Letter from Sydney Chase to Joshua Chase (March 27, 1928)


Dublin Core


Letter from Sydney Chase to Joshua Chase (March 27, 1928)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (March 27, 1928)


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


An original letter of correspondence between brothers and business partners Sydney Octavius Chase and Joshua Coffin Chase. Topics discussed in the letter include Eli Walker (the "Granddaddy of the citrus business" in the Vero and Wabasso area of Florida); Chase & Company's acquisition of more land in Orlando and the McNiff Grove in Wabasso, Florida; Sydney's suggestion on obtaining citrus land near Quincy, Florida; and his observations on guava plants. Chase & Company was established by Joshua Chase and his brother Sydney 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.


Chase, Sydney Octavius


Original letter from Sydney Octavius Chase to Joshua Coffin Chase, March 27, 1928: Chase Collection (MS 14), box 3, folder 13.46, 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 Sydney Octavius Chase to Joshua Coffin Chase, March 27, 1928.

Is Part Of

Chase Collection (MS 14), box 3, folder 13.46, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
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.




5,405 KB


3 page typewritten letter on Chase & Company letterhead






Sanford, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Wabasso, Florida
Quincy, Florida
Thonotosassa, Florida

Spatial Coverage

28.811729, -81.268138
28.538084, -81.378593
27.638828, -80.397463
27.748417, -80.436158
30.587386, -84.583426
28.061377, -82.302217

Temporal Coverage


Accrual Method


Audience Education Level

SS.K.A.1.2; SS.1.A.1.1; SS.1.A.2.2; SS.1.A.2.4; SS.1.E.1.4; SS.2.A.1.1; SS.3.A.1.1; SS.4.A.1.1; SS.4.A.7.1; SS.4.E.1.1; SS.4.E.1.2; SS.5.A.1.1; SS.6.W.1.3; SS.7.E.2.4; SS.8.A.1.5; SS.8.E.2.1; SS.8.E.2.3; SS.912.A.1.1; SS.912.A.1.6; SS.912.A.5.4; SS.912.E.2.3; SS.912.W.1.3


History Teacher
Economics 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


Marra, Katherine

Digital Collection

External Reference

"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.
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.



March 27, 1928.

Mr. J. C. Chase,
Orlando, Fla.

Dear Josh:

I want to congratulate you on signing up the Pryor contract for the Orlando house. Unquestionably this is the biggest block of fruit which has ever been secured at one time for the Orlando house thru the combined efforts of our entire organization.
As information, if you can do so, I would like to know how many boxes of fruit which passed thru the Orlando house this season were contract fruit and how many boxes were packed for others.
Yesterday I spent from noon until six o'clock going over tomato fields and young citrus plantings on drained lands west of Vero and Wabasso, including the McNiff property. It is almost unbelievable when shown groves that have only been planted three to five years that compare favorably with groves in the central part of the state which have been out eight and, ten years. This growth has resulted from the use of but very little fertilizer. Old Eli. Walker, who is the Granddaddy of the citrus business in that section, doesn't use 1000# of fertilizer per acre per year to big bearing trees. He has a wonderful grove, but I know he would produce more fruit, and better sized fruit, he he used a ton of fertilizer to the acre. Eli's plan is to give each tree individual treatment, and only give it fertilizer when he sees it getting yellow, or apparently needing some stimulent, but does not, according to his own statement, give a general fertilizing but once a year and that a very light one.
I met Mr. Graves, who is the principal owner and Tzar of the Sebastian Lana Company. The land he has was purchased from the Barnetts. Their first move was to cut the timber, from this land, using portable sawmills; after the timber was cut they then leased the land to tomato growers, of course after certain drainage canals have been put in. After the land has been used for trucking for three or four seasons they then plant it to citrus. This past season they planted out 400 or 500 acres in citrus, some tangerines, a good many Valencias, and some grapefruit.
I had quite a visit with this Mr. Graves, who is a big tobacco grower at Quincy, Florida. McNiff tells me that they marketed their citrus this year thru the American Fruit Growers. McNiff is of the opinion that with proper efforts on our part, if we can lease a packing house at Wabasso or some other point close to their property, we would stand a good chance of signing them up for this year; and he also believes if we would join them in putting up a modern packing house, located where they would prefer, that they might put up half the money for the construction of same.
I think this section is well worth careful investigation, with a view of increasing our citrus business in that vicinity. If any new packing houses are considered at all I would prefer putting them in this section to any part in the central part of the state or thru the Thonotosassa section.
I saw large guava trees which passed thru the cold spell of this winter with full foliage, and with green fruit on it. This is proof that the average cold does not effect them seriously. It is a deep warm soil, and I think the big drainage canals act as cold drainage, cold air being carried off to river bottoms thru these canals. The soil which the dredges cut thru is sometimes five or six feet of sand loan, some clay and some shell, and in no instance did I see quicksand. I am sorry I did not visit this section years ago.
MCNIFF GROVE, AT WABASSO: I was agreeably surprised by the land embraced in this deal. The grove itself is looking very much better than it did some weeks ago, however it shows evidence of having been badly handled, and a year or eighteen months of neglect.
Some trees will have to be taken out, and new trees set. There is a considerable acreage which can be set right away with some expense connected with mounding the ground up and providing drainage leading to the drainage canal. The land can be gotten in shape and the trees planted in May or June. Nothing would be gained in attempting to plant them now, as all nursery stock is covered with new growth and for that reason it is not a good time to transplant.
I think the title of this property is now in shape to close the deal up. The objections which Foster found to the title, as exposed by the abstract, the Vero attorney states have been corrected by deeds in his possession which have not as yet been put on record. Randall and Foster will probably go down that way next week and close the deal.
I understand that McMichael, the American Fruit Growers head man in that territory, has been confined to the house for the past thirty days with heart trouble, and is flat of his back. McMichael was pretty heavily interested in some of the banks in Vero which closed in the past year, and McNiff thinks he has worried too much over some of his personal business matters.

Yours very truly,



Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

3 page typewritten letter on Chase & Company letterhead



Chase, Sydney Octavius, “Letter from Sydney Chase to Joshua Chase (March 27, 1928),” RICHES, accessed April 23, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/649.