P.R. Quinlan 1840-1914

Patrick Ryan Quinlan is the great-great-grandfather of our founder, Frank Caliva.

P.R., as he was known, emigrated from Ireland as a young boy in the 1840s, ending up with his family in Syracuse, New York. Beginning as a nursery foreman at just 14 years old, P.R. built a career in the retail floral business, ultimately owning the largest greenhouses in Central New York and founding a florist business that was a fixture of the Syracuse community for almost a century.

As his business grew, so did his civic interests. P.R. served as a city alderman, member of the Syracuse Common Council, and ultimately as city treasurer. His business interests also diversified, and he developed a national reputation for his asphalt company, Warner-Quinlan, along with stakes in railroad and oil companies.

In 1914, P.R. Quinlan passed away. His obituary in the Syracuse Daily Journal reads in part,  “All his education, which enabled him to conduct one of the largest business enterprises in the East, was gained only through the school of experience and his untiring nature and perseverance.”

Now, a century since his passing, P.R. Quinlan’s drive for excellence, passion for innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and civic-mindedness are the animating principles of the firm that bears his name.