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William Chase Temple


William Chase Temple

William Chase Temple
Date of birth: (1862-12-28)December 28, 1862
Place of birth: Starke, Florida, United States
Date of death: January 9, 1917(1917-01-09) (aged 54)
Place of death: Orange Park, Florida, United States
Career information
College: Delaware State Normal School
As owner:
Pittsburgh Pirates (part-owner)
Duquesne Country & A. C.
Homestead Library & A. C.
Pittsburgh Stars (disputed)
As administrator:
Pittsburgh Pirates (President)
Duquesne C & A. C. (Manager)
Homestead L & A. C. (Manager)
Career highlights and awards

William Chase Temple (December 28, 1862 - January 9, 1917) was a coal, citrus, and lumber baron during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was also a part owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from baseball's National League. He also established the Temple Cup, a trophy awarded to the winner of a best-of-seven, post-season Major League Baseball championship series that was conducted for four seasons in the National League, from 1894–1897. He became the first sole owner of a professional American football team, in 1898.

Business career

Temple was born in Starke, Florida. After moving to Delaware, he attended public school in Wilmington, and graduated from Delaware State Normal School in 1879. After graduation, he worked as an employee of Plankinton & Armour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In June 1880, he worked as a bank clerk for Alexander Mitchell Bank in Milwaukee. By 1883, Chase returned to Florida and became a lumber baron. Between 1885 and 1889, he was a President and General Manager of the Metropolitan Electrical Service Company in New York City. He later became a manager of Babcock & Wilcox Steam Boiler Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1890 thru 1895. While in Pittsburgh, he was on the boards of directors of more than 20 industrial, mining and financial companies.[1]


From 1891 until 1893, Temple was the president and owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1894, he donated a 30-inch-high silver cup, later called the Temple Cup to the National League. The first and second-place teams of the league would play in a seven game, post season, series to determine the winner. The revenue from the series was to be split 65% to 35%; however, the players of the first series in 1894 decided to evenly split the money. However, after the series the New York Giants reportedly cheated some Oriole players out of their money, tainting the Cup and prompting Temple to sell the Pirates in disgust.[2]

In 1898, Temple's interests expanded into football when he solely took over the team payments for the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club, a professional football team based in Pittsburgh from 1895 until 1900, becoming the first known individual football club owner. The Duquesnes had become the best professional team in Pennsylvania and, almost certainly, in the country. In 1900, A.C. Dinkey stole most of the Duquesne players, as well as Temple, for his rivial Homestead Library & Athletic Club. Over the next two seasons (1900[3] and 1901), Homestead fielded the best professional football team in the country and did not lose a game.[4][5]

In 1902, Temple and Pittsburgh Pirates majority owner, Barney Dreyfuss, were suspected of being the secret owners to the Pittsburgh Stars of the first National Football League. Temple denied any connection to the Stars' finances, as well as being the team's owner. The team's owner on paper, David Berry, insisted that he was the team's sole owner. However, it was impossible for him to afford the money to finance the team without the backing of Temple or Dreyfuss. The Stars would go on to win the 1902 NFL championship.[6]


In 1909, Temple founded the Florida Citrus Exchange in 1909 and served as the organization's general manager from 1910 until 1913. During that time, Temple helped increased the business of the exchange from $200,000 to $5,000,000 per year. In 1915, he was named the first president of the South Florida Chamber of Commerce. He was also the first life member of the American Automobile Association.[1]


Temple died in 1917 in Winter Park, Florida, and is buried in the local Palm Cemetery.[7] Prior to his death, he served as the town's mayor.[8]


Temple Terrace, a city in northeastern Hillsborough County, was named after Temple. The Temple orange was named after him as well.[8] William Chase Temple would go on to marry Carrie Lee Wood, the daughter of major league baseball player, Jimmy Wood. The couple's daughter, Dorothy, would later marry major league pitcher, Del Mason.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Leonard, John W. (1910). Who's who in America, Volume 6. University of Michigan. 
  2. ^ Lansche, Jerry (1991). Glory Fades Away. Taylor Publishing.  
  3. ^ PFRA Research. "The Worst Season Ever, Pittsburgh Pro Teams Find Hard Times: 1900". Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) (Annual): 1–2. 
  4. ^ "And Yet Again: Temple’s Last Year 1901". The Professional Football Researchers Association. 
  5. ^ Peterson, Robert W. (1997). Pigskin: The Early Years of Pro Football.  
  6. ^ Carroll, Bob (1980). "Dave Berry and the Philadelphia Story". Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 2 (Annual): 1–9. 
  7. ^ "Temple Cup Donor Dead". New York Times. January 10, 1917. Retrieved February 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Winter Park (FL) Founders Biographies". Winter Park Public Library. Retrieved February 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Jimmy Wood Found". Bill Carle. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
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