BORDEN (Fall River family – line of Joseph, fourth generation). The Borden family is an ancient one both here in New England and over the water in old England, as well as one of historic interest and distinction. The New England branch has directly or indirectly traced the lineage of the American ancestor, Richard Borden, many generations back in English history. His first English forbear went over to England from Bourdonnay, Normandy, as a soldier under William the Conquerer, and after the battle of Hastings – in A. D. 1066 – was assigned lands in the County of Kent, where the family afterward became useful, wealthy and influential, the village where they resided being named Borden. One John Borden, of a later generation, moved to Wales early in the seventeenth century, where his sons Richard and John were married. These sons returned to Borden, in England, and in May, 1635, embarked for America.
(I) Richard Borden is found a settler in Portsmouth, R. I., in 1638, in which year he was admitted an inhabitant of the island of Aquidneck, and in that same year was allotted five acres of land. He figured in the surveying and platting of the lands thereabout in 1639, and in the year following was one of those appointed to lay out the lands in Porstmouth, R. I. He was assistant in 1653 and 1654; general treasurer in 1654-55; commissioner in 1654-55-56-57; and deputy in 1667 and 1670. He bought land in Providence in 1661, and not far from 1667 became one of the original purchasers of land in New Jersey from the Indians. He died May 25, 1671. Joan, his wife, died July 15, 1688. Their children were:
- Thomas, of Portsmouth and Providence, R. I.;
- Francis, of Portsmouth, R. I., and Shrewsbury, N. J.;
- Matthew, of Portsmouth, R. I.;
- John, born in Portsmouth;
- Joseph, of Portsmouth, R. I., and Barbadoes, West Indies;
- Samuel, of Portsmouth, R. I., and Westchester, N. Y.;
- Benjamin, of Portsmouth, R. I., and Burlington county, N. J.;
Of these, Matthew Borden, born in May, 1638, as the Friends’ records declare, was the “first English child born in Rhode Island” The fourth son,
(II) John Borden, from whom the Bordens under consideration in this article descend, became quite famous among the Friends throughout the country as John Borden of Quaker Hill on Rhode Island. He was born in September, 1640, and in December, 1670, was married to Mary Earle, and they made their home in Portsmouth. He was deputy in 1673, 1680, 1700, 1704, 1705 and 1707. They died, Mr. Borden in 1716, and Mrs. Borden in 1734. Their children were:
- William and
This John Borden became a very extensive land owner, and settled his sons Richard and Joseph near the Fall River stream; and for many years the Borden family owned large portions of the land and water power in Fall River, Mass., and are still among the largest owners of land and manufactories in that city. When Fall River became a town, in 1803, it contained eighteen families, nine of these being Bordens.
From this source has descended the especial Borden family of Fall River to which this article is devoted, that of the late Hon. Nathaniel Briggs Borden, long one of the most distinguished men of his town and city, filling most honorable positions of trust and honor and whose sons and grandsons have most worthily worn the family name and sustained its reputation.
(III) Richard Borden (2), son of John, born Oct. 25, 1671, married about 1692 Innocent Wardell. He lived on the main road about a mile from the east shore of Mount Hope bay and two and a half miles south of the city hall in Fall River, his homestead comprising about two hundred acres of land. He became one of the wealthiest men in the town, and at the time of his death was one of the largest land holders in the town. He lived to about the age of sixty years. His children were:
- Thomas 1
- Samuel and
(IV) Joseph Borden, son of Richard (2), born in 1702, married June 24, 1730, Abigail Russell, of Dartmouth. Mr. Borden learned the trade of a clothier, and while quite young carried on that business in the old fulling mill built by Col. Benjamin Church on Fall River near the head of the Great Falls. He pursued his business with diligence, and there being no competing establishment near him soon obtained a good sum of business, as it was the custom in those days for every family to manufacture their own woolen cloth, which required fulling and dressing by those who understood the business. By the time of his marriage Mr. Borden was very pleasantly situated. His father had given him a deed of one half of the water power on the south side of the river, from the foot of the Great Falls to the Main road, together with half of the buildings upon the adjoining lands, and in 1732, by the will of his father, the other half of this property was given to him, besides other landed estate. A little more than two years after the death of his father Mr. Borden, while at work in his mill alone, was instantly killed, it being supposed that he in attempting to adjust some part of the machinery received a blow which ended his life. He was found lying upon the floor and the mill running at the usual speed; nothing further than this was ever known concerning his death, which is entered on the Friends’ record as having occurred in December, 1736. Mr. Borden and his family were members of the Society of Friends. His children were:
- Patience, born in August, 1731, married Hon. Thomas Durfee;
- Abraham, born in 1733, married Ann Mumford;
- Samuel, born April 12,1735, married Mary Sanford;
- Peace, born Feb. 13, 1736, married Joseph Borden.
(V) Abraham Borden, born in 1733, married in 1756 Ann Mumford, who was born Dec. 8, 1734, and died in October, 1808. At the time of his father’s death the children were all too young to manage for themselves. The widowed mother married a young man, Benjamin Jencks, who was an apprentice to her former husband. He continued the business, and partly assisted her in managing the estate of Mr. Borden and in bringing up his children, until the eldest son, Abraham, was old enough to take charge of it. He, too, became a clothier. His death occurred in 1769. His children were:
- Simeon, born in 1759;
- Perry, born in 1761, who married May 20, 1785, and lived at Fall River; and
- Judith, born in 1763, who died unmarried.
(VI) Simeon Borden, son of Abraham, was born in 1759 in Freetown, Mass., and at one time lived in the house which stood on the west side of South Main street, nearly opposite the south end of the Pocasset mill, Fall River; this house was celebrated in local annals from the fact that two British soldiers were shot; and killed at its eastern door when the English attacked the village in the war of the Revolution. Mr. Borden married Amey Briggs, a woman of elevated character and of superior business ability. He removed to the town of Tiverton, R. I., in 1806, and died there Nov. 27, 1811. Mrs. Borden, it is said, was one of the founders of the Troy Cotton & Woolen Manufacturing Company in 1814. She died May 26, 1817, leaving five children, of whom Nathaniel B. was the fourth.
(VII) Nathaniel Briggs Borden was born April 15, 1801, in Freetown, in that portion thereof subsequently set off and incorporated into a separate township by the name of Fall River, and he died in Fall River April 10, 1865, when five days less than sixty-four years old. He was born in the house which stood formerly on the west side of South Main street, south of what is now Pocasset street, and nearly opposite the south end of the present Pocasset mill – the house mentioned above.
Nathaniel B. Borden was but five years of age when his father removed to Tiverton, and only ten when he died. The greater part of his youth was spent there, upon the farm at what was called Nana Quaket. During the winter months he attended the country school, and assisted upon the farm the rest of the year. His mother sought to give him a liberal education, and for this purpose sent him to the Plainfield Academy in Connecticut, but as she died when he was only sixteen years of age this project had to be abandoned, and he returned home to enter thus early upon the busy conflict of life. Although his school education was indeed meager, young Nathaniel made the best use of his opportunities, and his great interest in the success of the government of the then infant republic, kindled anew by his boyhood knowledge of the second war, led him to read and study well the best authors on government, paying particular attention to the writings and speeches of the statesmen of all countries, especially to those of the fathers of our country.
Having previously removed from Tiverton to Fall River, Mr. Borden associated himself with others in purchasing several mill sites and adjoining lands, including the falls just west of Main street, where the Granite block and Pocasset mills now stand. On Aug. 15, 1821, these associates held a meeting and organized as the Pocasset Manufacturing Company. Mr. Borden, though but a few months over twenty years of age, was chosen clerk and treasurer of the corporation, and continued to hold these responsible positions to the entire satisfaction of the owners until January, 1838, when he resigned on account of the pressure of public duties devolving upon him as a member of Congress. The Pocasset Manufacturing Company, after its organization, proceeded at once to develop its property, voting at first to erect a gristmill, but subsequently, changing its plans, erected what was known as the Old Bridge mill, which was built of stone, 100 feet by 40 feet, three stories high, and stood just north of the stream in front of the present Granite block, on territory subsequently taken by the town in the widening and straightening of Main street. It seems to have been one of the main purposes of the Pocasset Company in those days to encourage small manufacturers, and to this end it erected buildings successively for ten or fifteen years, which were leased to other parties. In 1825 the Satinet mill, so called, was erected. In 1826′ a stone building was erected on the site of the present engine-room and picker-room of the Pocasset mill, where the old Quequechan mill formerly stood. The next year still another stone building was put up, which was afterward known as the Massasoit (now as the Watuppa) mill. All the above buildings were let, the latter – which was thought to be so large that no one firm would want the whole of it, and consequently was built with a partition wall in its center and two wheelpits – being leased as – a whole for fifteen years to that young master business spirit of the time, Holder Borden. In this way the Pocasset Company fostered the early manufacturing enterprises of the town. Thus Mr. Borden, though scarcely twenty-five years of age, was continuously engaged in building operations, whether of dwellings, factories or workshops, in leasing the same, and in buying and conveying real estate.
In 1825 Mr. Borden and others obtained acts of incorporation from the Legislatures of Massachusetts and Rhode Island as the Watuppa Reservoir Company, authorized to build a dam and make reserves of water in the Watuppa ponds while yet the damages for flowing the surrounding lands would be inconsiderable, and realizing, it may be hoped, that some of the waters then in the ponds would ere long be wanted to quench the thirst of the population of the great and prosperous city that they conceived would grow up and occupy the territory between the ponds and Mount Hope bay.
A man of large capacity, thus early schooled in taking responsible positions in the management of manifold industries, Mr. Borden’s advice and aid were largely sought and highly appreciated. He was for many years in local public life as town clerk, selectman, assessor and highway surveyor, believing it to be the duty of every citizen to serve the public when called upon to occupy any official position for which he was qualified. He was a member of the lower branch of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1831, 1834, 1851 and 1864, and was a member of the Senate in 1845 and 1847.
At the time of the agitation of Freemasonry and Antimasonry Mr. Borden took decided grounds against secret institutions in a free country, believing them to be unnecessary and of no practical use in a country where the government is vested in the people. Identified with manufacturing interests from association and business, he acted in the earlier part of his adult life with the National Republican party, until the time when the Masonic question became a distinct issue, and then, as heretofore stated, he was found opposed to the Masonic fraternity. He advocated for those times a protective but not a stimulative tariff, believing that capital should be left free to invigorate all the industrial interests of the country. He was prominent among the early and personal friends of the slave, and made his house an asylum for the fugitives, many of whom he assisted, either directly or indirectly, on their way to Canada and freedom. In 1834, at a time when it was fashionable to mob abolitionists, he opened the Washington schoolhouse, then his private property, in which to form an antislavery society. His father-in-law, Arnold Buffum, was the first president of the New England Antislavery Society.
In the winter of 1833-34 the questions of the re-charter of the United States Bank and the removal of the deposits were prominent subjects of public and private discussion, and Mr. Borden was found nearly in harmony with the Jackson party upon these questions. This led to his nomination as representative to Congress in the fall of 1834, and he was supported by both the Antimasonic and Jacksonian parties for that position. It was a spirited contest, and he was not elected until the third trial, being the first citizen of Fall River ever chosen to said office. In 1836 he was reelected to the Twenty-fifth Congress, by an overwhelming vote. The Twenty-fourth Congress comprised the last two years of the administration of General Jackson, and the Twenty-fifth the first half of the administration of Martin Van Buren; and besides the bank question, the tariff questions, and the embarrassing questions of finance incident to the period of the most disastrous financial crisis through which the country has ever passed, the slavery question was even then dominant, and began to assume portentous magnitude. New territories were being acquired, and new States were knocking at the door of the Union, and in every instance the battle had to be fought over again – whether they should be admitted unless their constitutions prohibited slavery. The proslavery party was seeking to annex Texas for the purpose of cutting it up into slave States, and the anti-slavery people of the North were pouring in a multitude of petitions for the abolition of slavery, only to be jeered at, and met by Congress with a rule that upon their presentation “all such petitions, without further action, should be laid on the table without being debated, printed or referred.” To Mr. Borden, whose heart was so earnest in the antislavery cause, it was a source of great satisfaction that in this severe conflict, in influence, in committee and in vote, if not in debate, he was privileged to participate in the support of the “old man eloquent” in his triumphant battle for the right of petition, With him were such men as Joshua E. Giddings and Stephen C. Phillips and Levi Lincoln and George N. Briggs and Richard Fletcher and William B. Calhoun, whose names might well have been stereotyped into the multitude roll calls, always in favor of the right of petition.
In the election of 1838, in consequence of some modifications in his views relative to the United States Bank, for the purpose of relieving the financial distress of the country, and his entire want of sympathy with the administration of Van Buren, and possibly his extreme antislavery principles, Mr. Borden was defeated, and Hon. Henry Williams, of Taunton, elected. But in 1840 Mr. Borden’s friends again rallied to his support and elected him to the Twenty-seventh Congress, covering the period of the first half of the term for which President Harrison was elected, but who, unfortunately for the country, soon died, and was succeeded by Vice President Tyler, for whose administration no party seems to have had respect. Again the great struggle between slavery and freedom for the colored race was renewed, and while even then the proslavery party in Congress was plotting the destruction of the government John Quincy Adams was threatened with expulsion by the House for presenting the petitions of the women of Massachusetts praying for the peaceable dissolution of the Union. Again Mr. Borden was only too glad to be there and stand shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Adams, whom he loved and venerated, until after one of the most stormy conflicts, of eleven days’ duration, such as even “our stormy hall of legislation” has rarely witnessed, the heroic old man’s complete vindication and victory came, his assailants being discomfited and vanquished and their resolution ignominiously laid upon the table.
At the close of the Twenty-seventh Congress Mr. Borden declined a renomination. As a legislator he had extensive practical knowledge, a cool, deliberate judgment, and a firm purpose to do what he believed to be right regardless of personal or political consequences to himself. His convictions of duty were ever in advance of any real or supposed interests that were merely personal.
Mr. Borden was a large owner of real estate, a good deal of which was situated in the very center of the town, and when the great fire of 1843 visited the village he was one of the largest sufferers, having eleven buildings consumed, the loss of which was severely felt. His private residence on Second street, nearly opposite the point where the fire started, was saved by the exertions of friends and neighbors, and was hospitably thrown open to those who had been less fortunate. Although somewhat disheartened, his spirits rallied, and by the advice and encouragement of his friends he immediately set about rebuilding in earnest.
In 1845 the Fall River railroad was opened as far as Myricks, and the next year it was extended to South Braintree, connecting there with the Old Colony railroad. In 1847 Mr. Borden was chosen president, which position he held until 1854, when the Fall River railroad was consolidated with the Old Colony railroad, a measure to which he was opposed, as being against the best interests of Fall River. During his connection with the railroad the Fall River steamboat line to New York was established, which added largely to his labors. Mr. Borden carried to this position the benefits of his large experience, sound judgment and practical knowledge, and discharged, its duties with his accustomed zeal and efficiency.
During the session of the State Legislature in 1851 the long and memorable contest for the election of a senator in Congress arose, wherein Robert C. Winthrop and Charles Sumner were the leading candidates. Mr. Borden was chosen to the Legislature on the Whig ticket, and to deal justly by his supporters he continued to vote for his old friend and colleague in Congress, Mr. Winthrop, until, by town meeting and by petitions from the people of his district, it appeared that a large majority were in favor of Sumner, whereupon he changed his vote, and has the credit of casting the one ballot which secured Sumner’s election. As was natural, Mr. Borden’s course was considerably criticized at the time; he was blamed for overlooking party lines in so acrimonious a contest, and was even charged with having been instrumental in procuring the expression of his townspeople in the mode it was given. But, to Mr. Borden’s credit be it said, he was always a firm believer in the right of the people to “give instructions to their representatives,” under Article XIX of the Bill of Eights of the Constitution of Massachusetts. He therefore, in cheerful obedience to the constitutional right of his constituents, as well as in deference to his own personal preference, voted for Charles Sumner, and it is to be hoped that neither the people of Fall River nor of Massachusetts ever had occasion to regret that vote.
In 1856 Mr. Borden was chosen mayor of Fall River, and during the trying times of the winter of 1856-57, while the mills were stopped owing to the greatly depressed condition of the business of cotton manufacture, and hundreds were thrown out of employment and destitute, his constant and untiring efforts shone with a benevolence rarely surpassed. He believed that starvation and suffering for want of food should never be permitted in a Christian community having the means to alleviate them, and most nobly did he fulfill his duty. Employment was given to many of the idle laborers having no legal settlement, at a very cheap rate, in necessary work about the city. By this means great improvements were wrought upon the city farm and Oak Grove cemetery, and in building new streets and repairing old ones, at a very small cost to the taxpayers. Mr. Borden believed it to be a just and wise, as well as humane, policy to provide for the wants of these people temporarily, and secure to the city at the same time the benefits of their cheap labor. They were thus retained at comparatively little additional expense to the city, where their useful services would again soon be in demand, and the objectionable course avoided of throwing them as a burden upon the State, with all the family disorder and social degradation consequent there-upon. If deeds of kindness and sympathy, coupled with well-directed charity, embalm a man’s name in grateful remembrance, such will be the recollection of the name and character of Mr. Borden during this trying time.
Mr. Borden was an alderman from 1859 until his death, in 1865, and it mattered little what party or combination was formed against him in his own ward, the people there knew him, and that was sufficient to secure his election. He was president of the Fall River Union Bank and of the Fall River Savings Bank at the time of his death, positions which he had held for several years.
In stature Mr. Borden was rather short and thick-set, but not gross, with a genial countenance. Possessed naturally of a happy, cheerful disposition, he was a pleasant and agreeable companion, a kind and indulgent parent. In religious faith he was a Unitarian and a firm believer in both the justice and goodness of the Deity. He uniformly maintained that the best preparation for a happy future life was to do well here. Cant and pretense had little influence with him. “The doers of the word,” and not the mere pretenders, were in his view Christians. “Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works” was his favorite text and the rule of his conduct. And so, by holiness in life and godliness in walk, he sought to be judged rather than by any show of the mere ceremonials of profession. Thus sought he his reward. It is what earth can neither give nor take away, “profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
Such a character is pleasant to contemplate. With a moral integrity unimpeached and unimpeachable, a large heart and generous sympathies, he passed through life shedding light up-on and assisting by kindly acts his fellow man wherever found, without regard to the color of his skin, the place of his birth, or the nature of his creed. To oppression he was an enemy, to the oppressed a friend.
At a special meeting of the city council of Fall River, held on the day of his decease, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God to call one of our number, the Hon. Nathaniel B. Borden, from the active arena of life to enter upon the untried scenes of eternity, one venerable in years, rich in experience, both in national, State and municipal legislation, one who has filled the highest executive position in our City, it is therefore
Resolved, That it is with feelings of solemnity and sorrow that we bow under this dispensation of His providence in severing from the midst of this board one whose services have so long been identified with its action, one whose long experience in the municipal affairs of the city, together with his good judgment, enabled him to give direction to its councils and decisions.
Resolved, That the members of this board sympathize with the family of the deceased in this their sad bereavement, and commend them to the loving kindness and companion of our blessed Lord, who doth not willingly afflict His children, but doeth all things, after the counsel of His own will, for our good.
Resolved, That in token of our esteem for the deceased, we do attend his funeral in a body, and that the public offices of the city be closed on the afternoon of his funeral.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the family of the deceased by the city clerk, and the same be published in the newspapers of the city.
Resolutions of similar import were passed by the Fall River Savings Bank, of which Mr. Borden was president at the time of his decease.
Mr. Borden was married:
- (first) March 16, 1820, to Sarah Gray;
- (second) Dec. 10, 1840, to Louisa Gray, who died June 4, 1842;
- (third) on Feb. 12, 1843, to Sarah Gould Buffum; and
- (fourth) on March 14, 1855, to Mrs. Lydia A. (Shade) Wilbur, daughter of William Shade of Somerset, and widow of John Wilbur, of Fall River.
His children were:
- Amy, born Jan. 3, 1821, died July 16, 1871;
- Simeon, born Dec. 26, 1824, died Sept. 15, 1825;
- Sarah, born Aug. 26, 1826, died Sept. 9, 1854;
- Simeon (2), born March 29, 1829, died March 9, 1896;
- Nathaniel, born Oct. 21, 1832, died Nov. 3, 1833;
- Louisa Gray, born Jan. 14, 1836, married Dr. James M. Aldrich, and died Oct. 24, 1897;
- Nathaniel Briggs, born Feb. 23, 1844, died Jan. 9, 1909.
(VIII) Simeon Borden (2), son of Hon. Nathaniel Briggs and Sarah (Gray) Borden, was born March 29, 1829. He acquired his elementary education in the public schools and was prepared for college at the Fruit Hill Academy, in the town of North Providence, R. I., which at the time was in the charge of the eminent instructor Mr. Belden. Entering Harvard in 1846, he graduated therefrom with honor in 1850, in a class many of whom later won distinction in civil and professional life, among them:
- Charles Hale, editor of the Boston Advertiser, consul general to Egypt, and assistant secretary of State;
- Everett Branfield, assistant secretary of the treasury;
- Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Thayer Bussey, professor of sacred literature at Harvard and professor at Andover Theological Seminary;
- Hon. T. Jefferson Coolidge, United States minister to France;
- Hon. James C. Carter, of the New York bar;
- Gen. William A. Burt, postmaster of Boston, etc.
After his graduation from Harvard Mr. Borden entered the Cambridge Law School, from which he received the degree of LL. B. two years later. He then spent a year in the law office of William Bridgham, of Boston, and was admitted to the bar in 1853, and began active practice in Fall River. Mr. Borden was endowed by nature with a judicial temperament, which combined with experience as the years passed, gained by long and faithful study, soon won for him the respect and esteem of both his fellow citizens and his legal associates. He was the associate counsel and prepared with great ability the case before the legislative committee defending the constitutional line, which subsequently became the present boundary line between Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He was also one of the counsel in the important Allen Mason will trial, which he prepared with remarkable skill and care. He was a member of the common council of Fall River two years and its president one year, a member of the board of aldermen for seven consecutive years, city solicitor two years, member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives two years, a trustee of the Fall River Free Library for seventeen years, one of the commissioners of the sinking fund, a trustee of the Fall River Savings Bank, a trustee of the Taunton Lunatic Hospital, and a member of the old fire department, being foreman of Niagara Engine Company. Upon the resignation of Mr. John S. Brayton as clerk of the Bristol courts, in January, 1864, Mr. Borden was appointed by the justices of the Supreme Judicial court to fill the vacancy until the annual election, when he was elected for the unexpired term, and by repeated reflections continued to hold the office until his death.
Mr. Borden carried into the performance of public duties the same conscientious spirit and high standard which he exhibited in those of a private nature. He illustrated in civil life the very best New England examples. Possessing a sound legal training, the ability, fidelity, integrity and unfailing courtesy with which he discharged the arduous and exacting responsibilities of the office of clerk of the courts for nearly a generation won the unstinted praise and approval of the judiciary, the bar and all with whom he came in contact. He was justly called the model clerk, “and was without an equal in the Commonwealth.” “His records, while elaborate, were simple and concise, and were expressed in clear, vigorous English. Beyond the required duties of his position, by his care and industry, the office has thirty bound volumes of exceptions and briefs of counsel in cases which have been argued before the Supreme Judicial court.” He was largely instrumental in establishing the valuable law library at Taunton.
Mr. Borden died March 9, 1896, at Fall River, Mass., and immediately following this event resolutions were adopted by the bar of Bristol County, from which the following extracts are quoted:
“Devoted to the best traditions and loyal to the highest standards in the profession of the law, it was the lifelong purpose and constant effort of our friend and brother to uphold, in connection with the courts of the Commonwealth, the highest conception of professional honor and the noblest type of the professional character. Always glad to welcome to the practice of the profession the young men at the opening of their careers, it was a delight to him to contribute from the abundance of his knowledge and wisdom in order to make the pathway for them easier and pleasanter, asking for and thinking of no return for the help and assistance rendered other than the satisfaction which he derived in gratifying his own sympathetic nature.”
Mr. Borden was a public-spirited citizen, taking a deep interest in all worthy movements, and liberally supporting every charitable enterprise. In politics he was a strong antislavery advocate and a Republican. He was the first president of the Harvard Club in Fall River. Upon his death he was succeeded as clerk of the courts by his son, Simeon Borden, Jr.
On Aug. 22, 1855, Mr. Borden was married to Irene S. Hathaway, daughter of Isaac N. and Eliza W. (Tobey) Hathaway, and they became the parents of two children: Sarah, born June 18, 1858, and Simeon, born June 27, 1860.
(IX) Simeon Borden, son of Simeon and Irene S. (Hathaway) Borden, was born in Fall River June 27, 1860. He attended the public schools of his native city and prepared for college in the high school, from which he was graduated with the class of 1878. He entered Brown University the same year, and was graduated therefrom in 1882, with the degree of A. B. Shortly after his graduation he became a clerk in his father’s office, and continued in that capacity until 1888, when he was appointed assistant clerk of courts. This position he held at the time of his father’s death in 1896, when he was appointed to fill the vacancy until the next election. At this time he was nominated on the Republican ticket for the office of clerk of courts, and was elected by a large majority, and again received the honor in 1901 and 1906, for terms of five years each. Mr. Borden has many of the personal characteristics which endeared his father to all who en-joyed his sterling friendship, and is held in high esteem by all of those with whom, by virtue of his public position, lie comes in contact. He is interested in the business life of Fall River as a director in the Barnard Manufacturing Company and a member of the corporation of the Fall River Savings Bank. He is a trustee of the Taunton Hospital for the Insane. Mr. Borden married Minnie W. Hood, of Fall River, who died in 1895.
(VIII) Nathaniel Briggs Borden, son of Nathaniel Briggs and Sarah Gould (Buffum) Borden, was born in Fall River Feb. 23, 1844, and began his education in the schools of that place, which he attended until 1862, when he went to the Phillips Academy at Exeter, N.H. Studying there until 1864, he entered Harvard College in the class which graduated in 1868. His father died in 1865, and in the fall of that year Mr. Borden went to Peacedale, R. I., and was employed in the woolen mills of R. G. Hazard & Co., for the purpose of learning the woolen manufacturing business. Afterward he was at the Carolina mills, in Rhode Island. While at Peacedale and Carolina Mr. Borden familiarized himself with the practical working of the machinery of the various departments. In 1869 he left Carolina and went to Valley Falls, R. I., entering the employ of his uncle, Samuel B. Chace, in the counting room of the Valley Falls Company, which was engaged in the manufacture of cotton cloth. In the spring of 1870 he returned to Fall River and entered ‘the employ of the Merchants’ Manufacturing Company as bookkeeper.
In 1871 Mr. Borden went back to Valley Falls to become the agent and superintendent of the Valley Falls Company’s cotton mills of about 35,000 spindles. In October, 1873, he returned to Fall River, and immediately began to solicit subscriptions for the formation of a corporation to engage in the manufacture of cotton cloth. As a consequence of his exertions the Barnard Manufacturing Company was organized and Mr. Borden was elected treasurer. He continued in the position to the end of his life, conducting successfully the business of that corporation. The mill was erected and equipped in 1874 under Mr. Borden’s supervision, and in December, 1895, he was authorized by his stockholders to increase the facilities to 64,560 spindles, 1,708 looms, and the capital stock to $495,000. Mr. Borden was president of the Fall River Cotton Manufacturers’ Association from 1889 to 1906.
In 1890 Mr. Borden was elected a member of the common council and again in 1891, being president of that body both years. He was a director and vice president of the Massasoit National Bank until on the consolidation of the Massasoit National Bank, Pocasset National Bank and National Union Bank forming the Massasoit-Pocasset National Bank, he became a director of the new organization. He was a trustee of the Fall River Five Cents Savings Bank, and of the Taunton Hospital for the Insane, and president of the Children’s Home Corporation, having held that office from 1889. In short, he was a citizen whose activities extended to almost everything affecting the local welfare. He was a member of the Unitarian Society, and in this as in other relations was very highly esteemed. He was found trust-worthy, fair-minded, and kind-hearted in whatever capacity he served during a useful and beneficent life. He died Jan. 9, 1909, at his Fall River home, No. 645 High street, leaving a void in many circles. Editorially the Fall River News said of him:
“In the death of Nathaniel B. Borden Fall River loses another of its leading citizens. Intimately connected with the business interests of the city, for years president of the Manufacturers’ Association, the able treasurer of one of our mills, a bank officer, he was also a public-spirited man, deeply interested in some of the city’s charities, especially in the Children’s Home, of whose directors he had been president for nearly or quite a score of years. He has written nearly all of the last twenty annual re-ports and presided over not only the annual meetings but also over the monthly meetings of the directors. Into that beautiful charity he had thus put a great amount of interested labor. Some years ago he was appointed a trustee of the Taunton Insane Asylum and he had been made chairman of that board. To that duty to one of the institutions of the State he gave much time and thought. He will thus be greatly missed in a variety of important relations the scope and extent of which are indicated in his biography. Citizens of his temper and caliber are too precious a possession that a city can see them pass without the expression of its sincere lament.”
On Feb. 2, 1870, Mr. Borden was married to Annie E. Brown, daughter of Jeremiah and Emeline E. (Almy) Brown, and their children were:
- Nathaniel Briggs, born March 4, 1871;
- Annie Brown, Dec. 4, 1877;
- Arnold Buffum, March 19, 1882 (died April 30, 1907);
- Louise Gould, Oct. 11, 1883.
(IX) Nathaniel Briggs Borden, Jr., son of Nathaniel Briggs and Annie E. (Brown) Borden, was born in Fall River, Mass., March 4, 1871. He was educated in the schools of that city and at the Phillips Exeter Academy, at Exeter, N. H. On March 1, 1890, he began work in the office of the Barnard Manufacturing Company in Fall River, and on Jan. 11, 1909, was elected treasurer proterm, of that company to succeed his father. In October, 1909, he was elected treasurer, an office which he has since acceptably filled.
On June 4, 1895, Mr. Borden married Annie Remington Smith, daughter of William W. Smith, and they have one daughter, Louise Smith, born Jan. 8, 1899.