, 1937)

Dublin Core


Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Franklin W. Chase (February 20, 1937)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (March 20, 1931)


Windermere (Fla.)
Chase, Joshua Coffin, 1858-1948
Chase and Company (Sanford, Fla.)
Demography--United States
Census--United States


An original letter of correspondence between Joshua Coffin Chase and his nephew, Franklin W. Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include Joshua's gratitude for the fruit and alligator pears Franklin gave him, the discrepancies in the Isleworth census, and the supervision of sanitation on the property.

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 Franklin W. Chase, February 20, 1937: 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 Franklin W. Chase, February 20, 1937.

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.
Sanford 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.




144 KB


1-page typewritten letter






Isleworth Grove, Windermere, Florida

Accrual Method



History 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

"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.
"Franklin Chase, 'Towering Figure in Citrus Industry.'" The Orlando Sentinel, September 30, 1986. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1986-09-30/news/0260060057_1_chase-isleworth-golf-florida-citrus.


February 20, 1937.

Mr. F. W. Chase,
Windermere, FLorida.

Dear Frank:

Thank you for the fruit and alligator pears you were kind enough to leave at the house Friday afternoon. They will come in very handy to help entertain the Watsons and other "Animated Magazine" manufacturers. No doubt you remember meeting Mr. and Mrs. Watson two years ago.

I am returning herewith the Isleworth census as of January 1, 1937, which is not absolutely clear to me. Your figures and mine do not agree. Would you check it over and make up a statement showing exactly the total number of men, women, and children, black and white, on the place on January 1. It would be alright to show the total number of black and white that are employed during the shipping season.

I understand from your statement that all of the houses are numbered, and some of them are occupied by two families. Also note that there are two colored women, Lizzie Drayton and 2 children and Nancy Tillman and 3 children, occupying house No. 19 with no husbands. Are they employed in any capacity on the property?

When you return your statement let me know whether No. 11 and No. 12 are the old barracks we built there quite a good many years ago.

Who loks after the sanitary conditions around the property, and also the condition of the buildings? It occurs to me that the responsibility of keeping the property up in good shape should be cared for by the occupants. Do you think you could appoint a committee of say three whites and three blacks, appointed by Mr. Crowell, to patrol the place, see to it that the rules and regulations are observed, and report to him any matters that require attention? We don't want to have an epidemic break out that might affect the little community, including your own family.

Return the census with your reply.

Yours very truly,


Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1-page typewritten letter




Chase, Joshua Coffin. “Letter from Joshua Coffin Chase to Franklin W. Chase (February 20, 1937).” RICHES of Central Florida accessed June 5, 2023, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2761.



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