Charles E. (Charles Elliott) Fitch.

Encyclopedia of biography of New York, a life record of men and women whose sterling character and energy and industry have made them preëminent in their own and many other states (Volume 5) online

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member of the Chamber of Commerce ;
president of the Billy Sunday Business
Men's Club of Syracuse; trustee of Syra-
cuse University, Cazenovia Seminary,
the Central New York Methodist Epis-
copal Conference, and the Myrtle Hill
Cemetery ; vice-president of the Young
Men's Christian Association ; and a mem-
ber of the Efficiency Society of New
York, the American Ceramic Society, the
New York State Ceramic Society, the
Electrical Manufacturers' Club, the En-


gineers' Club of New York, the Jovian
Order, the Technology Club, the Citizens'
Club, the Onondaga Golf and Countrj-
Club, Bellevue Country Club, Chamber
of Commerce of the United States, and
the Mystic Krewe. He also holds mem-
bership in and is a trustee of the West
Genesee Methodist Episcopal Church. In
politics he is a Republican, but aside from
keeping well informed on the questions
and issues of the day and supporting the
party by his ballot, he takes no active
interest in political afifairs. Mr. Salis-
bury finds in photography a favorite form
of recreation, and also greatly enjoys
boating. He has, however, concentrated
his energies upon his business interests,
and believing that integrity and straight-
forward dealing can go hand in hand with
success has worked to that end, and his
own life record is verification of this be-

Air. Salisbury married, December 3,
1895, Mary P. Pharis, of Syracuse, New
York, a daughter of Mills P. and Eliza
A. Pharis. Their children are: Kather-
ine. born February 13, 1905 ; Robert,
born December 25. 1906: Henry, born
October 5, 1908; William, born June 20,
191 1. The city residence of the family is
at No. 1810 West Genesee street, Syra-
cuse, and their summer home is located
on Fourth Lake in the Adirondacks.

WHITMORE, Valentine F.,

Building Contractor, Public Official.

The great works now necessary to sup-
ply municipalities and corporations with
the means properly to meet their needs
employ a vast army of workmen who
must be organized and directed by men
of superior executive ability, by men who
can themselves grasp the problems of
construction presented them by engi-
neers, by men who can plan and success-
fully execute the work. The engineers

plan without regard to the difficulty of
the work ; the contractor must execute
according to the plan, regardless of rock,
quicksand, flood, scarcity of labor, or fail-
ure of supplies. Valentine F. Whitmore
grew up amid such problems, and from
the age of fifteen years has been engaged
on public works of importance, beginning
as a water boy, and now is the honored
head of the Whitmore, Rauber & Vicin-
us Contracting Company, of Rochester.
He acquired experience as a working
man, rose to authority as superintendent,
and when, in 1868, he entered the con-
tracting field, there was no man better
equipped to handle important construc-
tion work. He has won success as a
builder, as a business man, and as an
executive, and has to his credit some of
the largest Western New York contracts
successfully executed, this being particu-
larly true in the city of Rochester.

Valentine F. Whitmore was born in
Germany, September 17, 1844, and was
brought to the United States by his par-
ents in 1849. His first American home
was in Syracuse and there until he was
fifteen years of age he attended the public
schools. He then became a wage earner,
his first job being as water boy on pulilic
works in Syracuse. As he grew in years
and experience he obtained more respon-
sible positions, and after locating in
Rochester in 1863 became superintendent
of construction on the Erie Canal. He
was ambitious, and when opportunity
offered to obtain a contract to repair a
section of the canal he embraced it. He
continued in canal work under Lewis
Selye until 1868. then definitely engaged
in business for himself as a general con-
tractor. He was successful in securing
some good contracts, which he satisfac-
torily executed, continuing in business
alone until January i, 1875, when he en-
tered into partnership with John Rauber
(now deceased) and W'illiam Vicinus.



As a partnership, greater expansion was
possible, but later, more capital and
leaders being necessary, the business was
incorporated with Valentine F. Whit-
more, president; John N. Rauber, vice-
president; Lewis S. Whitmore, treasurer,
and William Vicinus, secretary. The
record of Mr. Whitmore as individual
contractor, partner and chief executive has
been one of success and his business one
of constant growth. He has executed
some of the largest of Western New
York contracts, but a great part of his
work and that of his company has been in
connection with the public improvements
of Rochester. Among their important
works of these years may be cited the
Rochester Water Works conduit, twenty-
six and one half miles in length, three feet
four inches in diameter; Central avenue
concrete bridge ; a large section of the
East Side trunk sewer; a section of the
disposal sewer; miles of streets and con-
necting sewers. The company owns ex-
tensive limestone quarries and are also
contractors of cutstone and interior mar-
ble work, and dealers in masons' supplies.
Mr. Whitmore has other important busi-
ness interests, being president of the
Rochester German Brick and Tile Com-
pany, is vice-president and a director of
the Merchants' Bank, director of the East
Side Savings Bank and of the Genesee
Valley Trust Company.

A Republican in politics, he has always
taken an active, influential part in public
affairs. For four years he served as
school commissioner and for four years
was a member of the board of aldermen.
His official record shows the same thor-
ough and business-like devotion to public
duty that has characterized his conduct
of his private affairs, and city interests
have ever been held paramount. Broad-
minded and progressive, he is very de-
liberate in forming his opinions and plans,
but most determined when a plan of ac-

tion has been decided upon. He possesses
a sympathetic, kindly nature, is most ap-
preciative of the good traits of others,
knows the value of friendships, and ever
remembers that "to have a friend one
must be one."

Mr. Whitmore married, February 21,
1867, Eunice L. Haight. Their children
are: Lewis S., Walter V., Eunice, mar-
ried William H. Vicinus; Homer G. All
his sons and his son-in-law are engaged
with him in business, Lewis S. Whitmore
being treasurer, William H. Vicinus, sec-
retary, of the Whitmore, Rauber & Vicin-
us Company, incorporated in 1904.

MEANY, Edward P.,