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Madera Biographies: CIMINO


A resident of Madera for the last ten years, Frank Cimino handles a quarter of all the garlic consumed in the United States, and one-half of that consumed in Canada, as well as being a large packer of San Joaquin Valley fruits.

He maintains warehouses for his products in Madera, Betabel, near San Juan Bautista, in San Benito County, and at Chicago where he has his general business headquarters.

Frank Cimino was born at Lascari, Province of Palermo in the Island of Sicily, January 29, 1883, son of Onofrio and Salvatora Cimino. He came to the United States at the age of 15, landed at New York, spent some time at New Orleans, being a year and a half in Louisiana. Then going to Chicago, he worked for two years for the Chicago and Alton railroad and for a time he was foreman of construction on the Illinois Central; later with the Big Four; and then with the Missouri Pacific, for some years.

In 1905, Mr. Cimino started a retail grocery business in Chicago and later developed this into a wholesale business and became a large importer of European products. At the outbreak of the World war, Mr. Cimino, as well as the rest of the importers, were forced to resort to the United States for their products.

In 1916, he moved to California and lived for some months at Fresno; then he was at Madera and also at Dinuba, making his annual trips to the Pacific Coast for the purchasing of various California products and returning to the middle west and east for their disposition. In various parts of the valley, he continued until 1923 when he located at Madera permanently. Soon after, he built his own warehouse in Madera, and in 1926, he built a warehouse at Betabel. Previous to prohibition, Mr. Cimino manufactured wine on an extensive scale, and expects to handle wine immediately upon repeal of the 18th Amendment.

At the present time, Mr. Cimino packs principally olives, grapes, garlic, and olive oil. He also handles Mexican garlic and makes shipments the year round, using the brand name of Big "C", and the firm name of "Frank Cimino.’’

Mr. Cimino is married to Teresa Dellavalle, of Madera. They have three children: Emilio 0. Cimino who is the manager of his father’s distributing office at Chicago; Frank A. and Salvatore A., who are in school at Madera.

Mr. Cimino is a member of the Madera County Chamber of Commerce, Italian Chamber of Commerce at Chicago; he is also a communicant of the Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He belongs to the Italian Catholic Federation and to the Holy Name society.

From the History of Fresno and Madera Counties, 1933, Joseph Barcroft, editor for Madera County.

Last update: February 4, 2000
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