William Chase Temple
William chase temple
Born:(1862-12-28)December 28, 1862
Starke, Florida, United States
Died:January 9, 1917(1917-01-09) (aged 54)
Winter Park, Florida, United States
Career information
CollegeDelaware State Normal School
Career history
As administrator
1891–1893Pittsburgh Pirates (President)
1898–1899Duquesne C & A. C. (Manager)
1900–1901Homestead L. & A. C. (Manager)
As owner
1891–1893Pittsburgh Pirates (part-owner)
1898–1899Duquesne Country & A. C.
1900–1901Homestead Library & A. C.
1902Pittsburgh Stars (disputed)
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 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from baseball's National League of Professional Baseball Clubs (later known worldwide as simply as the National League), established 1876. He also established the Temple Cup, a silver 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 to 1897. He became the first sole owner of a professional American football team, in 1898.

Business careerEdit

Temple was born in Starke, Florida. After moving to Delaware, he attended public schools in the city of Wilmington in the late 1860s and early 1870s, and graduated from the 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 began a lumber and timber company meeting with great success using the freight railroads being extended southward and soon 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 numerous industrial, mining and financial companies of that rapidly industrializing city.[1]


From 1891 until 1893, Temple was the president and part-owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise in the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs (later known as just the National League), founded 1876. 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 second place team New York Giants reportedly cheated some of the pennant winning first place team Baltimore Orioles players out of their money, immediately tainting the reputation of the championship Cup and prompting Temple to sell the Pirates in disgust, leaving baseball. It continued to be awarded in the NL until the 1897 season.[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 (named for the colonial French fort there at the Forks of the Ohio, later site of Pittsburgh) 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 himself, for his rival 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 a 1902 controversy, Temple and the now majority owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates. baseball team, Barney Dreyfuss, were suspected of being the secret owners to the Pittsburgh Stars team of the first original National Football League (two decades before the beginnings of the separate modern NFL). 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 championship of this first NFL.[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 two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) to five million dollars ($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 new American Automobile Association (AAA).[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, in Florida 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 alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Leonard, John W. (1910). Who's who in America, Volume 6. University of Michigan.
  2. Lansche, Jerry (1991). Glory Fades Away. Taylor Publishing. ISBN 0-87833-726-1.
  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. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511913-4.
  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. 8.0 8.1 "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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