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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Edward M. Baringer

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 88-91 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Portrait of Edward M. Baringer

Portrait: Edward M. Baringer

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Prominent among the successful and enterprising merchants of Gloversville is Edward M. Baringer, who for twenty-one years has been actively identified with the A. D. Norton Company, of which he is now treasurer and general manager. Mr. Baringer is one of a family of nine children born to Joseph and Lucinda (Traver) Baringer, seven of whom are living. The mother was a native of New York state and the father was born in Ohio. As a young man the father went to Iowa and located at Marshalltown, where he plied his trade as a carpenter for four or five years. From Iowa he returned to Warren, Ohio, and eventually settled in Akron, where he lived the remainder of his life, his death occurring in November, 1916. His widow, who survives him, still makes her home in Akron.

It was while the family was living in Marshalltown that Edward M. Baringer was born, on January 28, 1873. He was a small boy, however, when they returned to Ohio, thus his education was obtained in the schools of Warren and Akron. At the age of seventeen he set out to learn the jewelry business and worked at this trade for seven years in Akron. Later he went to Buffalo, New York, where he was associated with T. C. Tanke for a period of six years. On the 9th of March, 1903, Mr. Baringer first came to Gloversville, and went to work for A. D. Norton, who was then conducting a large jewelry house here. When on the 1st of June, 1905, this business was reorganized as the A. D. Norton Company, Mr. Baringer became treasurer and general manager of the concern, which position he has held ever since. This establishment is one of the largest — if not the largest — jewelry houses in this section of the state and carries a very complete stock of goods. Seven people are regularly employed to carry on its trade. Since Mr. Baringer has been in active charge of its affairs the business of the firm has increased steadily, owing to his progressive methods, the reliability of his goods and his earnest efforts to please his customers.

On June 1, 1899, Mr. Baringer was married to Miss Katheryn Kaiser of Buffalo, the daughter of John and Christina (Goetz) Kaiser, natives of Germany, who came to the United States as young people and located in Buffalo, where they spent the remainder of their lives. The father passed away in 1908 and the mother died on April 17, 1924. Mr. and Mrs. Baringer have three children: Dortothy [sic] R., born January 18, 1902, a graduate of Simmons College, Boston; John Alfred, born October 28, 1905, now a student in the Philadelphia School of Horology; and Dean Ella, born August 5, 1912.

In Masonic circles Mr. Baringer's activities have brought him a wide acquaintanceship that extends to a number of bodies of that order outside of Gloversville. His rank is that of a thirty-second degree Mason and his affiliations are with the following organizations: Gloversville Lodge, No. 429, F. & A. M., of which he is past master; Johnstown Chapter, No. 78, R. A. M.; Johnstown Council, No. 72, R. & S. M., in which he is also past thrice illustrious master; Holy Cross Commandery, No. 51, of Gloversville, which he has served as commander and in which he has held the office of prelate for the past ten years; Albany Consistory and Scottish Rite bodies; and Cyprus Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Albany. Also he has been president of the board of trustees of the local Masonic lodge for some ten years past. In the local lodge of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks he has held the office of treasurer since 1914. In this lodge, as well as in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to which he likewise belongs, Mr. Baringer has held most of the chairs. As a business man he has been deeply concerned with those things that make for commercial advancement and civic progress in Gloversville and has always identified himself with the movements working to these ends. Formerly he was president of the Merchants Association for eight or ten years and he has also served for a year as president of the local Chamber of Commerce. At present he is national counsellor for that body and is a director of The Trust Company of Fulton County, a recently established bank. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church, and politically he is a republican. Mr. Baringer is a member of the Eccentric Club and is a well known figure in social circlets of the city, his genial manner, kindly disposition and unfailing courtesy earning him the admiration and friendship of his associates. His ability has brought him prominently to the front in business and fraternal life and he is regarded by the public as one of the representative and progressive business men of Gloversville, whose activity has been a force in the upbuilding of the community.

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