FREDERICK W. SIBSON was born in Syracuse and lived first on Belleview Avenue on a large property of several acres. At age nine his parents purchased 35 acres on Onondaga Hill outside Syracuse. The night before the family was to move into their brand new home, and after many things had already been moved to the house, it burned to the ground, leaving only its cobblestone chimney standing. The house was rebuilt, and the same cobblestone chimney is all that remains of the original structure today.
Life on the farm was difficult. They had a large barn and farmed the rocky acres as best they could. Severe allergies were accentuated by the hay they raised, and Fred was miserable from spring until fall. He and his brother, Clarence, walked many miles from their farm on McDonald road to Valley High School in Onondaga Valley, down the extremely steep and winding "Sanitorium Hill" which has since been somewhat straightened and improved in recent years.
Fred's father died while he was still in high school, and his mother looked to her two sons for support. Therefore, Fred and Clarence quit high school and went to work. Eventually Fred got a job at Pass and Seymour in the production control department. It was here at Pass and Seymour that he met Dorothy Stevens. Because those were lean times during the depression years, they dated for four years before deciding to get married in 1934. Fred's mother looked upon this liaison as a threat to her financial stability, but Clarance who was older but not yet married, stayed in his mother's home and supported her. When Pass and Seymour laid off the bulk of its employees during the depression, Fred went to work for Harvard Laundry on West Ostrander St. delivering linens to doctor's, dentists, etc. His daughter still remembers her dad driving a laundry truck when she was young.
Fred's father, Clarence W., Sr. was a salesman in the mill supplies department at the downtown office of Syracuse Supply Company in Syracuse. Fred's uncle was President of Syracuse Supply and offered a job to Fred. Fred's brother, Clarence, Jr. also worked in the mill supplies branch.
Fred was hired by the construction equipment division of Syracuse Supply to organize a section of the company that warehoused wire and associated materials. He did such a good job that he was offered a job in the parts department. Syracuse Supply on Ainsley Dr. in Syracuse sold Caterpillar tractors and parts, Link-Belt Speeder equipment, and other heavy equipment and parts. Fred became Parts Manager for that division, traveling between associated offices in Rochester, Buffalo, and Olean. His two cousins, Robert L. "Bud" Ridings and Herb Ridings worked in the divisions in Rochester and Binghamton, respectively. Fred was working at the Supply company when suffered his two heart attacks in 1958 and 1962, and eventually died of a stroke in 1965.
He was well liked by his associates and friends. He was a bright, outgoing, congenial man, always nicknaming his fellow workers and regaling people with great, long stories. He was very mechanical and could fix most anything. He worked on his 1938 Dodge Coupe religiously and kept it in excellent repair. His organizational ability and perfectionist leanings made him an asset to most any situation.