The History of Witherbee & Whalen, Inc.
|In the early 1880’s, Thomas H. Peggs, a native of Malone,
New York, came to Canton and entered into employment at a local monument
firm. In early life he had gone to Vermont where he learned the trade
of a marble and granite cutter. In 1885, he opened his own monument shop
on Hodskin Street in Canton subsequently building the fine brick building
that remains to this day the home of the monument business now known
as Witherbee & Whalen, Inc.
Around 1913, Mr. Peggs took Carl M. Witherbee,
a local banker into the business, the firm becoming known as Peggs
and Witherbee. The partnership continued for five years until
Mr. Peggs, because of serious illness, sold his interest to Charles
J. Whalen, a stonecutter from Gouverneur, New York. The partnership
of Witherbee & Whalen continued for thirty six years when the business
was taken over by William D. Stalder, also a local banker, and Mr.
Whalen’s son, Robert P. Whalen.
For a period of about three years in the early 1920’s, Witherbee
& Whalen had a monument business on Main Street in Malone, New York. A
young stonecutter there by the name of Henry Basilier, known to his
friends as “Buster” came to work in the Canton shop upon
the consolidation of the two businesses. Buster continued on
as the firm’s stonecutter until 1977. George Ladison who began
as Buster’s apprentice in 1957, has carried on the Witherbee &
Whalen tradition of fine workmanship to the present day.
and Whalen Lot, 1944
The Granite Yards, 1944
The early 1920’s also saw the
business grow into the manufacture of concrete burial vaults. Later
in 1956, when Robert Whalen and William Stalder were partners, the
company again expanded its product line to include pre cast concrete
septic tanks and related products.
Witherbee & Whalen’s service area has continued to expand
and now spans most of Northern New York and the province of Ontario.
Bill Stalder and Bob Whalen were partners for thirty five years growing
a fine, successful and well respected business in Northern New York.
In 1991, Mr. Stalder retired and the business was incorporated. Today the major shareholder in the business is a third generation Whalen, Catherine W. Siematkowski. Mr. and Mrs. Whalen continue to retain seats on the Board of Directors and serve as President and Vice President of the business.
Robert and Elizabeth Whalen, shown here in January, 2005, receiving a plaque from the New York State Insurance Fund "in appreciation and recognition of our continuous 90-year business relationship.
From its early years as Thomas Pegg’s Monument
Works to its current ownership under Cathy Whalen Siematkowski —a
third generation Whalen— Witherbee & Whalen, Inc. has provided
the North Country with quality workmanship, reliable service and steady
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Witherbee & Whalen, Inc. | 3 Hodskin Street | Canton, NY 13617
315-386-8566 | Fax: 315-386-1868 | 800-951-8897
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