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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Frederick Gillmore

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 166-167 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Frederick Gillmore, whose fellow citizens have frequently demonstrated their faith in his capability and trustworthiness by choosing him for public office, is now serving for the second time as mayor of Utica following his election in November, 1923. He is a native son of Utica and a representative of one of the old and highly respected families of the city. He was born on the 23d of February, 1873, his parents being Charles Dexter and Mary A. (Lewis) Gillmore, both of whom were lifelong residents of Utica, New York. Martin G. Lewis, the maternal grandfather of Mayor Gillmore, still makes his home in the city. The Gillmore family was represented among the pioneer settlers of Oneida county. Dexter Gillmore, the paternal grandfather of Frederick Gillmore, was a justice of the peace and city clerk of Utica in the early days. His son, Charles Dexter Gillmore, who was born March 22, 1841, had reached the age of nearly three score and ten when called to his final rest on the 17th of March, 1911. In the city of Utica, which was always his home, he received his education and learned the trade of molder. After working at his trade for a number of years he became associated with George B. Chase in the cigar business, which he subsequently carried on as a partner of John W. Bebb, conducting a store on Baggs square for several years, under the firm style of Gillmore & Bebb. Charles D. Gillmore was extremely popular with a large circle of friends in Utica. He was a member of the Rescue Hook and Ladder Company of the old volunteer fire department and also of the Exempt Firemen's Association. His political opinions were indicated by his membership in the Democratic Association of Utica, while religiously he was identified with the Tabernacle Baptist church. He was characterized as a man of exemplary character, happy disposition and unassuming good fellowship. He is survived by two brothers: William A., of Syracuse, New York; and Frank, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Mrs. Mary A. (Lewis) Gillmore passed away on the 20th of November, 1908.

Frederick Gillmore, an only son, obtained his education in the public schools of his native city and after putting aside his textbooks spent several years as a clerk in connection with the wholesale clothing business in Utica. Subsequently he was employed for seven years in the office of the city engineer and next served for three years as clerk of the board of assessors. In November, 1904, he was elected city assessor for a term of three years, but resigned at the end of one year, having been elected sheriff of Oneida county. During the period of his incumbency in the latter position, covering three years, he discharged his duties in such a manner as to meet the hearty commendation of the people. There were two death convictions while he filled the office of sheriff, the condemned men being electrocuted at Auburn prison. Mr. Gillmore was the first sheriff to occupy offices in the new courthouse. In November, 1909, he was elected mayor of Utica and the administration which followed was one of general satisfaction to the voters. A contemporary biographer said:

"A man who has been elected to three important public offices in four years probably has special qualifications for leadership. He must possess in a very high degree the confidence of his fellow citizens and he must also possess rare executive or administrative talent. Such a man is Frederick Gillmore, mayor of Utica, who served before his election to the mayoralty as city assessor and as sheriff of Oneida county, all of which offices he filled within four years — a record that can scarcely be duplicated in New York or any other state of the Union… By the conscientious discharge of his duties he has gained the confidence and support of the best class of citizens, showing an integrity and ability most creditable to himself and resulting in permanent benefits to the county and city. His record is an indication that faithful service in public office often meets with just recognition."

The above was written twelve years ago. Following the close of his term in the mayoralty Mr. Gillmore became identified with the Lewis Weller Manufacturing Company of Utica, which he represented continuously until he once more assumed the duties of mayor, on the 1st of January, 1924, having been elected in November, 1923. In his present as in his previous administration he is inaugurating many measures of reform, progress and improvement and is fully justifying the faith and confidence of his constituents.

In early manhood Mr. Gillmore was united in marriage to Miss Anna M. Hickey, daughter of John and Margaret Hickey of Utica. Mr. and Mrs. Gillmore have three children: Charles F., Grace M. and Mary Alice. Since attaining his majority Mr. Gillmore has been an active worker in the local ranks of the democratic party. He is a member of the Democratic Association and was elected mayor on the democratic ticket in November, 1923, by a large majority. Fraternally he is identified with Lodge No. 33 of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, with the Royal Arcanum and with the Knights of the Maccabees. In choosing him as her chief executive, the city of Utica paid merited tribute to the ability and loyalty of one of her most worthy native sons.

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