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Edwin S. Thorne, treasurer and manager of the Geneva Preserving Company, is a fine example of a self-made man, in the best sense of the word. He has gained for himself friends, affluence and position, by his own honorable exertions and moral attributes, and by the strength and force of his character has been enabled to overcome obstacles which, to others less hopeful and courageous, would have seemed insurmountable. He has been gifted with a quickness of perception and a fertility of invention which enable him to carry his projects far on the road to success, while others meditate upon the manner in which the enterprise is to be taken in hand. Thus equipped it is small wonder that Mr. Thorne has risen to a position which takes him into the front rank of the business men of his town, and has gained for him the esteem of all who know him.
Stevenson Thorne, father of Edwin S. Thorne, was reared under the strict discipline of the Quaker denomination, and died in 1892. He married Ann Smith, who is living with her son, now (1910) at the advanced age of eighty-five years.
Edwin S. Thorne was born in Schoharie county, New York, December 24, 1865. His education was acquired in the district schools and the Rensselaerville academy, of Albany county, New York, and he made excellent use of the opportunities thus offered him, a fact which contributed not a little to his later rise in life, as the habits of close attention which he had formed in his early youth thus enabled him to grasp and master the details of his later business occupation. He commenced his business career as a farmer, continuing this employment until i890, the practical knowledge thus gained proving of inestimable value to him subsequently, in appraising the condition and value of crops and it is said that no man in the entire county has a keener perception of the value of a crop while it is still on the field. In 1890 he abandoned farming and went to Geneva, Ontario county, New York, where his business activities have since been concentrated. He entered the employ of the Geneva Preserving Company, and his relations with this concern have since continued without interruption. His first position with this firm was that of clerk and timekeeper, and his faithful attention to detail earned for him the commendation of his superiors and his gradual rise from rank to rank, until he became treasurer and manager of the concern. This is one of the largest corporations of its kind in the state of New York.. The yearly output is not less than two hundred and twenty-five thousand cases, and during the busy season they employ more than four hundred hands in the factory and more than one hundred and fifty in the field, engaged in the gathering and preparation of fruits and vegetables of all descriptions. They use the product of several farms, part of which is grown by themselves and part by other growers. Their goods have earned a reputation far and wide and their shipments are made to all parts of the United States and Canada. The corporation is capitalized at one hundred thousand dollars; Irving Rouse, of Rochester, president; Henry A. Wheat, of Geneva, vice-president; Beekman E. Rouse, of Geneva, secretary; and Mr. Thorne, treasurer and manager. Edwin S. Thorne is also one of the five directors and a large stockholder of the firm. Arthur C. Redner, also a director, and Mr. Thorne are the only active members of the corporation. The plant covers an area of about three acres and is equipped with all the latest improvements and appliances of this line of industry. A purchase has recently been made of the preserving plant at Waterloo. New York, which is being operated in connection with the plant in Geneva, Mr. Thorne acting as manager of both places. He finds little time to devote to politics, but takes a lively interest in all matters concerning the public welfare, and is an adherent of the Republican party. His religious affiliations are with the Presbyterian church, and he is a member of the Kanadasaga Club and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
He married, June 15, 1893, Caroline, born in Albany county, New York, July 24, 1869, daughter of Robert Sherman. They have one child, Robert Sherman, born April 26, 1894, at present a student in the Geneva high school.