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Frank A. Dinsmore

By Douglas Shepard

The Barker Newsletter
Fall, 1999

Frank A. Dinsmore was born in Maine in 1864. He worked as a cabinet maker and furniture restorer at least from 1882 in Andover, MA. He had at least one child, a son, from his first marriage. His second wife, Mary E. (Cook) Marsh, was born in Herkimer County, NY on 8 December 1843. Her family moved to Fredonia and in October 1865 she married George N. Marsh. He died at their home, 18 Liberty Street, in 1898.

On 28 January 1903 Dinsmore, of Leominister, MA and Mrs. Marsh were married at her home in Fredonia where they then resided. There were no children from this second marriage.

In the 1904 Directory, he describes himself as a cabinetmaker, although all subsequent directories describe him as an upholsterer. Except for the 1910 Census, which lists "Cabinet maker," the 1905, 1915, 1920 and 1925 censuses use "Upholsterer."

A February 1905 newspaper article says that he had 25 years’ experience in furniture repair, upholstering, etc., and that he manufactures and sells Dinsmore’s furniture polish throughout Western New York. The article ends with the flat statement that "He owns several patents and is a genius."

A 1912 magazine story which features his "Centrifugal Clothes Wringer," describes him as an "expert upholsterer, cabinet maker and finisher, and mattress worker," as well as inventor. His Liberty Street office and workshop of some 1500 square feet contained modern machinery. "In connection with his business, Mr. Dinsmore operates an automobile livery, which is in charge of careful drivers." The article has a picture of him in his auto with delivery wagon attached.

By 1920 The Dinsmore’s were renting out part of 18 Liberty Street to another family, Harrison and Sarah J. Fiedler and their infant daughter, Judith. Mr. Fiedler worked at the steel plant in Dunkirk.

In September 1921, Mary died and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery. Frank stayed on and added two other tenants besides the Fiedlers. He left Fredonia by 1935 to live with his son in Rochester, NY where he died on 22 December 1935. He too was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery.