Lauren M. Fitch, proprietor of the Fitch Gear Company of Rome, is an acknowledged leader in his chosen specialty.
He was born at Born at Brookfield, Madison county, New York, September 3, 1849, a son of Julius O. and Harriet
(Lyne) Fitch. The father was for more than forty years a prominent manufacturer of Brookfield and, engaged in the
carriage manufacturing business very successfully. After receiving his preliminary education in the public schools
Lauren M. Fitch entered his father's carriage making establishment and learned the trade. Being of a mechanical
turn of mind he showed great interest in his work and became thoroughly proficient. In 1875 he came to Rome upon
the invitation of R. M. Bingham & Company to make gears in order to save freight on the same from Brookfleld.
He continued with this company about six years and then, desiring to engage in business on his own account, organized
the Rome Spring Wagon Works of which he was the head for a short time when he disposed of his holdings. In 1881
he began in the business to which he has since applied himself, manufacturing all kinds of gears for carriages.
The reputation of the house grew from year to year until it now disposes of its products to carriagemakers and
to the hardware trade in all the principal parts of the United States and each year witnesses a gratifying increase
in its patronage.
Mr. Fitch has been three times married. He was first married in 1868, at the age of nineteen, his wife dying one
month later. In 1870 he was married to Miss Frances Moore, who died in 1886, leaving a daughter, Blanche N., now
Mrs. Frank W. Hixson, of Hot Springs, Arkansas. On May 23, 1895, Mr. Fitch married Miss Christine Starke, a daughter
of George and Mary Starke, of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Mr. Fitch is essentially a business man and, therefore, has never taken an active interest in politics or aspired
to the emoluments of public office. He is prominently identified with the Masonic order and is a member of Roman
Lodge, No. 223, F. & A. M.; Fort Stanwix Chapter, No. 153, R. A. M.; Rome Commendery, K. T., No. 45; and Ziyara
Temple, A. A. O, N. M. S. He is also a valued member of Rome Lodge, I. O. O. F., and the Lodge of Knighfs of Pythias
at Rome. His record is evidence of what may be accomplished by a man who has the courage to trust in his own judgment
and the perseverance to continue unflinchingly in what he undertakes. He is known as one of the substantial men
of the community, whose honor is unquestioned and whose influence is always to be counted upon in forwarding the
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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